Analysis of the Jewish Heritage

In order to acquire competence in the health care provision, all professionals are required to be consistent in their duties regardless of their place of living in the world. However, due to the variance of the world’s populace, the cultural background, religion, and personalities of individuals may differ. Therefore, the health caregivers are urged to understand and appreciate the disparity of the communities they operate in to ensure that their medical practices go hand in hand with the beliefs of their patients. As a result, the current paper will provide an analysis of the Jewish heritage. The information will be based on the literature review and will be guided by the domains of Purnell model for cultural competence.

The Jewish community is identified with its strong norms and beliefs that guide every aspect of the Jews’ lives. These beliefs dictate what the Jews do, when they do it and how they do it. This community is commonly characterized by religious affiliation to Judaism. It has well structured religious practices that can be traced in the historical books of the Bible amongst the oldest references, mostly in its first five books. The norms of this community are strongly regarded and appreciated by all of its members. The rules give birth to unity as every member struggles to uphold certain beliefs and shun away from the condemned deeds. It forms a basis for the formation of identity among the Jews as every member of the society seeks to learn and uphold the accepted norms.

From the medical perspective, the information will be useful in helping the practitioners understand the ways to handle the Jewish communities. For example, as a nurse, one will acquire the information on the death rituals of the community and this will efficiently help in handling the dead bodies according to the cultural beliefs of the people. Moreover, the data will ensure that an understanding of the discrepancy between the different communities in the world is brought to light. As a result, in the health care sector, the practitioners will be cautious enough to understand the culture of the people they serve. In the end, the heath caregivers and the patients will efficiently work together, and more productive system be embraced. Therefore, a series of secondary sources will be quoted in the following literature review section in which the culture analysis will be stipulated.

Literature Review

According to the model of Purnell on competence, it is crucial for a medical officer to familiarize themselves with the environment and cultural practices of their clients to ensure that they deliver their services efficiently. In this regard, the Jewish community practices are known to be easily distinguished from other religions in the world. However, despite the logical assumption that they are not in any way unique, the Jews follow each of them too keenly. For example, most of the communities in the world greet other people with either handshake or communicative means. However, the Jews community neither believes, nor practices handshakes with opposite sex (Palmer, 2013). In order to avoid contraction of cultural practices, the health caregivers should understand such discrepancy in the Jewish heritage. Several authors have analyzed the Jewish culture and norms in the past in different domains. However, the current paper will select a few fields to analyze the community based on the valuable information from the available literature review.


Effective communication is achieved when the receiver and the sender of the message can quickly and efficiently decode and encode the intended message. However, communication can be hindered by several factors such as perception and attitude. For example, an American nurse can easily trigger a negative perception to his or her Jewish client by ignoring their cultural beliefs. Therefore, culture has an impact on how patients respond to health care services. However, having relevant information on the Jewish norms in their communication would facilitate adequate professionalism and erase any factors that might hinder the efficiency of the process.

According to the previous study on the effect of disclosure in nursing, caregivers should ask patients about their wishes and rituals before treating them. This step is necessary because the environments in which the Jews exist have also influenced their rituals (Balzer-Riley, 2011). For example, some of the Jews in America have been affected by the law of the majority and have borrowed the modern practices of the people around them. However, it would be wrong for a caregiver to assume the rights and values of a patient without asking them. Therefore, communication plays a significant role in ensuring that the nursing faculty successfully associates with the Jewish culture without facing challenges. However, despite the available details on the communication of the Jews, further research on the influence of communication on the health sector needs to be done.

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The Jews do honor their traditional and universally accepted communication model. They display unique gestures and tactical behavior. They speak the language of the country in which they live, but they all pray in Hebrew. This is the acceptable and preferred language as described by the Judaism laws. In addition, all the behavior and language expressed should be modest among the Jewish people (Henningfeld, 2010)

Family Roles and Organization

Relationships in the Jewish community are regarded with much care. Every person is associated with a particular family or group. The status and level of either the family or the organization has a significant influence on the behavior of its partners (Norton & Marks-Maran, 2014). Therefore, the health caregivers should understand the difference in the community organizational structures and families to provide them with the right guidance on how to handle every individual.

In regard to Purnell’s model of competence, this domain involves other aspects such as the head of a family setup, family roles, gender roles, roles of the aged, child-rearing practices, and family priorities. Additionally, the social views on the status such as single parenthood, divorce or childless unions are covered by the same domain (Henningfeld, 2010). In the Jewish community, the family practices are divided among individuals according to their gender, age, and status. For example, the elderly not provided with care attention by the children in the adolescence stage regardless of their gender. Therefore, the health caregivers that are young may be rejected by the old due to the notion that their age is inappropriate to attend to the elderly (“Jewish culture”, 2013). However, in the modern Jewish society, the Jews have embraced the changes in the age of the professional nurses that does not necessarily come with disrespect for the patients. However, in some communities, gender and age difference between the health caregiver and the client still happens to be a great challenge to attaining efficiency (Savić & Skela-Savič, 2014).

Judaism disregards divorce and discourages Jews to partake on such terms. However, it is not prohibited and in some cases it is encouraged. Marriage is not yet dissolved until a bill of divorce is switched over between the husband and the wife.


Due to the difference in the environment of the Jewish communities, an influence on the preferences and their adherence to the rituals may vary. Some of the Jews follow certain principles in their original laws more than other. For example, in the Bible, the quoted Jews such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob among many others, did not eat pork (Stanley, 2010). However, today in the modern society some Jews eat pork products such as the Orthodox Jews in America. Therefore, it is important for the health caregivers to ask about the individual preferences before administering any diets on them. The understanding of the people’s preferences and practices facilitates a better working environment by reducing chances of conflicts (Savić & Skela-Savić, 2014).

Moreover, it is important to realize that different customs have been passed on to the current generation regarding the food factor. Some of the Jewish communities are not selective in the most common foods that they eat due to the limited availability. For example, a community that lives in less productive regions such as North America does not follow the practice of ‘Kosher.’ Most of them have been forced by circumstances to eat shellfish for survival (Plamer, 2013). However, in other regions, the heritage on the eating norms is strictly followed. Therefore, as a health care practitioner, it is impossible to treat a society based on the assumptions and general knowledge about the religion. As a result, the familiarization of the nutrition patterns and rituals of each community that one works with help to facilitate productivity of the health care services (Burnard & Gill, 2009). Information on the food taboos, choices, and the ones used for medical purposes would be very relevant.

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Despite the data from the previous studies on the nutrition culture of the Jewish community, more information is required to establish their patterns. Tracing back from the Hebrew’s Bible would give more information on the traditional rules regarding their eating habits. The Bible has stipulated that the religion is selective in what they eat, and they mainly avoid dirty animals. However, with the revolution of the domestication of animals, the unclean animals such as pigs are now well taken care of at homes (Katz & Weaver, 2003). Therefore, the categorization of dirty animals may not be useful in the current environment. Therefore, a study to bridge the gap that exists with the help of modernization of the cultural practices will be helpful for understanding the food choices that matter to each society.

Death Rituals

Death rituals are another aspect that varies among the world communities. In the medical faculty, it is important to understand the rituals of a community to ensure that all the practices match the rituals of the concerned community. In the Jewish community, the death rituals include the general view of mortality suggested by their religion. Additionally, the rituals are associated with how the dead are handled and buried (Hadad, 2009). According to the historical data, the Jewish community honors the spirit of the dead by grieving and praying for the dead before eventually burying them. The burials are handled with respect, and they firmly believe that death is the beginning of an eternal life with their Creator (Hadad, 2009). Therefore, the health services should not contract their values and attributes of the dead as they handle the bodies. In general, showing respect to the departed souls by honoring their bodies should be allowed by all the health care service providers. According to Purnell’s model, the individual or cultural view of the death in the community is an expression of honor to the dismissed soul. Therefore, a community death rituals showed be respected and well understood to ensure that the health caregivers’ practices are in tune with people’s beliefs (Palmer, 2013).

However, despite the several studies on the Jewish heritage practices on the death rituals, comprehensive research on the current revolution in the community will help the current caregivers to associate well with the Jews. Moreover, fruitful relationships between the community and the health officials will ensure that the productivity levels of the services are enhanced. In the process, it will be easy to learn about the rituals of the community that have been carried on to date as well as their practices. Moreover, the qualitative study will bridge the gap between the Jewish beliefs and the other communities that exist in the same or different regions.


In order to acquire more information on the Jewish culture, a survey will be conducted to gather the relevant data on the current cultural issues. An international school for the Jewish community will offer the best target audience for the study. The school will provide Jewish students who live in different environments or backgrounds in the world. A sampling of the population into small groups and the use of the following research question from the above-mentioned domains will prove useful for the research. The approach of the survey will be built on the diverse areas that have been discussed above including communication, family roles and organization, nutrition, and death rituals

1. How do the beliefs or the cultural communication practices in the Jewish community affect their modern view of health care?

The approach of this question involves the use of qualitative tools of statistics. This model includes the use of direct interviews from the sample population. The interviews will be a source of first-hand information on how the Jewish culture is related to the modern view of health care. Questionnaires can also be scripted and distributed to the sample population. The information gathered will then be presented using statistical tools of data presentation: bar graphs, correlation graphs, and pie charts. This practice will be used to simplify the analysis and interpretation of the final results.

This knowledge will ensure that the gaps between the communities are established. Moreover, the population will facilitate the proper understanding of the beliefs of the people and their view of various medical services. As a result, a greater comprehension of the Jewish heritage, their practices, cultural heritage, and values will be understood. The data acquired will ensure that all the medical services are matched with the appropriate beliefs of the communities to facilitate efficiency.

2. What are the changes in the family roles and organization in the Jewish society in the modern family setup and how does it affect health care providence?

This research question is aimed at establishing the relationship between the changing Jewish perception of relationships and how it affects the modern health sector. The survey will involve both quantitative and qualitative statistical tools. It will require the use of sample data from the chosen sample population. The changes in the perception of culture will be studied in terms of the modern health care sector. Questionnaires and interviews will also be conducted to gauge the view of the sample population.

Inferences will then be drawn from the established graphs and correlation tables. The data from questionnaires will be analyzed to make applicable conclusions.

3. What are the different nutrition gaps that exist among the Jewish communities that influence disparity in their view of health care?

The concept of the diet is one of the fundamental parts of the Jewish culture. They are prescribed to a tight nutrition, and this has an effect on other related sectors. This survey will be comprised of the study of the discrepancy in the food industry among the Jews. Jews from different backgrounds will be interviewed and allowed to respond to prepared questions. Their responses will then be compared with the data retrieved from the existing health sector. After the data is analyzed and presented in graphs and tables, it will show the gaps in nutrition among the Jews and how they affect the health sector.

4. Are there changes in the view of death rituals among the diverse groups of the Jewish communities in the different parts of the world? If any, do the beliefs affect the health care opinion of the people or not?

This research question is qualitative. It stresses on personal views and how the society conceptualizes the traditional Jewish death rituals. Using interviews and questionnaires, first-hand data will be collected from the sample population from which inferences will be drawn. The final results will give a clear picture of the society’s view on the Jewish death rituals.

Therefore, the study will be purposefully conducted to determine the changes that have occurred in the community’s beliefs with the effects of the variations in the world. Considering that the world is radically changing, people have been influenced by the information and trans-cultural interactions that they face in life.


From the above information, it becomes clear that the cultural disparity of the Jewish community is diverse. However, the Jewish community is associated with high adherence to their culture and norms. Therefore, several sources have been utilized to establish the diversity and commonness across the population. The information attained has been traced back from the Hebrew’s Bible to the various studies conducted by different authors. Moreover, the analysis in this study is based on four domains that have been derived from Purnell’s model of competency. This model explains the diverse cultural factors that influence health care services in a community. Therefore, communication, death rituals, family roles and organization, as well as nutrition are the factors that have been specified for the analysis of the Jewish heritage.

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According to the research, communication in the Jewish community is affected by personal attributes such as gender, age, and other demographical factors. The community does not encourage body contact of people of different sex and age. Therefore, caregivers have to work out the way they will handle the population to attain efficiency. Moreover, the family roles and organization of the community beliefs are hierarchical. The oldest man being the head of the family has specific duties that are mostly termed executive such as crucial decision-making processes. In this respect, other members of the society have been divided according to other obligations and responsibilities. The family roles are affected by age, sex, and family status in the community.

Therefore, understanding of the effects created by each of these factors will ensure that fewer conflicts are faced by the caregivers and the patients in the society. Moreover, the same is needed for understanding the nutrition and death rituals of the Jewish people. As for nutrition, the health caregivers should be equipped with the knowledge on what diets to recommend to their patients and what to avoid. This practice will ensure the longevity and realistic measure of the medical practices offered to the patients. On the other hand, respect should be maintained by the keen observations of the death rituals of the Jews.


The survey on the Jewish heritage has shown the disparity in the cultural practices of the world communities. Moreover, the study has clearly explained how culture influences health care sectors and indicated the importance of matching healthcare practices with people’s culture. From the study, it is evident that culture changes gradually in a stable community through the changes in other environmental and global factors. Additionally, since each person is obliged to be respected for their cultural heritage and uniqueness, the health care sector should be flexible to accommodate all individuals. Moreover, the health sector should always consider that community’s response and interpretation of health care are not the same. Therefore, understanding the Jewish culture and heritage will be an eye opener for the caregivers and the world. Therefore, the current study is relevant for the increase of productivity and efficiency of the healthcare sector in both the Jewish communities and other diverse groups across the world.

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