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

We hope you are well!

On Shnat, there are very few "normal" or "regular" weeks, where you actually experience routine. So, this was a traditional unusual week, starting with Purim celebrations EVERYWHERE, Scroll reading at the Kotel, Limmud days, Tiyul (trip) and peer- led presentations. All in all- a great, packed, intense week.

Wishing you a much needed restful Shabbat :)

Weekly update by Hannah Steiner

Weekly update by Tom Krieser

Last week was a Purim-centric week. What I learned was that everyone has a unique experience to Purim. As a result i have asked for a multitude of Netzer-Niks' take on this incredible experience (and some costume photos too)

Abraham- Erev Purim the shuk machane Yehuda, usually bustling slice of daily Jerusalemite bartering life by day and scene for chill bar vibes by night, turned into the ancient city's greatest dance party.

Tom S - Bombarded with colour and creativity.

Purim is a fantastic chag because it lets us truly express our creativity as well as letting us make a political statement. I for example, dressed up as Captain America's lesser know accomplice "Captain Reform Zionism".

We can see here that this has been amazing. So amazing in fact that I wrote a poem to highlight and mark the week.

My Purim Experience

On weekend last we hit the streets

Mimes, fairies princes, athletes

We strolled down town In our best gowns

And counted down till Purim begun

When we found the shuk

Well we were all pretty shook...

Costumes far and wide

Classic tunes supplied

And pure kef undivided

Purim was an experience that I'll never forget

It's a time where everyone Seems to put aside all epithets And just

Become one

Purim Nof machon 2017

Eve and Tom's half marathon

For the past 5 months I've been living in Israel. A lot of falafel has been consumed and little exercise has been done. So I've made the illogical decision to run a half marathon on March 17th in Jerusalem with my friend Tom.

I decided to run the half marathon after visiting the Western Galilee Region Medical Centre. A neurosurgeon gave us an inspiring talk about the operations he's been doing to help Syrian victims.

The hospital is in the north of Israel and is a 2 hour drive from Syria and 10Km from Lebanon. They started offering the aid in March 2013. It used to be 100% combat related and is now 85% combat related and 15% combat independent. The types of injury are 30.7% shrapnel, 14.8% gunshot, 23.9% assault, 15.9% blast. The victims have arrived there mainly at the wrath of battle between Assad's soldiers vs free Syrian army. The hospital treats everyone wherever they come from as the surgeon said " It's not for me to decide who I'll treat. We are sworn to treat the pain. You can not play judge here".

The hospital treats many patients and recently performed 7 surgeries in 24 hours. Once treated the patients are not required to stay in Israel and can carry on their lives as they wish. During the talk, the surgeon gave us various examples of the surgeries that take place. For example, they recently treated a 23 year old women who was sexually assaulted by the Syrian army who then shot her in the head.

The hospital is trying to decrease the travel time because many of the Syrian victims come in already unconscious and any attempts to decrease the travel time will have real effects on their lives. Furthermore, they are trying to train some of the Syrian doctors who work much closer to the scene.

The Western Galilee Medical centre need more funding so that their ward can grow as there are currently only 4 senior staff members and a mere 5 operating rooms. The hospital is doing a fantastic job at treating these Syrian victims and as the situation in Syria is only getting worse, the hospital is becoming increasingly under pressure. The more money the hospital has, the more it can develop and find more efficient ways of treating the Syrian victims thus decreasing mortality rates.

If you could donate, not only will it motivate Tom and I on our run but we will also be very grateful as we believe this Israeli hospital is doing vital work to help the terrible situation in Syria.

Help spread the word!

IRAC's Newsletter

Rabbi Noa Sattath

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the center of so much of the news we read about in Israel. More often than not, that news leaves us with a feeling of helplessness, and a belief that there is no place to look for successful models of a shared society.

However, IRAC has found a bright spot: the Israeli health system. Although 20% of Israeli citizens are Arab, the percentage of Arab-Israelis employed in the high tech, finance and information technology industries hovers at between 3-3.4%. Arab-Israeli employment rates in the healthcare industry are significantly higher. Throughout Israel, Arab-Israelis comprise 11% of country’s doctors, 16% of its medical students, 14% of its nurses, 48% of its nursing students, 38% of its pharmacists, and 43% of its pharmacy students.

Today, IRAC sponsored a conference at the Knesset to help explain why. We presented our new report, “Heroes of Health: Israel’s Healthcare System as a Model of Jewish-Arab Coexistence.” Members of Parliament got to hear firsthand how healthcare transcends hatred, and how at hospitals and clinics around the country, professionalism transcends politics.

The testimony from experts in the field was powerful and passionate. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a fertility doctor, told participants: “The happiest moments of my life have been when I have heard the cries of newborn babies - Jewish and Arab babies alike. We are all equal when we are born and when we die. Every newborn’s cry is a call for us to make sure that they have a world of peace and equality to grow up in.”

Download our Heroes of Health report. It serves as a beacon of hope. Arab- and Jewish-Israeli doctors, nurses and healthcare administrators understand their sacred mission. Their camaraderie is proof that coexistence can take root and flourish in Israel. Their work, which is removed from the daily reality and passions of the conflict, is some of the best medicine against despair.

Please support our work to share the Heroes of Health report and the results of our research with the public. Together we can spread the message that the ingredients for a shared society that are found in Israel’s healthcare industry--a professional ethos based on mutual respect, strong leadership, and zero tolerance for racism--can and must be replicated throughout Israel.



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.

A glimpse into the Woman of The Wall Megillahreading at the Kotel

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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