Shmaglena: Ethnic framework for problem mediating

Nadya Bobrowski, Uri Timor, Natti Ronel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article describes traditional mediators (in Amharic, shmaglotz meaning “elders”; shmagaleh in the singular) who fill a range of roles within the community of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, as well as a mediation process (shmaglena in Amharic). The present research is a constructivist-qualitative study. Thirteen respondents participated in the study, all of whom were exposed to the shmaglena process. The data were collected through semi-structured content interviews. The research elicited that the shmaglena function has undergone transformation and adaptation to the target nation's culture. It was also found that the shmaglotz constitute an informal authority whose roles resemble those of conflict resolvers in other cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-306
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Conflict resolution
  • ethnicity
  • immigrants from Ethiopia
  • restorative justice
  • shmaglena


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