Lecturers Page Prof. Orit Nuttman-Shwartz

Prof. Orit Nuttman-Shwartz




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Prof. Orit Nuttman-Shwartz (Ph.D., MSW & GA). Associate Prof. at Sapir College in Israel. Prof. Nuttman-Shwartz is a certified social worker (MSW) and a certified group analyst (GA). Founder and first chair, for the first decade, of the social work school at Sapir College. Between 2011-2019 she was  also served as the Chairperson of the Israeli National Council for Social Work. Nuttman-Shwartz research focuses on three fields: personal and social trauma and resilience; loss and bereavement; and social work education. These studies have made a theoretical and practical contribution, and have been applied to practical interventions in the social work profession as well as to the development and implementation of training programs for local and international students, including graduate students and professionals. These studies have yielded 74 academic publications in leading international and local journals and as in book chapters, which reflect her professional contribution. In addition, Nuttman-Shwartz served as an editor or coeditor of special issues in different international journals and she is a editorial board member in several trauma and social work journals as “Loss and Trauma”, Human Rights and Social Work"  and “Clinical Journal of Social Work” and received several competitive project grants by the IASSW; EASSW and EU - Tempus to develop new curricula and training programs for social work in various areas. last year she nominated as an Israeli representative of COST title" Transnational Collaboration on Bullying, Migration and Integration at School Level". In 2014, she was awarded the Katan Prize for Academic Scholarship in Social Work, and in 2016 she received the Israeli parliament, the IFCJ and the Israeli FSW an award of distinction for her groundbreaking efforts to integrate academic work and work with needy communities.

Areas of Interest

  • Trauma and resilience
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Social work education


The Reinstatement of Government Benefits to Widows of Military Veterans: Characterizations and Implications
With Professor Rachel Dekel and Dr. Shai Shorer, Bar Ilan University, Israel

Israeli war-widows who remarried were regarded by the state as widows who no longer needed governmental support since they "returned to norm." This attitude was remarkably expressed by the cessation of their entitlement to long-term psychosocial support and compensation payments (Ben-Asher, S. & Lebel, 2010); it was also reflected in terminology, as once remarried, these women were no longer considered "widows." This policy was reversed only in 2010, when after a long struggle led by the IDF Widows & Orphans Organization, the original "Law for families of soldiers who died in action (compensation and rehabilitation)" was finally changed (Amendment #30, Law for families of soldiers who died in action, 2010).
This research project aims to explore the unique phenomenon of long-term military spousal grief as it is represented in the lives of Israeli war-widows who lost their husbands over three decades ago and were remarried thereafter. In doing so, we seek to add to the understanding of the long-term effects grief has on the lives of those who are left to deal with the painful consequences of war, and how it interacts with the new partnership and family. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 29 remarried military widows by the Families Wing of the Central Region of the Ministry of Defense social workers. Using the findings from these interviews, we develop two comprehensive models of the ongoing grieving process from an individual point of view and also form a family relationships point of view. In addition, the findings shed light on the effects of the renewed recognition of these re married women rights by the Families Wing of the Ministry of Defense of IDF. This project and its implications will also be discussed with the IDF managerial to update their ways of intervention with bereaved widows in general and more specifically with remarried widows and their families.


Internationalization in Social work education
with Professor Silvia Fargion, University of Trento, Italy

Growing interest in the impact of globalization on welfare services and on professional practice has led to increased recognition of the importance of international components in the training of social work. This is particularly relevant in fields such as child and family social work where the impact of phenomena like migration and asylum seekers movements have radically changed traditional practices. Within international programs, students’ exchanges appear to play a special role, but they have proved often difficult, because of language barriers, the rigidity of curricula and practical barriers. Our current project based on students and faculty reflections, who participated in a short exchange program in the field of child and family interventions. Based on qualitative evaluation we show the potentials and risks of such experiences in terms of developing a critical and open mindset. in addition the current project will use to develop suitable international curricula include students mobility, as part of social work education worldwide.

Aging in the Shadow of a Continuous Security Threat: The Case of “Otef Gaza“
with Dr. Gabriela Spector-Mersel, Sapir College, Israel
The present research seeks to understand how older people who live in the shadow of a continuous security threat construct their identities, while what they attribute to the complex situation in which they age.



*2003 Prochovnic Prize for excellent research in social and behavioral sciences in Gerontology. (5,000 NIS).

*2012 Excellence faculty award - and research budget, Sapir College, Israel. (11000 NIS + 15% monthly salary)

*2013 Excellence faculty award - and research budget, Sapir College, Israel. (14000 NIS + 20% monthly salary)

*2014 Yosef Katan Prize and Award - for Social worker, lecturer in the Academia IIFSW. (5,000 NIS)

*2015 Research budget, Sapir College, Israel (12,000 NIS)

*2016 Excellence faculty award -and research budget, Sapir College, Israel (10,000 NIS + 20% monthly salary)

*2016 Excellence lecturer, Sapir College, Israel

*2016 The Knesset (the Israeli Parlament), the IFCJ (the International Fellowship of Christians and Jewish) and the National Association of Social Workers (IFSW) - Distinguish Award to an academic scholar for distinction and groundbreaking work with needy communities

*2017 Excellence faculty award -and research budget, Sapir College, Israel (10,000 NIS + 20% monthly salary)

*2018 Excellence faculty award -and research budget, Sapir College, Israel (10,000 NIS + 20% monthly salary)


Grants Awarded

2004-2005 - Co-PI - Prof. Rachel Lev-Wiesel, University of Haifa; Social Rejection by Peers: A Traumatic Event? The Israeli Trustees - 12,500$

2008-2010 - Co-PI - Dr. R. Tuval-Mashiach, Bar Ilan University, Israel; Forced Relocation on Psychological Distress and Well-Being: A Follow-Up Study on a Sample of Gush Katif Evacuees. The Israeli Trustees - 25,000$

2008-2011 - Co-PI - Dr. Irit Regev, Sapir College; The Psychosocial Effects of Exposure to Acts of Terror Such as Qassam Rocket Attacks on Elderly Persons: Differences in Personal Resources, Coping Patterns, Sense of Belonging, and Type of Community; Sapir Research Authority - 15,000 NIS

2011-2012 - Co-PI - Dr. Tamar Lavie, Resilience Center, Sderot; Coping with Continuous Trauma Exposure among Children and Adolescents Living in a War Zone; Sderot Resilience Center, 27,000 NIS
2012-2013- Co-PI - Dr. Rebecca Ranz, Sapir College and Prof. Geetha Thachil, India; How and What Do They learn? A Comparative Study of Eastern and Western Social Work Students; Sapir Research Authority 10,000 NIS

2013-2014 - Co-PI - Dr. Rebecca Ranz, Sapir College, Discourse on Human Rights within the context of International Social Work Training; Sapir Research Authority 6,000 NIS

2015-2016 - Co-PI - Dr. Irit Regev, Sapir College; The Psychosocial Effects of Extreme Terror Attacks in a Continuous Stress Situation on the Elderly Population; Sapir School of Social work, Trauma Center, competitive research grant, 10,000 NIS

2016 - Co-PI - Dr. Irit Regev, Sapir College; Continuous Traumatic Situation: Perspective of the Older Population; Yad Tabenkin, - Research Award 1000$

2016-2018- Co-PI - Prof. Rachel Dekel, Bar Ilan University; Married widows who re-entitled benefits - characterizations and implications; IDF, Department of Bereavement Families and commemoration, research fund, 68,440 NIS

2018-2020 - Co-PI - Prof. Rachel Dekel, Bar Ilan University; Cyber dating violence. The Ministry of Science and Technology.250,000 NIS.

2019 - Co-PI - Prof. Rachel Dekel, Bar Ilan University; Married widows who re-entitled benefits - characterizations and implications - B; IDF, Department of Bereavement Families and commemoration, research fund,5000 NIS


Regev, I. & Nuttman-Shwartz, O. (2019). Coping Styles and Aggregate Coping Styles: The Elderly Population Responds to Threat. Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives on Stress & Coping, Published online: 11 Feb 2019 https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2018.1560900


Nuttman-Shwartz, O., & Shinar-Levanon, O. (2019).  Asylum Seekers in Israel: Challenges to Social Work, British Journal of Social Work, cy129https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcy129. Published: 29 January 2019


Nuttman-Shwartz, O., Shorer, S., Dekel, R. (2019). Long-term grief and sharing courses among military widows who remarried.Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research , Practce, and Policy, Feb 04 , 2019, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000439


Fargion, S., & Nuttman-Shwartz, O. (2019). Acculturation Theory, Cultural Competency and Learning from Differences: Reflections from a European Short Student Mobility Program. European Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2019.1608911


Nuttman-Shwartz, O. (2019). Behavioral responses in youth exposed to natural disasters and political conflict, Current Psychiatry Reports. 21: 42. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1030-3


Lecture - The meaning of Shared Trauma

Bar Ilan

Dyadic Paradigm in Research:

Innovations in Theory and Methodology


Lecture - Traumatic Events and their Multiple Effects

Workshop – Social Work Role in Disasters

Bicocca University, Milan Italy &  

The role of social workers in the aftermath of disasters