The author explores ways in which social work clients' views on being Jewish, and on the nature of Jewishness, can affect the relationship with the Jewish social service agency. Sometimes this shared identity can create affinity and positive identification, the author notes, but it can also cause tension if worker and client belong to different Jewish denominations or ideologies, or if the client has strongly negative or complicated feelings about her/his Jewishness. To other Jews, being Jewish is tied to religiosity and to God. What is important, the author argues, is for the case worker and agency to recognize the differences in meaning to the individual client, to be aware of the cultural factors in the lives of all their clients, and to handle in the case work process those factors that have significance.
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Lerner, Samuel. The Meaning of Jewishness to Clients and Its Effect on Case Work Service. The Jewish Social Service Quarterly. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA),National Conference of Jewish Social Welfare. June 1951: