Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
We hope you are well!
Today, the Tikkun period of Shnat Netzer Nof South is coming to an end. All in all, a very challenging period on many levels. Nonetheless, this was an opportunity to try new things, learn and experience. Here are a few of the things our shnattim learned in the last 6 weeks:
Enjoy small things
The importance of communication
Feeling comfortable within my own body
It is OK to ask for help and advise
How to find my own space
Finding ways to feel comfortable in a not so comfortable environment
Appreciating communal times
The next week is a much needed break for everyone- on the shnattims' side- no requests to show up to volunteering, wake up in the morning or go to Hebrew. On my side- no calls about leaking showers, broken toilets, heat, bugs, no electricity, no a/c, no power, no shower :P
Our next adventure is going down south to Kibbutz Lotan- one of the only two Progressive Kibbutzim in the world and a very unique place, which you will hear a lot about in our future updates. This is the last period of the year, which brings with it a lot of excitement and a lot of fear, being the last part before returning home. But on Shnat scale, that will happen in a long long time from now…. we will deal with it when it happens.
Wishing us all a restful Shabbat and week!
Weekly update by Mathilda Wise- leading on Netzer Germany
I’m sitting on a train from Göttingen to Munich, with 21 kids and three other madrichim. The 2 week long, Netzer Germany summer machane has just ended. I was lucky enough to be asked to lead on this camp, as part of the tikkun period and am now halfway through my stay in Germany.
I arrived very late on a friday night, and drove to camp the next day with rosh machane, Mascha. I arrived knowing nothing other than how to count to twenty in German and it’s safe to say that I still can’t understand much, other than when it’s time for food and how to discipline naughty children.
I had no idea what to expect in coming to Germany. I wasn’t aware of whether our customs were the same, how their leadership process works, how they run their machanot, etc. One of the first experiences I had whilst on camp was Birkat Hamazon, which is such an integral part of camp. I was taken aback at how different Germany’s Birkat is to our, although there are still certain add-ons and ruach that are the same. I was struck by how German culture was able to permeate the movement and have such an effect on how things are run, because until then, I wasn’t aware that Australian culture had the same effect. I now feel as if I have a better understanding of the intricacies of my own movement.
I led the oldest year group, with chanichim ranging from 15-18 years old (one of my chanichim was actually older than me!). Not only did I run and participate in programs with just this shichva (year group), but also whole camp peulot. Even if I didn’t always understand what was going on in a program, I really enjoyed just watching how the chanichim were engaging, because you don’t need language to be able to tell if they’re enjoying themselves.
One of the other things which I really enjoyed was being able to experience Shabbat in a different snif. Many of the tunes were similar to the ones that we use in Australia, but they always ended differently which almost always through me off. It was so nice to see that even if we speak a different language and the culture in our countries is so different, we still retain many of the same customs and traditions (not the Jewish ones, but the youth movement ones!) I also helped plan the second Kabbalat Shabbat and Shacharit, with one of the other madrichim my age, Liza.
I made so many friends, madrichim and chanichim alike, and I really hope that I was able to contribute to Netzer Germany, even if it was something as simple as making a chanich/a’s camp experience just that little bit happier. I’ll definitely remember this as one of the happiest two weeks of my shnat, and there are so many things that I feel will help me in my journey as a bogeret once I return home from shnat.
Weekly update by Caroline and Adam M.
From IRAC's Newsletter
Last Thursday was the annual Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance. This year there were 22,000 participants, LGBT and straight, from all religious denominations and nationalities. I was involved in leading and organizing the Pride marches in Jerusalem for many years. I was proud to see Pride evolve into the most significant annual demonstration in Jerusalem for equality. This march left me with a feeling of hope. It is encouraging to see the Israeli public standing up to hate and violence, resisting and taking a stand for equality.
This year, IRAC and the Reform Movement had the honor of being invited to march in the first block as one of the groups leading the march. IRAC also organized the largest Reform contingency ever to march in Jerusalem Pride.
This is a testament to IRAC's work for LGBT rights over the years:
We represented the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, the non-profit providing support to the LGBT community in Jerusalem, in the early years of the Jerusalem Pride march when the police and the Jerusalem Municipality tried to silence the community and ban the annual Pride march.
We have represented the Jerusalem Open House in their fight for support from the Jerusalem Municipality. We won a precedent setting verdict in the Supreme Court that won them funding and recognition, and set the precedent that national and local governments must recognize and fund the LGBT community.
IRAC's Legal Aid Center for Olim won same-sex couples equal rights in Aliyah, granting an oleh's same-sex partner the same rights as a heterosexual couple under the Law of Return.
We represented lesbian dance techer, Nurit Melamed, against Rabbi Issar Klonski for libel and invasion of privacy, having posted signs all over her neighborhood "outing" her as a lesbian and calling her a danger to the public. We won an appeal on her behalf requiring the rabbie to issue a public apoligy and Nurit compensation for damages. This was a huge victory for Nurit, the LGBT community, and all Israelis who believe in the right to privacy and equality before the law.
We represented a lesbian couple who was harassed on a public bus by a passenger because of their sexual orientation, during which the driver refused to assist or protect them. After our complaint, the bus company investigated the driver and the issue will be covered in driver training.
We look for nothing more than recognition of the LGBT community as equal - as stated in the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the recognition of the Jerusalem Open House: "They seek nothing more than recognition... The history of relations between the sides shows the open hand of the LGBT community seeking support, time after time, being met by the clenched fist of the government. But 'even the fist was once an open palm with fingers' (Yehuda Amichai) and we can hope that the government will not clench its fist again, and both sides will be able to 'shake hands'."
Help support IRAC's work for equal rights for the LGBT community in Israel.
Rabbi Noa Sattath
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.
# When you feel proud of your shnattim
# When your shnattim (and ex-shnattim) have the time of their lives!
# When you have a volunteer on MDA Ambulance Services
# When you watch something far too many times
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