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ShnUpdate - Tzuf 08.07.21

שלום חברים,

It is crazy to think that it is now July and time is just flying each week. Our time on Machon has definitely become weirder, more fun and more awkward since the last update.

The past weekend was filled with relaxation and travelling as half of the group visited Lotan (herein referred to as ‘home’), Ghaim was at a family wedding party and the rest stayed in the Kirya. Evie, Tali, Josh and Lily visited home and had an amazing time by the pool and living in one of the mud huts there. Elisheva, Em and Julian stayed on campus for some much needed me-time and it was worth it. Then, before the beginning of the new week, Ghaim returned from his excursions and it is safe to say everyone was happy to see him!

The new week saw the beginning of Israel Kayom – a week of day trips to discover different aspects of social entrepreneurship. On Sunday, we spent the day in the Old City of Jerusalem – in other words, it was time to get religious. With Josh Koonin as our tour guide (and of course with one of our favourite people on Machon, Suzy), we explored and learned about the Temple Mount as well as the Muslim and Armenian quarters of the Old City.

With Josh again on Monday, we went to the Shomron region in the West Bank to learn about various conflicts in Israeli society. From learning more about settlement politics and speaking with the locals in an Arab and Israeli village, we realised that most residents just want peace between everyone in the land. On our last stop of that day, we visited a Samaritan village and we had a really interesting time understanding the links between Samaritans and Jews.

Our next day was spent in Tel Aviv where we visited the Bialik Rogozin campus, Beit HaGalgalim and the Rabin Museum. The campus is a school for children of asylum seekers and foreign workers in Israel and Beit HaGalgalim is a facility for those with physical disabilities. The day broadened our perspectives on how we can affect social change later in our lives, but we were disastrously tired by the end of the day so naps on the bus ride back definitely happened. Ghaim and Josh left separately though as they were going to Ghaim’s cousin’s wedding, at which they had a whale of a time.

Finally, we get to our day at Mount Hertzl. It was an emotional time learning about all the fallen soldiers and in which time periods they fell, however, it was important for our ever-increasing knowledge about Israel. Later, we had the honour of being invited to the Jewish Agency building to see off the then chairman – Buji Herzog – who is the new president of the country as you are reading this now. It was quite something to be involved in that.

Until the next ShnUpdate!

Julian Rael Gordon, Netzer South Africa


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