The word 'נצר - Netzer' is an acronym for "נוער ציוני רפורמי - Noar Tzioni Reformi" - Progressive, Zionist, Youth.
These are the foundations of Netzer's Ideology: Progressive Judaism, Reform Zionism, and Youth engagement
WHAT DO WE DO?
As well as teaching values such as Progressive Judaism and Reform Zionism, Netzer provides a way to actively participate in them, thereby creating a link between ideology and everyday life.
Netzer participants (chanichim) benefit from learning through experiencing a diverse range of activities such as summer and winter camps, weekly meetings, celebrations for Jewish festivals, Israeli cultural events, social functions, Shabbat services and active social action activities.
Through all aspects of education, chanichim (participants) are encouraged to question and evaluate the information presented to them.
Netzer’s educational program is designed towards a comprehensive knowledge of Judaism, Jewish History, Israel’s history and culture, and Zionism.
Our approach to Reform Judaism encourages the use of Jewish sources, in order to make informed decisions concerning our Jewish practice and identity.
Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), a key value that stems from our Jewish practice, encompasses the Jewish value of repairing your surroundings in every way possible.
We teach this not just through study but through active participation in social action and environmental projects.
This includes Tikkun Atzmi (repairing yourself), and Netzer includes wider education for personal and social development in our activities.
Because we are Jews, we are Progressive Jews
In order to ensure that Jewish ritual and practice has engaged the Jewish People on a dynamic level, Judaism over the centuries has constantly interpreted and reinterpreted our texts and lessons in response to the various contexts in which it was practiced.
In seeking to take responsibility for and ownership over our Jewish practice, and as a natural continuation of this tradition, we proudly identify as Progressive Jews.
We view the Jewish People as:
A united people, nation and religion.
A society that values an unconditional respect and tolerance for all people as created ‘b’tzelem elohim’ - ‘in the image of God” - as essential to fulfilment.
Being morally bound by Jewish texts and tradition to act in the spirit of Jewish values as an “or l’goyim” - “light unto the nations”.
We act upon this by:
Advocating for, and striving towards, the living of an intentionally Progressive Jewish lifestyle, through constant education and informed decision-making regarding our Judaism, together with conscious action taken as a result.
Because we are Progressive Jews, we are Reform Zionists
Netzer believes that Reform Zionism is the logical extension of Progressive Judaism. This means that we believe in a religious form of Zionism, based on the principles of Progressive Judaism, that sees Israel as the ultimate destination for living a fulfilled Jewish life.
Chaverim (members) of Netzer should seriously consider moving to Israel as a step in the process of repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), and all Aliyah should be Aliyah Nimschechet (Aliyah to Israel followed by active work to improve Israel and the world).
We view Israel as:
Not necessarily defined by biblical boundaries, but should uphold its original purpose as a refuge of peace and safety for Am Yisrael, and as the spiritual, cultural and religious centre of Jewish life.
The nationalistic expression of Judaism, and therefore a state with an obligation to act in accordance with our Progressive Jewish values, such as justice, tolerance and peace.
A land where one should live an intentional Progressive Jewish life, within a communal framework.
We do this by:
Advocating for the full civil, human and religious rights of all Israeli citizens.
Supporting the pursuit of Progressive Jewish values and interests within Israeli society.
Encouraging movement chaverim to spend significant time in Israel.
Educating our chaverim on the importance of Aliyah Nimschechet to the actualisation of Netzer's Ideology.
Some of Netzer’s principles are:
Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)
A strong relationship between the Diaspora and Israel
Aliyah Nimshechet (Aliyah to Israel followed by active work to improve Israel and the world)
Tzedaka (Charity) and Tzedek Chevrati (Social Justice)
The centrality of the state of Israel in Jewish life
Equality, especially in Jewish life
The importance of dignity for all human beings
Tolerance and respect for one another
Care for the environment
Having a strong ideology gives participants in the movement common goals to work towards and the ability to accomplish feats on a larger scale. The ideology also serves as an example for all of how to live a good Progressive, Jewish, Zionist Life.
+ Why is Netzer vegetarian?
In 2008, Netzer leaders and senior participants voted for Netzer to become vegetarian on all camps and activities. We believe that a vegetarian diet is an act of tikkun olam, repairing our world, and will lead to the betterment of the environment and the human race. For more information – here’s a document!
+ When was Netzer created?
Netzer was the brainchild of a group of keen young leaders who noticed that the Progressive community of Australia did not have a youth movement. With the help of the community leaders as well as Arik and Tal Hatzor (the first shlichim), Netzer ran its first camp in 1979 and is still running camps and activities today.
+ Is there Netzer in Canberra, Brisbane or Tasmania?
There are no Netzer branches in QLD or Tasmania, although, from time to time, Netzer runs Shabbatonim (Shabbat sleepovers) for the youth in these communities.