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Professors from Israel to speak Sept. 19 on social work, policy and social justice

Two professors from Israel are coming to Chapel Hill to speak on social work, policy and social justice.

Dr. John Gal, social work professor and dean at Hebrew University, will visit UNC to discuss collaboration between his university and UNC, and will deliver two lectures on Sept. 19. He will be accompanied by his wife Dr. Idit Weiss-Gal, an associate professor at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University in Israel, who will also speak at one of the lectures.

UNC students, faculty and the public are invited to attend both lectures.

Their visit is sponsored by UNC School of Social Work, UNC’s Global Education Center, the Jewish Studies Department, and the Asset Building Group at the School of Social Work.

The purpose of the Gals’ visit is to:

  • Strengthen the long productive history with faculty of Hebrew University;
  • Learn more about their research studies and interests;
  • Explore possible research and collaboration work;
  • Discuss development of a potential student and faculty exchange program;
  • Further discuss collaborative work with Assets Building Group of School of Social Work; and
  • For students, faculty and the community to have an opportunity to learn more about Israeli social welfare and policies, relevant to current and recent events.

During his visit, Dr. Gal will deliver two lectures: one, at the School of Social Work with Weiss-Gal; and another, by himself, at the Global Education Center.

1.   “Social Workers Affecting Social Policy: An Israeli Perspective”

  • Lecture by: Drs. John Gal and Idit Weiss-Gal
  • Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 at Noon
  • Location: UNC School of Social Work, 325 Pittsboro St., Room #300

Drs. Gal and Weiss-Gal will discuss the involvement of social workers in different countries in policy practice and, in particular, will offer empirical data on the engagement of social workers in the policy process in Israel.  The analysis focuses on the role of social workers in the deliberations of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

2.   “Why Did 300,000 Israelis Demand Social Justice this Summer?”

Dr. Gal will speak on the welfare state of Israel in light of the recent mass protests in support of social justice and the welfare state that took place throughout Israel during the summer.  He will explore the reasons why so many young middle class Israelis feel that existing social welfare systems in Israel are insufficient and require change.

Parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Global Education Center’s parking deck, and the Beard Lot next to the Global Education Center; enter via McCauley St. More parking spaces are available at the Bell Tower parking deck after 5 p.m. via Old Bell Tower Rd. off of South Rd.

About John Gal
John Gal, Ph.D. is a full professor and dean at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His fields of interest include social policy in Israel and in a comparative perspective, and policy-practice in social work. Dr. Gal has published extensively in academic journals and has been very involved in social policy formulation in Israel. Recent books include a study on income maintenance in Israel, a study of the history of unemployment policy in Israel, an edited volume on access to social justice (with Mimi Ajzenstadt) and “Professional Ideologies and Preferences in Social Work: A Global Study” with Idit-Weiss and John Dixon.  A book on policy practice in Israel, written jointly with Idit Weiss-Gal, was recently published.

About Idit Weiss-Gal
Idit Weiss-Gal, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University in Israel.  Her fields of research and teaching include policy practice, critical perspectives in social work, and social work as a profession.  She has published numerous articles in social work academic publications.  She has edited two cross-national comparative studies:  “Social Work as a Profession: A Cross-National Perspective” (with Penelope Wellbourne, 2007); and “Professional Ideologies and Preferences in Social Work: A Global Study” (with John Gal and John Dixon, 2003).  Her Hebrew-language book, “Policy Practice in Social Work,” written with John Gal, was recently published.