Teaching Community Interpreting

Dr. Michal Schuster

    קורות חיים

    Academic Experience

    Bar Ilan University - since 2007

    Lecture in the following courses:

    • Community Interpreting: a service-learning course
    • Medical interpreting for Israeli Sign Language interprting students (diplomma program)
    • Theories of translation and interpreting for ISL interpreting students (diplomma program)
    • BA track for community interpreters (2008-2010)

    Director of Bar Ilan University Flagship Project (2013) Language Access for the community. Special project financed by the Council for Higher Education, for the promotion of community interpreting (spoken and signed)


    since 2013


    Faculty of Medicine. Lecturerer on doctor-patient communiction, medical interpreting and cultural competence in healthcare.


    Staff member of the ETGAR  - a medical student-run project tackling health inequalities j the transitin between hospitralization and community health care.


    ERASMUS mobility program with Ca’Foscari University (Venice, Italiy) –2019- 2020


    Member of the University’s committee on Acadmy-Community Partnerships – advising and selecting academic courses with a component on social invovlement and contrbution and recommending their support to the Council for Higher Education


    Talpiot College of Education since 2018

    Lecturer in the English Teaching MA track – “translation and Culture”


    University of the Free State (RSA) since 2015

    Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment                                        

    Researche Associate


    Tel Aviv University 2013 - 2014


    Lecturer:  Language Accessibilty of Public Service. Course for MA students in the Language Teaching program, School of Education


    Seminar Hakibutzim College 2009 – 2011


    Lecturer: Introduction to English-Hebrew translation; Community Interpreting.


    Other Academic Exprience

    • Peer reviewer at the Journal of Qualitative Health Research
    • Reviewer of the National Instutute for Health Policy Research
    • Member of the Israeli Society for Translation Research.


    Professional Experience


    The Jerusalem Intercultural Center since 2007


    Consulting organizations in the provision of Culturally Competent Care and Services: Ministries (health, welfare, education), health organizations, Israeli police, academic institutions etc.

    Staff training on linguistic accessibility and cultural competence

    Organizing and teaching medical and community interpreting (for staff, volunteers and in-house interpreters)


    Independent lecutrer and consultant since 2009

    Lecturing on:

    Cultural competence in public institutions

    Cultural aspect in care and service to Israel’s diverse populations

    Lingustic accessibilty and language policy

    Language simplification

    Consulting on the design an provision of professional community and medical interpeting services in Israel (the only expert in Israel)


    Tene Briut, Association for the Promotion of Health in the Ethiopian-Israeli Community    2006 - 2012.


    Establishing and directing the first telephone medical interpreting service in Israel. The service is aimed to facilitate communication between Amharic-speaking patients and their care providers.

    Job included: selection and training of interpreters, quality control, training of health staff and marketing the service in the health system and the community. (since 2013 – serving as the QA director of the service)



    Freelance English-Hebrew translator and interpreter since 2003


    Prime Minister's Office 1998 - 2006

    Analyst and translator.


    Memberships in professional Organizations

    • Board member at the Critical Link International – for the promotion of professional community interpreting (since 2013)
    • Member of the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA)
    • Member of the Israeli Translators Association (ITA)




    2011 –2012 Post doctoral project on linguistic landscape, University of the Free State (SA), Dept. of Language Mangagement and Language Services.


    2009 – PhD, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, Dept. of Translation and Translation Studies. Dissertation title: Access to Health Care for Language Minorities: Kol La'briut Telephone Medical Interpreting Service as a Case Study. Dissertation supervised by Prof. Miriam Shlesinger


    2003 –  M.A, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, Dept. of Translation and Translation Studies. Thesis Title:  Patterns of Communication Between Foreign Workers in Israel and Medical Staff: 'Physicians for Human Rights' clinic as a case study. Dissertation supervised by Prof. Miriam Shlesinger


    Certified English-Hebrew translator and interpreter.


    2000  – B.A. (summa cum laude), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, International Relations and Linguistics.



    • Language accessibility and cultural competence of public services, particularly in the health, welfare and law enforcement.
    • Sociology of interpreting, specifically in public service interpreting
    • Ethics and ethical dilemmas of interpreters.
    • Professionalization of community interpreters
    • Cross-cultural communication
    • Simple language in the provision of information and services

    אגמון-שניר, ח', שוסטר, מ' ושני-גולן, א' (בשיפוט). כשירות תרבותית במשטרת ישראל. משפט חברה ותרבות, כרך מיוחד, עורכים גולדשמיד, ה' דרומי ש' ועצמון ע'.

    שלזינגר, מ', ווינובה, ט' ושוסטר, מ' (2017). עיסוק נשי? הקונפליקטים הטבועים במתורגמנות קהילתית מנקודת מבטן של סטודנטיות -מתורגמניות. מתוך ד' גולן, י' רוזנפלד וצ' אור (עורכים), גשרים של ידע: שותפויות אקדמיה-קהילה בישראל, עמ' 161 – 187. תל-אביב: מופת.

    Parenzo, S. and Schuster, M. (in print). The Mental Health Interpreter: The “Third Space” between Transference and Counter-transference, In: de Souza, Izabel and Fragkou, E. (eds), Handbook of Research on Medical Interpreting. IGI Global Publishing.

    Shlesinger, M., Voinova, T. and Schuster, M. (2019). A feminine occupation? The conflicts inherent to community interpreting as expressed by female student-interpreters. In In: Markovich D., Golan D., Shalhoub-Kevorkian N. (eds), Understanding Campus-Community Partnerships in Conflict Zones, pp. 185-221. Palgrave McMillan. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-13781-6_8

    Spitzer-Shohat, S., Sagi, D., Schuster, Met al. (2019). Teaching the Interplay Between Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and Health Outcomes: the ETGAR Student-Delivered Service. J GEN INTERN MED 34, 1103–1104 doi:10.1007/s11606-019-04904-z

    Schuster, M. and Hirsch, G. (2018). “Modality Induced Voids in the intersection between Hebrew and Israeli Sign Language.” Sign Language Studies, 18(2), 215-237.

    Gez, Y. and Schuster, M. (2018). "Borders and Boundaries: Eritrean graduates reflect on their medical interpreting training. European Legacy 23:7-8, 821-836, DOI: 10.1080/10848770.2018.1492810

    Schuster, M. and Baixauli-Olmos, L. (2018). A Question of Communication: The Role of Public Service Interpreting in the Migrant Crisis—Introduction. European Legacy, 23(7), https://doi.org/10.1080/10848770.2018.1492812

    Schuster, M., Elroy, I. & Rosen, B. (2018). How culturally competent are hospitals in Israel?. Isr J Health Policy Res 7, 61 doi:10.1186/s13584-018-0255-7

    Schuster, M., Elroy, I. and Elmakias, I. (2016) We are lost: Measuring language accessibility of signage in public general hospitals. Language Policy 15(1). DOI 10.1007/s10993-015-9400-0. (Impact Factor: 0.758)

    Schuster, M. (2014). Paying for Service: Service learning as a challenging student experience. Education and Society 32(2), pp. 43-62. (Journal included in the DHET accredited journal list)

    Schuster, M. (2012) Language Accessibility of Public Signs: a Case Study of a Health Care Service in Israel. SALALS 30(3), pp. 311-324. (Journal included in the DHET accredited journal list)


    Book review:

    Schuster, M. (2010). Carmen Valero-Garcés and Anne Martin (Eds.). Crossing borders in community interpreting: Definitions and dilemmas. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Interpreting, 12(1), pp. 115-119.


    Other Publications:

    Schuster M. (2014): Training of Medical Interpreters in Israel: lessons from Kol La'briut Interpreting Service. In S. Dunitza-Schmidt and O. Inbar (eds.), Language Teaching in Israel. Tel Aviv: Mofet. (in Hebrew)

    Schuster, M. (2013) From Chaos to Cultural Competence:  Analyzing Linguistic Access to Public Institutions in Israel. In C. Schäffner, K. Kredens and Y. Fowler (eds.),  Interpreting in a Changing Landscape. Selected papers from Critical Link 6. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 61-82.

    Dagan, I., Valinsky, L., Abir, G., Katzman S., Schuster, M. and Yaffe, N. (2010). Medical interpreting as a tool to improve the quality of medical care. Medical Journal on Arab Population’s Health, vol. 2, pp. 31 – 33. (in Hebrew)

    Levin-Zamir, D.,  Keret, S., Yacobson, O., Lev, Schuster, M., Kay, C., Verber,G. and Lieberman, N.(2009). Cross Cultural Action for Promoting Health Among Ethiopian Immigrants in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Health Care Settings. Papers presented in the 4th International Conference on Health Policy. Jerusalem, December 2009.

    Jaffe, A., Guttman, N. and Schuster, M. (2007). The Evolution of the Tene Briut Model – Developing an Intervention Program for the Ethiopian Immigrant Population in Israel and its Challenges and Implications. In Epstein, L. (Ed.). Culturally Appropriate Health Care by Culturally Competent Health Professionals. Proceedings from the international workshop report, Caesarea, October 2007, pp. 121-142.

    Schuster M. and Shlesinger, M. (2007). Access from a Different Perspective: Access to Vital Services for Language Minorities. In D. Feldman, Y. Danieli-Lahav and S. Haimovitz (Eds.). Access of the Israeli Society to People with Disabilities in the 21st Century. The Official Publications Bureau, pp. 639 – 661. (in Hebrew)

    מידע נוסף

    Michal Schuster is a researcher and trainer in the field of public service interpreting and cultural competence. She holds a PhD in translation and interpreting studies from Bar Ilan University. Her fields of interests include language accessibility, language policy, linguistic landscape and academic service learning. She is a lecturer at Bar Ilan University (Israel), where she teaches a unique service-learning course on community interpreting, as well as translation theories and medical interpreting courses for sign language interpreting students. As a research associate at the University of the Free State (Republic of South Africa) she published several papers on linguistic landscape and service-learning.

    Michal promotes the professionalization of public service interpreters through teaching, researching and lobbying. Currently, she is the leading trainer of medical and community interpreting courses in Israel, in both academic and not academic settings. She also trains care providers and consults organizations on culturally-appropriate care and service. Between 2013-2019 she served as board member of Critical Link International for the promotion of community interpreting.

    Last Updated Date : 18/12/2023