Applied Anthropology in Israel: Between Infancy and Maturity


  • S. Zev Kalifon,

  • Malka Shabtay


At first glance, applied anthropology in Israel appears underdeveloped and underappreciated. There are no independent anthropology departments and the single attempt to create a training program in applied anthropology ceased to exit after four years. However, such a strict interpretation would not be fair to our applied and academic colleagues in Israel for much important applied anthropology has been and is being done in Israel. In fact, Israel has a long and impressive history of applied anthropological work, though not always labeled as such. In particular, important work has been done in the fields of immigrant integration and the medical problems of these new immigrants. This chapter will review the achivements of applied anthropology in Israel and its potential for the future. In particular, it will analyze the growing recognition of the need for applied anthropology within the departments of anthropology, the government and nongovernmental organizations. Finally, this chapter will critique the shortcomings of applied anthropology in Israel and examine the areas where more work needs to be done.