Sapir Academic College
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
Recent publications
This paper presents a shift in attention from urban vitality to urban vitalisation as a process that reflects ongoing interactions between residents, communities, and urban government agencies. To explore urban vitalisation, we offer a conceptual framework connecting two theoretical terms, trust/distrust and citizenship regimes, and we ask in what ways relations between trust/distrust (of residents in their municipality) and citizenship regimes explain residents' engagement in smart urban vitalisation. To answer this question, we present a case study of a group of Haifa residents who used a digital platform to push for improvement in the ways the local government accommodated their needs. Based on our analysis, we make two arguments of potential interest to scholars and stakeholders involved in smart city initiatives. First, both trust and distrust can motivate residents' involvement in smart city initiatives. Second, examining trust and distrust in light of the relevant citizenship regime (individual-liberal and civic-republican) sheds light on relational and dynamic configurations of residents' involvement in the process of smart urban vitalisation.
Hundreds of academic institutions around the world dedicated considerable funding to lecture recording to accompany face-to-face teaching prior to the massive transition to distance education due to Covid-19. Furthermore, there is reason to believe that they will continue to do so after teaching will return to the physical classroom. Thus, a methodological examination of the success of lecture recordings as augmentation to face-to-face teaching should be of managerial interest. In this study, five success categories of lecture recording in a college were evaluated based on the information system success model promulgated by DeLone & McLean (1992 DeLone, W. H., & McLean, E. R. (1992). Information systems success: The quest for the dependent variable. Information Systems Research, 3(1), 60–95. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.3.1.60[Crossref], [Web of Science ®] , [Google Scholar]). Results obtained through a campus-wide questionnaire and system log files showed relatively low usage of the system by students, who gave a somewhat low evaluation of system quality, information quality, and general satisfaction, but a higher assessment for the contribution of the system to their learning. Analysis also found significant correlations between success categories suggested by DeLone & McLean, with some exceptions. These results raise questions regarding the high-cost investments in lecture recording. These questions and the implication of the findings for research and higher education decision makers are discussed.
Since the introduction of covid-19 vaccines, Green Pass programs have emerged as a central pillar of anti-covid-19 policies in numerous countries. But, what type of legitimation for vaccination policies do states promote through Green Pass programs. I rely on Jens Beckert’s concept of promissory legitimacy which refers to the legitimation of current political decisions through promises regarding future outcomes. Yet, I propose an original development according to which a distinctive dimension of promissory legitimacy consists of tangible promises, i.e. promises about the daily lives of social subjects to which promissory legitimacy is directed – their activities, wants, social status, social interactions, possessions etc. I argue that Green Passes constitute an effort by states to legitimate their covid-19 vaccination policies through promises that vaccination will allow persons as individuals to improve their gratification, i.e. become personally better off or improve their daily life in material terms, typically by consuming services and goods.
The paper explores the possibility of classifying the Bible as a work of fantasy, or as a work including fantastic elements. It looks into the unique status of Biblical fantasy and the challenges to such a classification, including its literary features and presumption of ontological realism. The paper defines fantasy as a literary work whose content is characterized by surfeit or deviation to which no extra-textual ontological pretension is attributed. However, the argument goes beyond the ontological theme to stress the significance of the transcendent in both religious literature and fantasy. The Bible is viewed as fantasy in this sense and in some additional senses already within some of its own parts (such as Lamentation and Job). The paper studies these texts in this context and in relation to the theory of fantasy.
Deaf Bedouin young women must contend not only with the typical developmental tasks of young adulthood but also the traditional demands of Bedouin society. They aim to fulfill themselves and develop, but discrimination and institutional neglect, coupled with their society’s traditions, pose a complex challenge. This qualitative study of 14 deaf Bedouin young women in Israel found that they display self-esteem, apparently to cope with the challenges of being sidelined because they are young and deaf Bedouin women as well as members of the country’s Arab minority. Also, it is apparent that the hearing population has not invested sufficiently in the women’s development, making it more difficult for them to function as adults on various levels. Given this background and the cultural characteristics of Bedouin society, in which young women are tightly controlled, their options appear to be suffering in silence or engaging in life-threatening behavior.
In this paper I offer a brief summary of Popper’s views on metaphysics. I then explain Agassi’s criticism of those views, and why I regard them as fruitful improvements.
The way that the economy, politics and ideology interact to maintain stability or bring about change is a central concern for political economy. The social bloc perspective, as elaborated by Amable and Palombarini, provides a promising framework with which to address this question due to its attempt to combine an emphasis on the economic structure with a more central role for politics and ideology. This article argues, however, that the social bloc perspective still retains a rather functional understanding of these two concepts. We contend that a neo-Gramscian approach focusing on hegemonic struggles and adopting a complex conceptualisation of class can overcome these functionalist tendencies, because it perceives politics and ideology as crucial factors in the formation of social groups and the emergence and actions of social blocs. We further claim that a neo-Gramscian approach has broader applicability. To ground our claims empirically, we analyse a case which cannot be accounted for by the social bloc perspective. This is a case in which two social blocs composing different social groups with rivalling worldviews shared some meaningful ideological beliefs and cooperated politically to realise them.
Background Mediterranean (MED) diet is a rich source of polyphenols, which benefit adiposity by several mechanisms. We explored the effect of the green-MED diet, twice fortified in dietary polyphenols and lower in red/processed meat, on visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Methods In the 18-month Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial PoLyphenols UnproceSsed (DIRECT-PLUS) weight-loss trial, 294 participants were randomized to (A) healthy dietary guidelines (HDG), (B) MED, or (C) green-MED diets, all combined with physical activity. Both isocaloric MED groups consumed 28 g/day of walnuts (+ 440 mg/day polyphenols). The green-MED group further consumed green tea (3–4 cups/day) and Wolffia globosa (duckweed strain) plant green shake (100 g frozen cubes/day) (+ 800mg/day polyphenols) and reduced red meat intake. We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to quantify the abdominal adipose tissues. Results Participants (age = 51 years; 88% men; body mass index = 31.2 kg/m ² ; 29% VAT) had an 89.8% retention rate and 79.3% completed eligible MRIs. While both MED diets reached similar moderate weight (MED: − 2.7%, green-MED: − 3.9%) and waist circumference (MED: − 4.7%, green-MED: − 5.7%) loss, the green-MED dieters doubled the VAT loss (HDG: − 4.2%, MED: − 6.0%, green-MED: − 14.1%; p < 0.05, independent of age, sex, waist circumference, or weight loss). Higher dietary consumption of green tea, walnuts, and Wolffia globosa ; lower red meat intake; higher total plasma polyphenols (mainly hippuric acid ), and elevated urine urolithin A polyphenol were significantly related to greater VAT loss ( p < 0.05, multivariate models). Conclusions A green-MED diet, enriched with plant-based polyphenols and lower in red/processed meat, may be a potent intervention to promote visceral adiposity regression. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT03020186
Background The oral antiviral molnupiravir is moderately effective in high-risk, unvaccinated non-hospitalized patients infected with early variants of SARS-CoV-2. Data regarding the effectiveness of molnupiravir against the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant and in vaccinated populations are limited. Methods We obtained data for all members of Clalit Health Services, 40 years of age and older, eligible for molnupiravir therapy during the omicron surge. A Cox proportional-hazards regression model with time-dependent covariates was used to estimate the association between molnupiravir treatment and hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid-19, with adjustment for sociodemographic factors, coexisting conditions, and prior Covid-19 immunity status. Results A total of 19,868 participants met the eligibility criteria, of whom 1,069 (5%) received molnupiravir during the study period. In patients 65 years and above, the rate of hospitalizations related to Covid-19 in treated compared to untreated patients was 74.6 versus 127.6 per 100,000 person-days; adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.55 (95% CI, 0.34 to 0.88). The adjusted HR for death due to Covid-19 was 0.26 (95% CI, 0.10 to 0.73). Among patients aged 40 to 64, the hospitalizations rate in treated compared to untreated patients was 125.8 versus 49.1 per 100,000 person-days; adjusted HR 1.80 (95% CI, 0.86 to 3.77). The adjusted HR for death was 12.8 (95% CI, 3.41 to 48.2). Conclusions In a cohort of non-hospitalized, omicron-infected high-risk patients, molnupiravir therapy was associated with a significant reduction in hospitalizations and mortality due to Covid-19 in patients 65 years and above. However, no evidence of benefit was found in younger adults.
For a journal of law and religion, the decision to confront changes and challenges imposed by novel technologies is no trivial one, yet it is one the Journal of Law and Religion is undertaking. ¹ Whether the perspective of law and religion is even of any use in comprehending and contending with these technologies is a valid question. Contemporary technologies have reshaped our lifestyles, and their ubiquitous impact on our erstwhile habits and perceptions is intently studied and investigated from every angle. Yet bringing the perspective of law and religion to these challenges demands an especial measure of explanation. To justify the grouping of law, religion, and technology, we must demonstrate a potential unique contribution that the lens of law and religion might make and identify the topics or themes that stand to benefit.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about changes in the working world. One of the main strategies to cope with the economic situation during lockdowns was to furlough employees. In the current study, we propose that psychological contract breach and violation between the organization and the furloughed employee act as underlying mechanisms that explain the relationship between the employees' furlough status and the increase in their emotional exhaustion and decrease in affective commitment. Furthermore, we suggest that perceived organizational support can act as a buffer that attenuates the association between furloughed employment status and perceived contract breach. The study was conducted at two points in time: during the first lockdown and 4 months afterward ( N = 336). Results supported the predicted indirect sequential associations. However, perceived organizational support served to buffer the relationship between furloughed employment status and perceived psychological contract breach only in the case of employees who continued to work.
Background The recent global outbreak of the human monkeypox virus (MPXV) was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) is currently the only FDA-approved vaccine against MPXV that was approved for this indication based on a study in non-human primates. Since there is currently scarce evidence of the efficacy in humans, our objective was to evaluate real-life vaccine effectiveness (VE) after providing one vaccine dose to individuals at risk of MPVX infection. Methods The study cohort included all Clalit Health Services (CHS) members estimated to be at moderate to high risk for MPXV infection. The study commenced on July 31, 2022, when the MVA vaccination campaign was initiated in CHS, and participants were followed until August 10, 2022. A Cox proportional-hazards regression model with time-dependent covariates was used to estimate the association between vaccination and MPXV infections with adjustment for sociodemographic and clinical risk factors. Results 8,168 subjects met the study eligibility criteria (0.17% of CHS members). Of them, 626 (7.7%) were vaccinated with MVA and completed at least 7 days of follow-up. 14 infections were confirmed in CHS during the study period, all within the study cohort and all in unvaccinated participants. VE was estimated at 100% (95% CI: 100%-100%). Conclusions These short-term preliminary results suggest a very high VE of a single dose of MVA for MPVX infection in moderate to high-risk individuals. These findings suggest that urgent MVA vaccination of high-risk subjects may contribute to outbreak containment.
Measures employed to combat COVID-19 included public lockdowns and vaccination campaigns. Israel’s extensive public health system produced data demonstrating the real-world results of these measures. Our objective was to evaluate the health and economic outcomes of the measures to cope with COVID-19. Publicly available datasets from the Israeli Ministry of Health were used to model the parameters of the pandemic in Israel. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker was used for quantitative data on government policies. Data on the Israeli economy were taken from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Our models demonstrate that the first lockdown prevented 1022 COVID-19 deaths at the cost of 36.4–38.6 billion NIS. The second lockdown prevented 1970 COVID-19 deaths and cost 18–21 billion NIS. These lifesaving effects were observed with a time lag from the declaration of lockdown. The primary vaccination campaign cost 1 billion NIS and prevented 4750 COVID-19 deaths. The first vaccination booster campaign prevented 650 COVID-19 deaths and cost 51.1 million NIS. Therefore, the cost per prevented COVID-19 death is 10–36 million NIS with a national lockdown versus 210,000 NIS in the primary vaccination campaign and 79,000 NIS in the first booster campaign. In conclusion, both lockdowns and vaccination campaigns effectively lower COVID-19 deaths, but the cost to avoid one COVID-19 death with effective vaccination is 50–466 times lower than with a lockdown.
This article examines how settler colonial states selectively enforce the law to pursue the goals of land acquisition and demographic control, focusing on Israel’s response to cross-border polygamy as practiced by Bedouins in Israel. Based on archival research and extensive textual analysis of policy debates within the Israeli authorities during the 1980s, it uncovers the selective enforcement of bigamy laws in cases involving Palestinian women, also exploring how the state manipulates ‘security’ and ‘demographic’ concerns. These manipulations are a manifestation of state power, which is applied similarly to all Palestinians across the Israeli/Palestinian border.
The literature on coping with loss has examined parental loss and widowhood largely independently, pointing to the enduring and developing grief along the lifecycle. Little is known about the relationship between bereaved mothers and widows as it develops over time. This qualitative study explored how bereaved mothers and widows perceived and described the unfolding relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, following the loss of a son or husband in the Israeli security forces. Interviews were conducted with ten bereaved mothers and ten non-related widows from Jewish families to explore their developing relationship with their in-laws following the loss. Thematic analysis revealed three main stages in the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law, relationship: disruption of the status quo directly after the loss; testing the relationship; and a process of decision-making, whether to continue cultivating the relationship and establish a new status quo. Participants described key events that challenged the newly created status quo, serving as milestones of difficulty and tension, but also as opportunities for renewal. The study points to the centrality of the relationship between the bereaved mother and widow in the process of coping with the loss, and reveals that this relationship is not static but rather dynamic and evolving over time. Social workers in the field of bereavement may be able to improve their effectiveness in helping families cope with loss by also considering multigenerational and longitudinal perspectives in their assessment and interventions.
This study focused on the work preferences of young adults with physical disabilities (YAPD) in Israel and the variables that affect those preferences. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) was employed to explain work preferences. We examined direct and indirect links between education and socioeconomic status (SES) in a comprehensive model that tested the mediating role of the TPB and self-assessed health. A cross-sectional study was conducted throughout 2017. Participants included 348 YAPD aged 18–30 not yet integrated into the workforce. Exploratory factor analysis of work preferences yielded three dependent variables: ‘intention to work’, ‘interest, security, and advancement at work’, and ‘willingness to work in the free market’. Data analysis included correlations and path analysis by structural equation modeling. Education was positively associated with all work preferences, while SES was positively associated with ‘interest, security, and advancement at work’. Subjective norms mediated the relation between education and ‘intention to work’ and ‘interest, security, and advancement at work’. Self-efficacy mediated the relation between SES and ‘interest, security, and advancement at work’. Finally, self-assessed health mediated between SES and self-efficacy. Education is a crucial human capital in predicting work preferences of YAPD. The TPB components are important factors in predicting work preferences.
This article presents the findings of a cross-sectional study of 131 Israeli Jewish and Arab social workers that aimed to predict the probability that social workers would integrate clients’ religion and spirituality in practice. The study is the first of its kind in Israel. Findings showed that social workers have favourable attitudes and high levels of self-efficacy. However, study participants reported low feasibility and even lower levels of engagement of clients’ religious and spiritual beliefs in practice. One variable, age, emerged as a significant predictor of such integration. Integration of religion and spirituality in practice remains the professional’s personal choice.
The classic paradigm in finance maintains that asset returns are paid as a compensation for bearing risk. This study extends the literature and explores whether asset prices are also affected by uncertainty. This research invokes the Expected Utility with Uncertainty Probabilities Model and utilizes the natural experiment conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, in order to determine whether investors’ behavior during the sharp economic decline was driven by risk, or uncertainty. We limit this research only to the outbreak of the pandemic, since the recovery of the markets suggests investors have adjusted to the unexpected nature of the crisis. Using high-frequency data of the S&P 500 Index, we estimate the investors’ risk and ambiguity aversions, finding that in the pre-pandemic period investors exhibited risk aversion as well as an ambiguity-seeking attitude, while during the pandemic they demonstrated risk- and ambiguity-neutral behavior. The implications of these findings could suggest that in regular times, the financial markets are operated by risk-averse investors with decreasing risk-averse behavior.
The rapid emergence of the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 led to a global resurgence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Israeli authorities approved a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose (second-booster) for individuals aged 60 years and over who had received a first booster dose four or more months earlier. Evidence regarding the effectiveness of a second-booster dose in reducing hospitalizations and mortality due to COVID-19 is warranted. This retrospective cohort study included all members of Clalit Health Services, aged 60 to 100 years, who were eligible for the second-booster on January 3, 2022. Hospitalizations and mortality due to COVID-19 among participants who received the second-booster were compared with participants who received one booster dose. Cox proportional-hazards regression models with time-dependent covariates were used to estimate the association between the second-booster and hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19 while adjusting for demographic factors and coexisting illnesses. A total of 563,465 participants met the eligibility criteria. Of those, 328,597 (58%) received a second-booster dose during the 40-day study period. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 occurred in 270 of the second-booster recipients and in 550 participants who received one booster dose (adjusted hazard ratio 0.36; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.31 to 0.43). Death due to COVID-19 occurred in 92 second-booster recipients and in 232 participants who received one booster dose (adjusted hazard ratio 0.22; 95% CI 0.17 to 0.28). This study demonstrates a substantial reduction in hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid-19 conferred by a second-booster in Israeli adults aged 60 years and over.
IntroductionSecondary prevention of cardiovascular events among patients with diagnosed cardiovascular disease and high ischemic risk poses a significant challenge in clinical practice. The combinations of aspirin with low-dose (LD) ticagrelor or LD rivaroxaban have shown superiority in preventing major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) compared with aspirin treatment alone. The comparative value for money of these two regimens remains unexplored.Methods We analyzed each regimen's annual cost needed to treat (CNT) by multiplying the annualized number needed to treat (aNNT) by the annual cost of each drug. The aNNTs were based on outcome data from PEGASUS TIMI-54 and COMPASS trials. Scenario analyses were performed to overcome variances in terms of population risk. Costs were calculated as 75% of US National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC), extracted in January 2022. The primary outcome was defined as CNT to prevent one MACE across the two regimens. Secondary value analysis was performed for myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and cardiovascular death as separate outcomes.ResultsThe aNNTs to prevent MACE with LD ticagrelor and with LD rivaroxaban were 229 [95% confidence interval (CI) 141–734] and 147 (95% CI 104–252), respectively. At an annual cost of US$3726 versus US$4533, the corresponding CNTs were US$853,254 (95% CI 525,366–2,734,884) with LD ticagrelor and US$666,351 (95% CI 471,432–1,142,316) with LD rivaroxaban.Conclusion Combining aspirin with LD rivaroxaban provides better value for money than with LD ticagrelor for secondary prevention of MACE.
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608 members
Tal Tzvi
  • School of Sound and Screen Arts
Joseph E David
  • Law School
Orit Nuttman-Shwartz
  • School of Social Work
Einat Lachover
  • Department of Communication
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