Inter Care + Awarness Workshop in Israel: Multilingual encounters vs. lack of words when dealing with diverse sex development

Hebrew University, Mount Scopus (Jerusalem)

The second workshop of the German-Israeli project  „Improving the Psychosocial Approach to Intersex“ took place from 19 to 21 February 2019 in Jerusalem. This project, which is also called  „Inter Care-Awareness“, was initiated by the sociologist Dr. Limor Meoded Danon (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) as well as the psychologist Dr. Katinka Schweizer (University Medical Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf).

In total, 30 German and Israeli participants, including psychologists, social workers, parents and lived-experience experts work together in co-projects. The projects aim to evaluate and improve psychosocial care of intersex persons and their relatives in both countries. The working groups deal with various topics such as religious approach to intersex, parental groups, positive intersex information, sex therapy, further education in medicine, psychology, and other areas of society, e.g. the military. The children’s book “Jill ist anders” [Jill is different] was translated into English and is now accessible via this link. Translations into Hebrew and Arabic are planned as well. In Jerusalem, the working groups presented their impressive results.  The groups succeeded to contribute to a higher visibility of intersex as well as a better dealing with this topic.

The difficulty of communication was not only an issue of interculturality, but also of respectful naming of diverse sex development and bodily ambiguity. The latter was subject of heated debates. The participants agreed that the struggle for correct terminology must not end. The project was funded by the Stiftung deutsch-israelisches Zukunftsforum.