School mental health in Israel: Background, services, and challenges

Moshe Israelashvili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Israel is a small country, yet it is very diverse. In its northern territories there is a popular ski area during the winter while the southern territories, approximately one-third of Israeli territory, are a desert. Due to relatively high birthrates, the massive post-World War II's Jewish immigration from European and Arab countries to Israel, followed by continuous waves of Jewish immigrants who continue to arrive, to this day, from, literally, all parts of the world, Israel's population has grown from about 800 000 citizens, on the day of its establishment (1948), to almost 8 000 000 (2013). In addition to diversity in the cultural backgrounds of the eximmigrant Jews, who became Israeli citizens, as well as in their skin color and mentality, the Israeli population comprises various religions, with 76% Jews, 20% non-Jews, mostly Arabs of various religions (e.g., Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bahá'í), and 4% unclassified. Compared to other Western countries, the population is considered relatively young (28% are aged 0–14, compared with an average of 17% in other Western countries) (WHO, 2013). The country's population is growing at a rate of 1.8% and with this growth there is a relatively high population density (overall, 310 people per square kilometer), especially in the center of the country (ICBS – Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 2007). A very typical characteristic of many Israelis would be their direct and intensive interpersonal interaction with neighbors, colleagues, and even strangers, with no inhibitions about asking others about their political, financial, and personal tendencies. Finally, another aspect of diversity in Israeli reality is the mixture of ancient past, daily present, and the fascinating future; i.e., the Past – walking in the footsteps of King David or Jesus, exactly where they and other “figures” used to live; the Present – being exposed to urban ecological troubles, such as air pollution, condensed and tall buildings; and the Future – uncovering Israel's ultra-developed hi-tech industry, which gave it the label of being a “Start-up Nation” (Senor & Singer, 2009).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchool Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Challenges and Opportunities
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781107284241
ISBN (Print)9781107053908
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'School mental health in Israel: Background, services, and challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this