The matter of the role of the social worker within religious communities has occupied researchers and professionals during the last several years. One of the religious communities discussed in the literature is the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, as a result of its insular nature, the distance it keeps from society at large and the growing need for professional treatment within this sector. To date, the literature regarding religious communities has focused mainly on individual and group interventions. The current article, however, focuses on the unique task of community social workers in the ultra-Orthodox community and the challenges of conducting macro-level interventions. Focusing on core issues of community social work, the current study aims to shed light on community development (including building trusting and cooperative relationship, empowerment and leadership) and promoting social change. The article focuses on challenges and opportunities in community social work in a closed religious community and provides principles for each of the above points of intervention. Finally, with reference to community social work's goals, the article conceptualises the main goal of the community social worker in these kinds of communities.
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© 2021 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.
- community development
- community social work
- religious communities
- social change
- the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community