The Impact of Professional Background on Interdisciplinary Community Development and Collaboration: An Israeli and USA Cross-Country Comparison

Dr. Terry Mizrahi,
Dr. Marcia Bayne-Smith,
Dr. Yossi Korazim-Korosy,
Dr. Chana Katz,
Dr. Martha Lucia Garcia
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The call for ‘interdisciplinary community collaboration” has become increasingly evident in the health, education and human service areas in the US and Israel. Assumptions are made that collaboration across professions will increase the effectiveness of school, public health, housing, economic development, environmental and other community-building initiatives. However the impact of the various disciplines on interdisciplinary professional work in the community (whether defined by neighborhood; interest; population, or identity), is not adequately reflected in the literature. While many professionals work across disciplines, competencies related to these complex endeavors needs to be better understood. This paper will analyze the perspectives of a cohort of educators and practitioners that include social work, law, urban planning, community psychology, education, public health and others, about how their professional background, identity and experience affects community problem-solving. It will present data from qualitative interviews, structured group discussion, and self-reflection by study participants that will contribute to the knowledge base underpinning the competences needed to effectively engage in interdisciplinary community collaboration. It will identify the commonalities and differences in approaches in both US and Israel, and produce a conceptual framework and core curriculum among the study outcomes.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Academic-Professional, Community Partnerships, Community Development and Collaboration
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Terry Mizrahi

Professor, School of Social Work, Hunter College of the City University of New York

Dr. Mizrahi was elected national President of the National Association of Social Workers from 2000-2003. She was secretary of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration and a founder of the Journal of Community Practice. Dr. Mizrahi won Hunter’s Presidential Award for Distinguished Service in 1992, the NYC Chapter of NASW Service Award in 2000, and the ACOSA Lifetime Career Achievement Award in 2004. She was the first social worker in 1994 selected for the Primary Care Policy Fellowship of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 2004, she was a Kreitzman Fellow at Ben Gurion University in Israel, and continues to do consultation in Israel and Japan with schools of social work, and Israel’s Ministry for Social Affairs. Dr. Mizrahi is currently the co-editor- in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Social Work-20th edition. She is the author of 5 books and monographs and 70 articles, book chapters, reviews, and manuals. Her expertise is in the fields of community organizing and development, health care policy, the rights of clients and consumers, and medical sociology. Her areas of research, training and consultation include professional socialization, interdisciplinary collaboration, coalition-building, community organizing practice and health policy.

Dr. Marcia Bayne-Smith

Associate Professor, Urban Studies Department
Queens College, City University of New York, Queens College, City University of New York


Dr. Yossi Korazim-Korosy

Interdisciplinary Forum on Community Development

Dr. Chana Katz

Lecturer, Sapir Public College

Dr. Martha Lucia Garcia

Faculty/Social Work Supervisor, Main Street Legal Services, City University of New York, School of Law, CUNY School of Law

Ref: I07P0279