The Goshen Project was initiated by Hadassah Australia and is based on the pioneering work of Professor Frank Oberklaid, founding director of the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Goshen was conceived by Hadassah Australia, which has partnered with Hadassah Hospital, the Israeli Medical Association, the Israeli Ministry of Health, the Health Insurance Services (Kupot), the Hadassah School of Public Health & Community Medicine, the Israeli Ambulatory Pediatrics Association, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. The project is addressing the treatment of chronic illnesses among children as well as developmental and behavioural problems. Many of the conditions observed in adult life such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health problems, begin in early childhood.

 “Israel’s children compromise 30% of the population but they are 100% of our future.” Professor Eitan Kerem, Chairman of the Board, The Goshen Project

A key role for Goshen is to develop training programs, open specialized clinics, promote research and increase awareness to the importance of early prevention and intervention. Since the project was formalised, paediatricians from Israel have travelled to Australia on fellowships to work with Prof Oberklaid. These have been funded in large part by Hadassah Australia. Goshen will also reap benefits for Australian paediatrics through the two-way exchange of intellectual property and ideas between areas of research at Hadassah and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

“Investment in the early years is crucial; it means we can often prevent problems from occurring, or we can intervene to stop them becoming entrenched and much more difficult and expensive to manage later on.” Professor Frank Oberklaid, Director, The Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia

Prof Oberklaid said that to ensure the well-being of every child, it’s imperative that paediatricians and other health professionals are integral participants in a multi-disciplinary network.


The Need

One of the fundamental principles of paediatric medicine is that it needs to adequately address the underlying causes of childhood health disorders.

There was evidence that the Israeli paediatric healthcare system had not adequately evolved to address the contemporary needs of children. It was focused on fighting more serious illnesses that affect a select few, rather than paying attention to more common paediatric problems which cause considerable stress and distress to children and parents. Many Israeli children suffer from conditions that have been termed the ‘New Morbidity’, which have not been treated or managed well by Israeli hospitals or paediatricians. These include obesity, ADHD and learning problems, feeding and eating disorders, enuresis and encopresis (involuntary faecal soiling and wetting) and persistent crying and unsettled infant behaviour.

The Goshen Project is revolutionising paediatric care in Israel, especially among those who are not able to easily access healthcare services.


The Deliverables

The Goshen Project will:

  • Help to redefine paediatric care to focus on the total health and wellbeing of the child
  • Introduce community paediatrics into paediatric residency training programs
  • Identify and nurture future leaders in community child health from Hadassah Hospital
  • Establish centres of excellence for community paediatric care in the periphery, where the need is great
  • Generate research demonstrating the benefits of early intervention and treatment to Israeli society

Find Goshen’s resources at https://gadalta.org.il/