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

We hope you are well!

The intro this week will be very short- Shnattim are all away on the Northern Tiyulim (hikes) on both Etgar and Machon. Sounds like they are having an amazing time, though it has been quite hot the past few days. Photos below speak for themselves :)

Despite the quietness at the office, we are quite busy preparing to have over 400 (!) deligates in the building next week for CONNECTIONS- the WUPJ's conference. 50 of them will be young adults, joining our TaMaR "leaders of today" seminar, and we are very excited to have our shnattim not only participating in the conference, but also presenting!!

If you are in Jerusalem this coming weekend, you should come to Beit- Shmuel on Saturday night to hear Justice Emerita of Israel's Supreme Court, Dalia Dorner! Ms. Dorner will be speaking about "Democracy and Human Rights in Israel: Protecting Human Rights in the Age of Terrorism and Asymmetric Warfare" on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm at Beit Shmuel-Mercaz Shimshon.

Next week's update might be a bit late due to the convention.

Wishing you all a restful Shabbat!

Weekly update by Elinor Knox

Weekly update by Ilana Braham

Shalom everyone,

After a couple of normal days of class, Machon travelled down south on Tuesday morning. We spent the afternoon in Be'er Sheva and then visited Lakia (a Bedouin community), where we were served delicious tea and learnt about the weaving process. This community has set up an organisation called Sidra to help Bedouin women learn new skills and become more independent by educating them so they can get their own jobs. It was really interesting to learn about the Bedouin community and their culture and traditions.

We then headed into the wilderness of the desert for an unforgettable camping experience. After making our own dinner and having a bonfire, some of us chose to sleep in the tents while others slept outside under the stars. Luckily the sun woke us up early so we could fit in a hike before lunch time. After a visit to Ben Gurion's grave and house we finally arrived at our hostel and, to everyone's excitement, had some much needed nap time.

The final day of our tiyul has been spent on a salad trail in which we were able to munch on fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and carrots picked by our own hands.

We're now heading back to machon for a restful weekend and a good week ahead.

From IRAC's newsletter

Dear reader,

Tonight and tomorrow we celebrate the 69th anniversary of a miracle: the birth of the modern State of Israel. While Zionism was a romantic movement, it was also a movement of desperate people who demanded change, and who did all in their power to realize it.

These visionaries refused to become complacent in the face of challenges. On this Yom Ha’Atzmaut, IRAC follows their lead. We will never get used to injustice or discrimination in the Holy Land. We will never accept racism or hate crimes on our watch.

We will instead continue fighting for equality and peace. In the courts and in the streets, we will continue standing up to bullies like Benzi Gopstein and his hate group Lehava, who openly advocate violence against Muslim Israelis. We will continue demanding full equality for Reform Judaism’s leaders and laity at the Western Wall and throughout Israel. We will continue to insist that women not be objectified or excluded from the public sphere by the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate.

Please show your support for Israel by supporting IRAC’s work on these issues. Together, we will: continue the labor of love that was begun 69 years ago, build on the successes of our country’s founders, and help Israel realize its full potential.

Last year Anat wrote this prayer for the State of Israel. Its words seem equally relevant today:

‎‫אלי, אלי Eli, Eli - O God, my God

In this sacred moment, give us hope for Israel and her future.

Renew our wonder at the miracle of the Jewish State.

In the name of the pioneers who made the deserts bloom - give us the tools to cultivate a diversity of Jewish expression in Israel.

In the name of our fallen soldiers - give us courage to stand up to the words and ways of zealots. Those in our own midst and those among our neighbors.

In the name of Israeli inventors who have amazed the world with their innovations – help us apply the same ingenuity to finding a path to peace.

In the name of all these women and men - grant us the strength to conquer doubt and despair in Israel.

Replacing doubt with action.

Replacing despair with hope.

And let us say: Amen.

Chag sameach,

Anat & Noa

P.S. - On April 23 we lost Harvey Mark Krueger, an American Reform Jew who spent decades working to help finance Israeli businesses and industries, and investing in higher education in Israel. Read Anat's tribute to Harvey here. May his memory be a blessing.

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.

Waht was the highlight of the National Holidays?

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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