Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 1133–1145 | Cite as

What Can Be Learned from Health-Related Tensions and Disparities in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Families?

  • Chagit Peles
  • Mary Rudolf
  • Michael Weingarten
  • Miriam Ethel Bentwich
Original Paper
  • 41 Downloads

Abstract

Promoting healthy lifestyle from early childhood is a key objective in public health, yet health behaviors are often culturally driven, especially in closed-religious communities. This study aims to reveal key cultural-religious aspects of attitudes and behaviors regarding lifestyle in one such closed community—the ultra-orthodox Jewish community. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants: religious leaders, educational figures, psycho-medical professionals from two major ultra-orthodox communities in Israel. A thematic analysis was used to reveal key themes in the interviews. We found tensions between conflicting themes in the parenting, nutrition and physical activity domains, while the sleep domain illustrated cultural solution for a tension. By illuminating the perceptional components of lifestyle, the study contributes to better foundations of health promotion in closed-religious communities.

Keywords

Lifestyle Religious communities Ultra-orthodox Jews Perceptions 

References

  1. Baumel, S. D. (2007). Sacred speakers: Language and culture among the Haredim in Israel. New York Oxford: Bergham books. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.il/books?id=uKfnmG-pREEC&pg=PA35&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
  2. Benn, T., Pfister, G., & Jawad, H. A. (2010). Muslim women and sport. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Butler, M., McCreedy, E., Schwer, N., Burgess, D., Call, K., Przedworski, J., … Kane, R. L. (2016). Improving cultural competence to reduce health disparities. Improving cultural competence to reduce health disparities. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).Google Scholar
  4. Caplan, K., & Stadler, N. (2012). From survival to consolidation: Changes in Israeli Haredi Society and its scholarly study (Hebrew). The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad. Retrieved from http://www.vanleer.org.il/en/node/1568
  5. Coleman-Brueckheimer, K., & Dein, S. (2011). Health care behaviours and beliefs in Hasidic Jewish populations: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Religion and Health.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-010-9448-2.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Coleman-Brueckheimer, K., Spitzer, J., & Koffman, J. (2009). Involvement of Rabbinic and communal authorities in decision-making by haredi Jews in the UK with breast cancer: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 68(2), 323–333.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.10.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2011). Handbook of qualitative research. In The Sage handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 1–32). SAGE Publications, Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  8. El-Or, T. (1995). Educated and ignorant: Ultraorthodox Jewish women and their world (Hebrew) (8th ed.). Tel aviv: Am-Oved. Retrieved from http://www.kotar.co.il/KotarApp/Viewer.aspx?nBookID=94769344
  9. Hakak, Y. (2005). Spirituality and worldliness in Lithuanian Yeshivas (Hebrew). The Floersheimer Institute for policy studies. Retrieved from http://en.fips.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/floersheimeeng/files/hakak_spirituality_and_worldliness_in_lithuanian_yeshivas.pdf
  10. Hanany, H. (2008). Housing and residential culture among Ashkenazi Haredi Society in Israel (Hebrew). Ph.D. dissertation, Haifa University. Haifa University. Retrieved from http://digitool.haifa.ac.il//exlibris/dtl/d3_1/apache_media/L2V4bGlicmlzL2R0bC9kM18xL2FwYWNoZV9tZWRpYS81MjkxNDA=.pdf
  11. Heidari, S., Rezaei, M., Sajadi, M., Ajorpaz, N. M., & Koenig, H. G. (2016). Religious practices and self-care in Iranian patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Religion and Health.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-016-0320-x.Google Scholar
  12. Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732305276687.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Jarrett, P., & Giorno, C. (2016). OECD economic surveys. Israel.Google Scholar
  14. Kallio, H., Pietila, A. M., Johnson, M., & Kangasniemi, M. (2016). Systematic methodological review: developing a framework for a qualitative semi-structured interview guide. Journal of Advanced Nursing.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13031.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kark, J. D., Shemi, G., Friedlander, Y., Martin, O., Manor, O., & Blondheim, S. H. (1996). Does religious observance promote health? Mortality in secular vs religious kibbutzim in Israel. American Journal of Public Health, 86(3), 341–346.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.86.3.341.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Koenig, H. G., King, D. E., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health (2nd ed.). [References]. (2012), 1169.Google Scholar
  17. Levin, J. (2010). Religion and mental health: theory and research. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 7(2), 99–192.  https://doi.org/10.1002/aps.240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Levin, J. (2013). Religious behavior, health, and well-being among Israeli Jews: Findings from the European social survey. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 5(4), 272–282.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levin, J. W., Doctoroff, A. R., Schoenfeld, J. A., Goldstein, E. S., Levin, A. F., Samuels, H., … Rosenberg, J. (2012). Jewish community study of NY comprehensive report. UJA federation NY.Google Scholar
  20. M’Radin, R. Y. M. H. (1998). Meir Einei Yisrael (Hebrew). Jerusalem institute.Google Scholar
  21. Maimon-Maimonides, R. M. (1178). The Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, De’ot. Retrieved from http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/910344/jewish/Deot-Chapter-Four.htm
  22. Malhi, A., & Avramovski, M. (2015). Combining family and work among Orthodox women. Jerusalem: Israel ministry of Economy.Google Scholar
  23. Mansfeld, Y., Jonas, A., & Cahaner, L. (2016). Between tourists’ faith and perceptions of travel risk. Journal of Travel Research, 55(3), 395–413.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287514550099.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marks, L. D., Dollahite, D. C., & Barker, K. (2012). Don’t forget home: The importance of sacred ritual in families. In J. Hoffman (Ed.), Understanding religious ritual: Theoretical approaches and innovations (pp. 186–203). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Mathers, N., & Bansal, A. (2016). Patient-centered care in a multicultural world. Family Medicine and Community Health, 4(4), 1–3.  https://doi.org/10.15212/FMCH.2016.0123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Merchavi, Y. (2006). About the world of ultra orthodox mothers of large families. Hebrew University.Google Scholar
  27. National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care. Final Report. (2001). US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health March (Vol. 3). Retrieved from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/cmanj/2002/00000003/00000002/art00005
  28. Nisan, H. (2007). Marketing for the Haredi sector. Tel-Aviv.Google Scholar
  29. Physical activity guidelines for Americans. (2008). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Retrieved from https://health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf
  30. Rudolf, M. (2012). Tackling obesity through the Healthy Child Programme: A framework for action.Google Scholar
  31. Rudolf, M. C. J., Hunt, C., George, J., Hajibagheri, K., & Blair, M. (2010). HENRY: Development, pilot and long-term evaluation of a programme to help practitioners work more effectively with parents of babies and pre-school children to prevent childhood obesity. Child: Care, Health and Development, 36(6), 850–857.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01116.x.Google Scholar
  32. Segev, Y. (2013). Themes and trends in UO children’s literature (Hebrew). Oreshet, 4(18), 327–356.Google Scholar
  33. Shlomo, R. G. (2009). Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, chapter 71 (Hebrew). Rav Kuk Institution.Google Scholar
  34. Shohat, T., Keinan-Boker, L., Anav, T., et al. (2012). Physical activity survey among the residents of Israel (Hebrew). Ministry of health Israel (Vol. 349). Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.il/publicationsfiles/activities21_01122012.pdf
  35. Singhal, A. (2016). The role of infant nutrition in the global epidemic of non- communicable disease. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 75, 162–168.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665116000057.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Sivan, E., & Caplan, K. (2003). Israeli Haredim: Integration without assimilation? (Hebrew). (K. Caplan & E. Sivan, Eds.). the van leer institution. Retrieved from http://www.kotar.co.il.proxy1.athensams.net/KotarApp/Viewer.aspx?nBookID=93105221
  37. Styne, D. M., Arslanian, S. A., Connor, E. L., Farooqi, I. S., Murad, M. H., Silverstein, J. H., et al. (2017). Pediatric obesity—assessment, treatment, and prevention: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 102(3), 1–49.  https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-2573.Google Scholar
  38. Taha, W., Chin, D., Silverberg, A. I., Lashiker, L., Khateeb, N., & Anhalt, H. (2001). Reduced spinal bone mineral density in adolescents of an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. Pediatrics, 107(5), E79.  https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.107.5.e79.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Taub, T., & Werner, S. (2016). What support resources contribute to family quality of life among religious and secular Jewish families of children with developmental disability? Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 41(4), 348–359.  https://doi.org/10.3109/13668250.2016.1228859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tudor Hart, J. (1971). The inverse care law. The Lancet, 297(7696), 405–412.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(71)92410-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. World Health Organization. (2014). Obesity and overweight: Fact Sheet 311. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/
  42. Yanovski, J. A. (2002). The world health report 2002: Reducing risks, promoting healthy life. World Health Organization (WHO). World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  43. Yosef Hayyim, R. (2001). Ben Ish Chay on weekly Torah portion- Vayshlach (Hebrew). Jerusalem: Jewish Book Center.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chagit Peles
    • 1
  • Mary Rudolf
    • 1
  • Michael Weingarten
    • 1
  • Miriam Ethel Bentwich
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineBar-Ilan UnversitySafedIsrael

Personalised recommendations