Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,

We hope you are well!

This weekly update is dedicated to our Northern group, who is now the proud big sisters/ brothers of a brand new group of shnattim- Shnat Nof South. Our Northerners are about to complete their last full week in Me'ona, in the North Galilee, where they spent the last two months volunteering. They volunteered in schools in the area, worked with teens at risk, met people living in different villages on the Lebanese border, toured the Galilee and the Golan Heights- all orchestrated by the UJIA, and the brilliant team- Amir and Elinor (+ help from their back office of course!). This coming Monday they will leave Me'ona and move to the beautiful Jerusalem. Big Yeshar- Ko'ach for the group for their contribution to the area of Ma'alot-Tarshicha, and their investment in the different volunteering places. You can hear much more in the "Northern Corner" below.

Meanwhile, our new southern group (minus Jason from SA, who will join us on Sunday!) landed on Tuesday morning, some without their language, but all in good spirit J They immediately started their Australian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC) opening seminar at Kibbutz Tzuba outside Jerusalem. We spent the evening with them yesterday, getting to know them, singing and praying. Next week, we will start the official Shnat Netzer Nof South orientation seminar in Beit- Shmuel, the headquarters of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ).



This time next week, both groups will be united and Shnat Nof will finally be one.

We want to take this opportunity to wish us all Tu Beshvat Same'ach- Happy holiday. May we blossom and grow this year!

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom!

Weekly update by Dan Apter and Elinor Knox


A letter sent to our Northern shnattim this week by Sara's grandparents!

Dear lovely shnatties

Today was the highlight of our week.

To be part of your Israel experience has been a blessing.

We are so proud of what you have chosen to achieve, what you have already achieved, and what you are about to experience in the next chapter of your adventure.

Today we retraced our Israel experience in 1962! when we travelled everywhere, and worked on a very old kibbutz, picking grapes for winemaking.

What this land of our ancestors has achieved since then is nothing short of a miracle.

I believe in miracles; they have happened in the past.

We are hopeful, and optimistic, and have faith in you, and the work that you do.

We have also decided to adopt you! and hope to visit in Jerusalem.

Shalom lehitraot

Love. Grannie Bernice and Grandpa Ivan.

Enjoy dinner tonight

Our treat xxxxx"

Weekly update by Jordan Werner- Hall

Shnat Nof, looking like long time Shnatties Already!

Everyone back at home should be so proud to know how phenomenal they have been as a group so far. They have been incredibls representatives of our movement, engaging openly and passionately, in ideological discussions, singing birkat after meals with so much Ruach and in general being intellegent and amazing.

Shnat has kicked off with AZYC opening seminar, beginning to explore Israel and getting to know the other youth movements accompanying them on their journey. Today they met the olami staff and we're all very excited for the relationships they'll build.

Nof are Scenery, Scenery's Right for Me!

The Green Line Strikes Back

by Einat Wilf | 01.17.17

The Green Line has returned with a vengeance. Decades of efforts to erase it have come to naught. If United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, Secretary of State John Kerry’s subsequent speech, and Sunday’s Paris peace conference have proven anything, is that the Green Line has struck back.

That’s a good thing.

The Green Line, commonly referred to as the June 1967 line and more precisely referred to as the 1949 armistice line, separates the West Bank from the State of Israel. But more importantly, it separates the Zionism that built the country from the Zionism that could destroy it. The return of the Green Line in international discourse is an opportunity to revive the much-needed debate between Zionism-of-the-people and Zionism-of-the-land, between secular Zionism and messianic Zionism, between the original Zionism of sovereignty and the later, mutated Zionism of idolatry. To ontinue reading...

A few words from Asha, RSY and Shnat rep on Veida

Last week 30 representatives from Netzer Olami’s 14 snifim (branches) spent 5 days in Jerusalem at the annual veida. The theme for the week was communities and, on top of presenting about the communities in each of our unique snifim, we had sessions run on this theme by some amazing educators. For me this was so important because even as madrichim and representatives of our movement we have so much to learn from engaging in informal education. It was particularly interesting to understand the significantly different situations that each of our sniffim are operating in. This really helped when it came to the asephot where what we were discussing would often have very different implications in each of the diverse range of countries that were represented.

One of the most interesting, and I believe most important, asephot was concerning Netzer Olami’s commitment to feminism. After some really engaging discussion we voted to adjust a part of the Ideology Platforms in order to reaffirm our commitment to actively educating on the topic and challenging the norms in society which we disagree with. This was a big deal as a platform change requires a 2/3s majority to be passed, but I actually think one of the best things that came from this motion was that we realised that as madrichim we need to educate ourselves more on topics like this and it was really inspiring to be surrounded by a group of young people who are invested in being as well-informed as they possibly can be.

As a shnattie the motions we discussed regarding the future of shnat were also really interesting for me, especially talking about how to make it accessible to as many people from as many different sniffim as possible. Overall, I’ve really never felt so empowered within the movement and it was amazing to meet people from all over the world who are part of netzer olami.


Jewish people give Muslims key to their synagogue after town's mosque burns down


Jewish people in a small Texas city handed Muslim worshippers the keys to their synagogue after the town's only mosque was destroyed in a fire. The Victoria Islamic Centre burned down on Saturday and had previously been burgled- the cause is being investigated by federal officials. But the town's Muslim population will not be without a place to worship while their building is reconstructed, thanks to their Jewish neighbours.

Robert Loeb, the president of Temple Bnai Israel, told Forward: "Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together. We have probably 25 to 30 Jewish people in Victoria, and they probably have 100 Muslims. We got a lot of building for a small amount of Jews."

To continue reading....

Reform Judaism: In 1000 Words God

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Rabbinic Partner at Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue)

In recent years, Reform Jews have grown increasingly confident in expressing a diverse set of personal theologies. We are a people who struggle with God, as Jacob did when he became Israel, and this struggle requires that we acknowledge that we can say nothing about God with certainty, and so find meaning when we create space for diverse voices around the table. We recognise that it is when we assert absolute certainty (either way) without space for dissenting voices that we exclude others from the conversation, and lessen our own potential for understanding.

In this article, Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Rabbinic Partner at Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue), explores the centrality of God in the Jewish narrative and its impact upon how we see our lives. We may understand God as a concept that shapes our ideas or a reality, active in the world. Both are legitimate in our community.

To continue reading...

In the Parashat Hashavu'a corner, we will direct you to the World Union for Progressive Judaism's column "Torah from around the world", where each week another Progressive Rabbi writes about the weekly portion. For this week's portion click here.

Shnat Nof South- here is a challenge for you!!!

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,

Lior and the Netzer staff

This may be the first weekly update you receive directly from us, and is part of our goal to have more direct and open communication with all our partners in this program

if you think there is anyone else that should receive this weekly updates, please send me their details

As always, the local Netzer Branch is always there for you as well


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Masa Gap Year programs offer college-bound high school graduates a year of valuable life experience before college, with Israel providing the perfect environment for them to explore their interests, identity, and future steps. Through a combination of academic coursework, volunteering, traveling, and an immersive experience in Israeli society, Fellows return home with the life skills to make the most out of their college experience. Learn more about Masa here.

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© 2016 Orit Sagi, Netzer Olami, Photography by Danit Ariel & Roy Elman