Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
We hope you are well!
Things are going well here on Shnat, as the shnatim are getting into the swing of things and going in depth into the educational process. We hope our shnattim get over the cold and flu going around, as they have a long Pessach break coming up and they need a lot of energy for it….
Wishing you all a restful Shabbat!
Weekly update by Asha Sumroy
Nearly all of us have spent most of the week coughing and blowing our noses (maybe because we're still recovering from Purim, maybe because we never open the windows in the flat).
In spite of this, I've felt a sense of determination to continue challenging ourselves to step up the level of discussion in our sessions. I'm really enjoying starting to feel the connections between everything we're learning as our growing understanding of each topic enables us to think more deeply and laterally.
From a great Chinuch and Hadracha session where we talked about the failures of today's education system, to analysing the complexities of our consumerist society in Economy and Ecology, its been a week full of important reality checks for Etgar.
After our first proper yom tnua (movement day) with machon on Monday, we're ending our week with a two-day seminar focused on socialism. It's a perfect end to such a thought provoking week to continue critiquing our social reality and think about the counter culture that we strive to create as Etgar Nof and as Netzer.
Here's what some of the etgarniks have learnt this week:
Weekly update by Dan Apter
This time last week we found ourselves crawling through the streets of Jerusalem in gridlock traffic in the height of rush hour. This bus journey however was not like the average Machon excursion. There was nobody being sick in a bag at the front, nobody was moaning about being desperate for the loo and there was nobody trying to sleep in a position that would even make a career contortionist jealous! This time, everyone was on the edge of their seat (still with seatbelts on of course!) because we were all craning our necks to take a look at the man of the moment, the birthday boy: Abe! Everyone was fully immersed and engaged (for once…) with looking at Abe squirm uncomfortably while we sang (if you can call our 36 strong cacophony singing) birthday songs at him. With this improvised party limo we ushered in the weekend. As is now tradition here in Kyriat Moriah, people flee for the weekend to all corners of Israel because of the prospect of eating another 6 meals in the Cheder Ochel.
The working week resumed as normal on Sunday with the day filled with our usual lessons including Hebrew, Zionism and Israel and Leadership Development. Monday has much the same structure with another set of lessons and “educational” evening programming after dinner. This time however we didn’t get a Jewish or Zionist education but in fact a Physical Education. The evening marked the official opening of the “Machon Machzor 129 Annual Inter-Movement Five-a-Side Football Tournament As A Way Of Choosing Between Conflicting Ideologies” or M.M.A.I.M.F.S.F.T.A.A.W.O.C.B.C.I. for short. The first match was a total whitewash with Habonim-Dror wiping the floor with the feeble Hineni with a closing score of 15-2. After this match was our time to shine. With crowds flocking from all around chanting “Noar Tzioni Reformi”, rivalling the size and enthusiasm of Beita Yerushalaim’s La Familia. This time however it wasn’t Betar in the stands but on the pitch. We kicked off but soon lost possession to the Betarim, which resulted in an unfortunately impressive goal. With a newfound rush of enthusiasm and Reform Zionist spirit we hammered in 3 more goals to close with a victorious Netzer. The football gods mush have thought that Pesach came early because tonight it seemed they were leaning to the left!
The evening was rounded off with yet another “educational” visit to play Laser Tag with the Etgarniks. This evening, the victories kept on flowing as I was crowned game-champion after successfully standing in a corner and shooting people from a far. Strangely enough these tactics were far more successful that those of former IDF soldier and Etgar Madrich; Ady. Apparently the game wasn’t adapted to suit his “lone wolf” tactics!
Tuesday was Yom Yisrael, which entailed us taking the bus across to Tel Aviv after our Global Studies class. We spent the day both exploring the street art scene while also taking a journey into the past as we learned about the pioneers who established the city. Days like this sometimes bring the weirdest and most wonderful “shnat stories” that are almost impossible to explain. What I can say is that we somehow started with talking about the Rothschild family and finished with 40 people sitting on the pavement in the middle of Tel Aviv having a lesson on drawing the perfect cactus.
Yesterday was Wednesday, which was Yom Tnua (Movement Day). We had our final lesson on Reform Judaism in which we delved into the mysterious world of Talmud study. Despite having to wade through the complexities of tradition and the intricacies of commentaries we all came out of the day feeling like the most scholarly of Haredi rabbis. We then got the chance to impress our Movemnt Worker Joe Grabiner with our knowledge over a big bowl of chips and falafel.
Today we had our weekly round up in our chavurot and another fascinating 5-hour lesson on Zionism with Machon veteran Steve Israel.
Overall this has been yet another great week on Machon and now that we are officially two thirds of the way through, we can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.
Post- Jerusalem- Marathon update by Eve Phillips
So Tom and I completed the half marathon. Whilst I'm smiling in this pic, I can tell u it was not enjoyable cos I decided half way through that I acc hate running ( I also have 2 purple toes now.) So plz go donate to help provide direct humanitarian aid to Syrians and to help make my toes feel better xx
HUGE Yeshar Ko'ach to Eve and Tom for raising over 1000GBP for this cause!!
By Rabbi Noa Sattath
If you believe Israel’s ultra-Orthodox weekly newspaper Yated Ne’eman, the Reform Movement is monopolizing Jewish education in Israel’s secular public schools. They say Reform Judaism will brainwash the minds of our youth if something isn’t done soon.
I can sum up that report in two words: Fake News
In theory, the Ministry of Education’s policy for the past twenty years has required that Jewish education in Israel’s secular public schools be pluralistic. In practice, 97% of the organizations who receive funding to provide Jewish content in Israel’s secular schools are Orthodox, and not Reform or any other stream.
The truth is that the parents of children in secular schools are outraged by the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over Jewish life and over Jewish Education in Israel, not Reform education. Yated Ne’eman’s report was a diversion from the fact that most private religious schools (where most ultra-Orthodox parents send their own children) refuse to teach their students the national core curriculum, so they do not study subjects like math, science, or English.
Fake news travels fast. When Knesset member Moshe Gafni heard about the report, he asked the Chairman of the Knesset’s Education Committee, who is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, to convene an expedited legislative hearing on the topic. The hearing happened last Tuesday. Representatives of the newspaper, and their right-wing allies in the government, complained about the dangerous messages that Reform Judaism is bringing to Israel’s secular public schools. Messages like there is more than one way to practice Judaism.
Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the head of Israel’s Reform Movement, offered this rebuke. “In the coming years, Reform Judaism intends to increase, not decrease, its presence and its vision of progressive Judaism in Israel’s public schools. If we teach programs now in 100 schools across the country, then in the years to come we will increase it to 1,000.”
The committee chairman adjourned the meeting without taking any action, other than to recommend that the issue be studied further. Bring it on!
Our response to fake news in Israel consists of four main ingredients: vigilance, courage, stamina, and truth. With your support we will continue to face down efforts to delegitimize progressive Judaism in Israel.
Michael Livni visits Australia
Last Wednesday the Netzer Sydney madrichim had the pleasure of hosting Michael Livni, the father of Reform Zionism, at our weekly meeting! It is always inspiring to listen to what Dr. Livni has to say about Netzer as a Reform Zionist youth movement and it's connection to Israel.Thank you so much for coming to speak to us!
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.
Check this out!!! Asha S and Ben R's Adon Olam made it to Ruach 5777!!!
Big Yeshar Koach to Ben and Asah for writing this tune and for getting it discovered!
And if you want to hear the beautiful tune, check it out on the Shnat Ma'ayan CD version!
And also a little debt from a few weeks ago- Amir from the UJIA pays a visit to our Machoniks during their Northern Tiyul (trip) in Peq'in! Oh..... Abba!
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