Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency 2


The Jerusalem Foundation:

Cultural Competency


Need: Perhaps as much as half of the city’s population – Arab residents, new immigrants, the ultra-Orthodox – lacks the language and cultural skills for communication regarding even basic medical care and other services, with even fewer able to tackle the complex jargon of advanced terminology.


Response: Culturally competent service providers are able to respond in a sensitive and respectful manner to all residents, regardless of cultural or ethnic background, in a way that builds bridges of communication and facilitates resolution of issues. Developed since 2008 in partnership with the Jerusalem Intercultural Center (JICC), Cultural Competency includes:

  • Language training for translators/interpreters;
  • Sensitivity training on cultural issues that can hamper proper service provision; encourages form-translation into multiple languages;
  • Cultural adaptations to make providing services – in health care, among welfare professionals, police, higher education, and more – not just easier, but more effective.



  • Concepts developed by the JICC became national policy by the Ministry of Health in 2011.
  • The program has impacted tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents – of all different backgrounds – who are treated by Jerusalem’s health care institutions and clinics each year.
  • As concepts are adapted to other disciplines (academia, welfare departments, police), tens of thousands more consumers of various services will be able to benefit in order to make Jerusalem and Israel more accepting of the ‘other’.