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ShnUpdate - Tzuf 27.05.21

Shalom everyone!

Finishing the first intense machon week of sessions on Thursday, we had Hadracha with Colin Bulka, where we looked at classic zionist youth movements (who were more hagshama- and community-centred) and early Jewish Youth Work (where it was more individualist and socially educating). We saw how Tnuot Noar (youth movements) have changed over time to be less radical in some senses, whilst more ideological and active in other ways. We continued with Hebrew Ulpan, art and philosophy sessions.

After a tiring and intense first week of sessions and settling in, on Friday we went out for ice cream and frozen yogurt before doing our weekly kabbalat shabbat service together, where we had a shishin from the Machon join us (and gave him a taste of the Netzer magic!).

Later that evening, we participated in the WUPJ closing ceremony of connections with Netzer representatives from around the world including (but not limited to) Germany, NIFTY (US), South Africa and Brazil.

We started Saturday by going to the local Reform synagogue, Kol HaNeshema, led by Rabbi Oded, which was absolutely amazing. It was made even more special as it was the first time many of us had been in an in-person service for over a year. We feel so grateful to have such a welcoming community here in Jerusalem that we can return to, and can’t wait to go to Nava Tehila next time. In the evening we went to Tachana Rishona (the First Station) where we got a variety of food, from burgers to falafel, and enjoyed the lit marquees and live music, a night full of pure joy and kvutzah closeness.

One of my favourite sessions (on Monday) was ‘Women in Judaism’ run by Sharona Halickman, a ‘rabbanit’. She spoke about Genesis and how she believes we can translate and interpret it as males and females were split equally, but we have interpreted it differently and made us unequal, but Judaism is moving back in the direction of equality and there is more recognition of the women in Judaism.

On Tuesday Mila (from Noam, Brazil) and I ran the first peer led session in our chavurah. It was on Lechi Lach and we spoke about interpretations of the parsha, relating it to day to day life, thinking about what it means to make your name great and then focused on looking into ourselves just as Lech Lecha can be translated and reflected. We had to finish by singing Debbi Friedman's Lechi Lach together, of course!

That afternoon we had tnua time with Orit where we met with Ittay Flescher. He works at the organisation Kids4Peace (youth movement where they work with Jewish and Palestinian children to strive for peace). Ittay spoke about the struggles and dangers for both the Jews and Palestinians in being part of the organisation. He also spoke to us about the conflict and occupation, particularly the Jewish privilege you have in Israel and if you are not actively working for justice of all it would be hard to live with contentment. This felt like exactly what we needed as it was from the angle of peace and working together with both peoples to connect and build trust which is what we know we want and it just felt right.

Later in our movement time, we had some bamba tasting including chalva, cookie and berry flavoured. We then had a special pride ma’amad led by Orit.

In the evening we went for pizza with a local rabbi and orthodox woman, Avigail, where we had some really interesting and open conversations about the differences between Orthodox and Progressive Judaism.

On Wednesday some of us went on an amazing hike in the Judean Desert, went in the natural spring, and saw truly incredible views. Others had a walking tour of art in Tel Aviv.

We are really feeling like we have settled into Machon and are so ready for the months to come.

You can find us on Instagram @shnattzuf @shnaliens

Shabbat Shalom,

Tali Ehrlich, LJY-Netzer


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