Seeing diversity in difference: experiences in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish College
British Educational Management and Administration Society
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AbstractIncl. abstract, bibl.
The authors were involved in establishing a college-level educational institute to serve charaidi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) women in Jerusalem. To meet the needs of this community, cultural and social norms had to be incorporated into the curriculum and administration of the college. While preserving the distinctive cultural difference of this community, a more widely accepted level of academic excellence was introduced, as was the notion of diversity. The article examines the cultural requirements of the host community and explores difference and diversity as social constructs. It looks at alternative approaches to diversity and at the difficulties associated with diversity training. The organizational structure of the college (where curriculum, administration and degree-granting are performed by different agencies) allows articulation between externally accredited academic excellence and internal subject matter sensitivity. The article concludes with some tentative observations and an agenda for future research.