Imagine traveling half way around the world for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from others in your profession who practice under very different conditions than your own. Several social workers from the Dayton area were recently presented with this very scenario.

From March 4 – 8, through the Federation’s Partnership2Gether program, myself, Sharon Guenther (Manager of Social Work Services at Miami Valley Hospital’s Department of Integrated Care Management), and Heather Hackett (Medical Social Worker at Dayton Children’s Hospital), traveled to Israel to participate in a social worker seminar at the Galilee Medical Center.

The mission offered us the unique opportunity to observe Israel’s social work model, understand the services provided to Holocaust survivors in Israel, and extend those conversations to our services in Dayton. In addition, the mission allowed the social workers to participate in and facilitate conversations about how we work individually and how we can work together.

I’m excited to explore social services in Israel, and to understand the challenges and opportunities social workers face in another country.

~ Sharon Guenther
MSW, LISW-S, Miami Valley Hospital

I’m excited to explore social services in Israel, and to understand the challenges and opportunities social workers face in another country.

~ Sharon Guenther
MSW, LISW-S, Miami Valley Hospital

I’m excited to explore social services in Israel, and to understand the challenges and opportunities social workers face in another country.

~ Sharon Guenther
MSW, LISW-S, Miami Valley Hospital

Prior to our departure, Sharon said she was thrilled to have such an amazing opportunity. “I’m excited to explore social services in Israel, and to understand the challenges and opportunities social workers face in another country. I’m also looking forward to establishing relationships with social work colleagues in a different culture.”

Heather was excited to bring what she learned back to Dayton. “I am looking forward to learning more about Israeli culture, what social work practices and interventions are like in Israel, and to see how they work with trauma. I hope to be able to bring back information to my team here at Dayton Children’s that will be relevant and help us strengthen our social work skills and interventions.”

Partnership2Gether (P2G) is a program of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Federations of North America, promoting people-to-people relationships through cultural, social, medical, educational, and economic programs. This partnership is between the 14 communities of the Central Area Consortium (including Dayton); Budapest, Hungary; and Israel’s Western Galilee. Its mission is to promote mutually beneficial endeavors forging relationships through programs that build Jewish identity and strengthen ties and connections among and between our communities.

For more information about Partnership2Gether please contact Jodi Phares, Project Manager at (937) 610-5513 or jphares@jfgd.net.

L to R: Heather Hackett MSSW, LSW, Dayton Children’s Hospital; JFS Director Tara Feiner; SharonGuenther MSW, LISW-S, Miami Valley Hospital. Photo courtesy of Jodi Phares.

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