Senior Research Scholar and Team Leader, Employment Team (Systems Group)
Senior Research Scholar and Team Leader, Employment Team, Systems Group, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute (MJB), Israel’s leading center for applied social research.
Smadar has worked at MJB since 2009. Her primary research areas are employment policy in Israel, employment of vulnerable populations, reduction of wage gaps, and the changing world of work. In addition to employment policy, Smadar specializes in gender gaps in the labor market and in organizations, and their impacts on Israeli society.
In recent years, Smadar has been leading the Employment Research Team at MJB. As team leader, she develops up-to-date research strategy, identifies crucial employment issues on the public agenda, and leverages research activity to promote policy and social processes in this field.
Smadar holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and an MA in Organizational Studies, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Smadar Somekh is the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Wohl Senior Scholar.
Smadar can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone, at 972-2-655-7430
Policy Tools for Addressing Employment Instability
This document includes a short description of the phenomenon of employment instability, around the world and in Israel, as it is manifested in general and among specific populations. In addition, it includes a review of policy tools for addressing this issue, classified into two groups: tools geared toward the individual employee and tools geared toward the employer.
Employment Patterns and Barriers to Employment in the Bedouin Population in the Negev: Summative Evaluation Study
The overarching goal of this study was to identify sociocultural factors that contribute to employment barriers and affect the employment patterns of the Bedouin population in the Negev.
Impact Evaluation of the Program for Promoting the Integration of Women in the High-Tech Industry: Findings of a Randomized Controlled Trial
The goals of this study were: to examine the implementation of the program operating model; to examine the participants’ status with reference to the outcome indicators defined by the program; and to evaluate the impact of the program on the participants’ employment and education.
Gender Wage Gaps: Contributing Factors and Policy Tools Used to Narrow the Gaps
The goals of this study are as follows: to describe the gender wage gaps in Israel in comparison with the other OECD countries and analyze the causes of these gaps; to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the policy tools used in the OECD to narrow gender wage gaps and their effectiveness in narrowing such gaps; to offer practical recommendations for the application in Israel of the most suitable and effective tools.
The Labor Market at the Height of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Subsequently
The goal of the study was to examine how the pandemic had affected workers and various branches of the economy, to map the challenges and opportunities created by the crisis, and to propose programmatic directions to meet the new employment challenges.
Israeli Households’ Use of Financial Resources and Government Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The goals of the study were: Measure the percentage of households that have reduced or withdrawn savings, taken out loans, or deferred payments in the wake of the pandemic ; Understand which households used these resources more, and identify patterns that are not apparent from aggregate financial data; Examine the extent to which various types of government assistance have helped mitigate the harm to households.
Employment, Income and Household Finances in Israel during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Background Social isolation and other dramatic steps taken by the Israeli government to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Israel have caused significant damage to the economy. At an aggregate level, the GDP fell at an annual rate of 7% in the first quarter of 2020 and of 29% in the second quarter. A broad […]
Employment of the Arab Population during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges, Opportunities and Circles of Influence
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was highly detrimental to the employment of the Arab population. In March 2020, the proportion of employees who applied to the Employment Service for work was markedly higher among Arabs than among Jews (32% v. 23%).The main reason for this differential was that many Arabs, both men and women, […]
Working from Home during and after the Outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Background Towards the end of 2019 and in early 2020, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), spread throughout the world. On March 11, 2020, the disease was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and this led to unprecedented, rapid and substantial changes in all areas of life. One key area affected […]
Developing and Measuring Soft Skills in the Changing World of Work – Literature Review
This report presents a comprehensive review of the relevant literature on the subject of the soft skills needed in the changing world of work. The review examines the varied definitions of soft skills, their contribution to success in the labor market, and the extent to which they can be acquired and/or improved via targeted interventions.
STARTER Program – Vocational Training through Apprenticeship Final : Research Report
The goal of this study was to examine the way in which the operating model of the program was implemented; to assess the outcome of the program in view of its objectives; and to assess the incremental impact of the program on employment in the trade learned and on the wages earned by program graduates compared with graduates of traditional vocational training courses conducted by the Division for Vocational Training at MOLSA.
Children, Youth and Young Adults
Improving the Absorption of Ethiopian Israelis – Five-Year Plan of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Services: Findings and Insights from the Follow-Up of Activities among Families and Young Adults
In 2008 the Government of Israel decided to formulate an overall program to improve the absorption of Ethiopian Israelis. The ministries involved were: Immigrant Absorption; Housing and Construction; Industry, Trade and Labor; Education, Culture and Sport; and Social Affairs and Social Services (MSAS). In this connection, in 2010 the MSAS began to implement a Five-Year […]
Children, Youth and Young Adults
Evaluation of the Family Guidance Program for Families in Distress in Yokneam and the Megiddo Regional Council
The Family Guidance Program aims to help families with multiple difficulties extricate themselves from the cycle of distress and dependency on social services through a comprehensive intervention based on family strengths. The goal of the evaluation was to contribute to further program development.
Aviram, A., Ronen, Y., Somekh, S., Winer, A., & Sarid, A. (2008). Self-regulated personalized learning (srpl): Developing iclass’s pedagogical model. eLearning Papers, 9(9), 1-17.
Somekh, S., Almog, Y., & Nijim-Ektelat, F. (2018). When cultural differences make a difference: The case of community change in an Arab community in Israel. In N. Walzer, & L. Weaver (Eds.), Using collective impact to bring community change (pp. 156-174). New York: Routledge.
Aharon Aviram, Yael Ronen, Smadar Somekh, Igal Dotan (2007), iClass: ICT and the New Horizons for SRPL (Self-Regulate Personalized Learning), Proceeding of Designing the School of Tomorrow: Advanced Technologies in Education Symposium, Athens, November 9-10 2007, pp. 11-49.
Somekh, S. (2008). iClass Evaluation Report, Deliverable 3.2 of iClass project, supported by the European Commission FP6 (Contract IST-188.8.131.52-507922).
Aviram, A., Ronen, Y., Somekh, S., Schellas, Y., Dotan, I. & Winer A. (2007). iClass Pedagogical Model and Guidelines, Deliverable 3.1 of iClass project, supported by the European Commission FP6 (Contract IST-184.108.40.206-507922).