Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
We hope you are well!
As we kind of got used to routine, our community is shrinking, having shnattim going to lead in different summer camps of the movement. And yet, we had our first official Yom Chinuch (educational day), where we spoke about Hagshama, passing on knowledge, being informed and knowledgeable, and had Jade giving us her last schpeil, as the wisest person in the room. We also had a debrief about volunteering, and had our first official talk about the Kibbutz Lotan period- the last part of Shnat South!
Another cool thing that happened this week was that currently there are in Israel quite a few buses with year 10 students from around the globe, doing their Israel Tour. Our shnattim meet the ones from RSY and LJY (Netzer UK) and tell them about the Movement, Shnat etc. Today was the second tour coming, and went really well, thanks to Mili our shnatti, and Leora- a Shnat graduate and an Olah from Netzer SA.
It is a privilege seeing Shnat graduates lead Israel tours; seeing Shnat graduates living in Israel; seeing current shnattim take the lead and run activities. What can I say? We are lucky!
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom, and much luck to Jade going back home, and to our shnattim leading on camps!
Weekly update by Mathilda Wise and Tom Krieser
This week has been a crazy week for everyone. We finally settled into volunteering with most people volunteering at a kindergarten for Eritrean refugees from under age one, to 8 years old. Everyone has found the volunteering to be incredibly rewarding and also challenging. It has been an eye-opening experience for us to be able to see how childcare works in another country particularly when the church the kindergarten is run purely by volunteers whose money comes from other volunteers like us so they don't have to pay workers.
This week we also said goodbye to 2 of our members Caroline and Adam KB who have gone to lead on Noar Telem junior summer camp which is the Israeli branch of Netzer. Another four of us will be heading overseas, 3 (Jason, Mili and Morgan) will be going to lead on RSY, the English branch of Netzer and one (Tilda) is going to lead on Germany camp. This halves our group from 12 to 6 which will in itself prove rather challenging but we are determined that it won't set us back in terms of our shared goals and aims for the entire year.
This week we also said goodbye to Jade Karp, our madricha for the Tel Aviv period. Jade has been one of the most inspiring and incredible leaders for us to have whilst on Shnat. She has taught us so much about our own movement and the way that it works, from logistics & planning to ensuring that all leaders are able to work together to form a body of bogrim who are passionate and understanding towards each other. She has made us think critically about ourselves and the way that we approach certain issues which are pertinent to our ideology. She challenges us in ways that we never thought possible. Jade, we can't thank you enough for being there throughout the entire time, for running away from bushfires with us, for helping us build a raft and sailing at the cross the Kinneret even though you were feeling sick, for taking us to multiple trips to the doctor and for teaching us things we never thought we could learn. We are sad to see you go but we know that your time here helping us comes with great responsibility on our part and its now time for us to step up and lead each other.
All in all, we've had a great week. We are starting to feel as if our volunteering is paying off and we feel that we are making important connections with the children. We have also been volunteering at a soup kitchen which feeds more than 500 people a day. These experiences help put things into perspective for us, and to help us realise our privilege.
Operation Good Neighbor: Inside the IDF’s effort to provide aid to Syria
Over four years ago, an injured Syrian came to the border asking for medical help from the IDF. Back then, there was no policy, just a commander’s on-the-spot decision to provide care to an injured civilian. Since then, the aid has continued on a near daily basis. In June 2016, as part of a decision to expand humanitarian aid efforts, the IDF Northern Command established the headquarters of Operation Good Neighbor.
The goal of Operation Good Neighbor is to provide humanitarian aid to as many people as possible while maintaining Israel’s policy of non-involvement in the conflict. The first activities coordinated by the headquarters took place in August 2016. Since then, there have been more than 110 aid operations of various kinds.
“Based on my 20-year medical career, I can truly say that the medical care we have provided to our neighbors here in the north of Israel is one of the most significant efforts to treat those in need that I have ever witnessed,” said Col. Dr. Noam Fink, the Chief Medical Officer of the Northern Command. “I deeply hope that our contribution will have a direct impact on the lives of our Syrian neighbors.”
The primary recipients of the aid are the approximately 200,000 residents of the Hauran region of southwestern Syria. About 400 families live in tents near the Israel-Syria border. The rest live in villages or out in the open. A third of the aid recipients are displaced persons or refugees and half of them are under the age of 18.
“The people of Syria want peace with Israel,” one of the aid recipients wrote from an Israeli hospital. “To any Syrians that think that Israel is our enemy – you are wrong.”
The IDF primarily provides 3 types of assistance as part of Operation Good Neighbor:
1. Medical – Over 4,000 people have been brought to Israel to receive treatment, including hundreds of children. The IDF also transfers medicine, supplies, and equipment to Syrians across the border. An internationally managed field hospital has also been established at an Israeli outpost near the border.
2. Infrastructure – 450,000 liters of fuel have been transferred for heating, operating water wells, and ovens in bakeries. The IDF also transferred seven generators, water pipes to rebuild Syrian infrastructure, and equipment for a temporary school in the region.
3. Civilian aid – The IDF transferred 40 tons of flour to bakeries, 225 tons of food, 12,000 packages of baby formula, 1,800 packages of diapers, 12 tons of shoes, and 55 tons of cold weather clothing.
The IDF provides aid to Syrians on the other side of the border for two primary reasons. Firstly, we have a moral imperative. We can’t stand by watching a severe humanitarian crisis without helping the innocent people stuck in the middle of the conflict. We also believe that the aid will ultimately create a less hostile environment across the border – and that will lead to improved Israeli security.
From IRAC's Newsletter
"If it means interfering in an ensconced, outdated system, to help just one woman, man or child...I'm willing to accept the consequences." ~Wonder Woman
Like Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot, Renee Rabinowitz has superpowers.
I met Renee Rabinowitz when speaking at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in December 2015. During my lecture entitled "Great is the Study that Brings us into Action" I spoke about our campaign against El Al and how despite the hundreds of stories we had collected of women being discriminated against on their flights, we hadn't found the perfect case. One which had the active participation of a flight attendant in asking a woman to move seats at the request of an ultra-Orthodox man, showing El Al's policy. Renee was at my lecture, and approached me after to tell me her story and ask if hers was finally "the case."
Renee told us about her flight from Newark to Tel Aviv in December 2015. How she had been pressured by a flight attendant to move her seat because the ultra-Orthodox man in the next seat refused to sit next to her. As an orthdox woman herself, the idea of Judaism being used to humiliate her in this way shocked her to her core.
Our case in defense of Renee ended in a landmark victory against El Al on Thursday, June 22. The judge, Dana Cohen-Lekach, ruled that it is illegal to request for a person's seat to be changed because of their gender, awarding Renee 6500 shekels (around $1800) in damages. This ruling forces El Al to clearly define their policy and train all flight staff, and creates a precedent for all airlines to do the same.
This past year and a half has shown us just how much of a Wonder Woman Renee is in her own right. If you had asked her, the two interviews 18 months ago would last her a lifetime - she was not interested in the media, only in changing El Al's policy. Despite her physically challenging year, she has talked to the endless stream of journalists, telling her story over and over with great patience, and appeared with such grace in court. She learned that social change comes not only from the courtroom, but from talking to the media.
Now that we have won this case, we are taking the battle for equality to the next level. We are trying to convince Ben Gurion International Airport, El Al's hub, to put up signs around the airport explaining to female passengers their rights. So far, the airport has been resistant, but we have the law on our side.
"Great is the study that brings us into action" so it was with Renee, and so it should be for all of us.
Click here to support this campaign for equality in Israel.
Netzer Australia reporting from winter camps
Dear Chanichim, Parents and Friends,
What a fun Winter Camp!
Even though we've said Lehitra'ot (goodbye, see you soon) only a few days ago, we already miss you and can't wait to see you again.
Machane B'Yachad 2017 came to a close on Sunday morning with 100 Chanichim and 30 Madrichim and staff. These numbers make it one of our largest winter camps in years!
We had an amazing time with all year levels and like every camp, we made sure everyone had a good balance of meaningful educational programs, a positive Jewish experience and just pure fun with good friends.
As always, Shabbat was the highlight of our joint week. We had beautiful musical Shabbat services led by our Madrichim throughout the weekend, dancing, singing, Limmud, peer-led activities and the always amazing talent show.
We also want to use this opportunity to thank our lovely visitors from Temple Beth Israel, Rabbi Kim Ettlinger and Max Jared Einsohn. Rabbi Kim and Max joined us for most of Saturday, helping us lead Shacharit (morning prayer) and led two special Limmud (Jewish studies) sessions. Todah Rabbah to you both!
Now that camp is over, we are very happy to invite you to check out our full photo gallery and our Shabbat video on the Netzer website.
From all of us at Machane B'Yachad ’17, we thank you again for sending your children to Netzer's Winter Camp and wish you a wonderful weekend and Shabbat Shalom!
Rochelle and Rosa
Co-Roshot of Machne B'yachad - Winter Camp 2017
Shalom rav dear families and friends of Netzer Sydney.
We had a wonderful time on camp with our traditional Wide game, lead by our amazing Madatzim (junior leaders in year 11). The kids had a chance to enjoy a bit of sports and running around.
Our year 10 and year 12 Chanichim (participants) woke up BEFORE SUNRISE in order to spend some time together before the year 12s are leaving and to watch the beautiful sunrise.
Later throughout the day we had a visit we had a visit by Yogal Nisel, the JNF Educational Shaliach to help us run a program about the JNF's involvement to the creation of Israel and it's affiliation to Israel and the world Jewry today.
We have just finished our Havdalah service after an amazing Shabbat here at Machane B'yachad! We stated off with having a beautiful Erev Shabbat service with the traditional Netzer songs and prayers. After the service we all set down together to have a communal Shabbat dinner.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Andrina Grynberg for contributing home cooked cannelloni that fed a hundred people(!!). Thank you so much Andrina, the kids loved it!
This morning the kids got a bit of a sleep in and we started by having Ooga veShocko (cake and chocolate milk) in their year groups and then had a moving Shacharit Service. The kids got to learn some of the Shabbat prayers, to go to the Bima for Alyiot and even to read from the Torah. The rest of shabbat was composed from lunch followed by smaller and intimate activities and the kids got to choose to what activity they would like to join, followed packing bags, dinner and Havdalla service.
Now we will move on to our traditional talent show. In this special activity the kids get to make up song and to tell their madrichim (leaders) how much they enjoyed camp and thank them for their hard work, while the madrichim will do the same for the chanichim (participants) and thank them for making camp great.
We hope you'll enjoy this Snapchat video of camp capturing our experiences.
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 out who made it to the news!
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