Dear parents, shnattim and friend- Pessach Same'ach,
We hope you are well.
Our shnattim are doing well and enjoying their break, which started last Thursday evening. That Thursday, the Etgarniks came back from a surprise- overnight in the desert, Massadah and the Dead Sea, and the Machoniks returned from their Southern Tiyul (trip), joining the Etgarniks in Beit- Shmuel. Along the years we always made sure that any shnatti that doesn't have family in Israel will be invited to a host family from the Progressive community. However, this year we were told that a communal Sedder is taking place in the Etgar flat! The vast majority of the shnattim took part in this lovely Sedder, followed by peer- led fun. Well done Shnat Ma'ayan- we are proud of you!
הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד
The next few days of Chofesh were dedicated to fun' fun and rest. Some of the shnattim spent time with relatives, went to Tel- Aviv, met family members they never knew existed…. but regardless of where they were or what they did, on Tuesday morning 95% of our shnattim boarded a bus they ordered, and travelled to a Festival in the desert (southern Israel) called "Zorba". Their adventures there are still a mystery, but just give us a couple of days…. J On their way there they were in high spirit, and we wish them all it gets higher and higher J Below you can read more of their adventures-
+ Weekly update by Olivia Tate and Sammy Rose
Chofesh started for the machonikim finishing southern tiyul and going to either Tel Aviv or back to Jerusalem from Be'er Sheva. For those of us that went back to Jerusalem, we had 3 hours of either relaxing or manic packing at Kiryat Moriah before we had to leave. From Kiryat Moriah we went to Beit Shmu'el and either stayed in the flat or a hostel room. Our first night all together we all had pizzur (money given to participants to by their own meal), so we all went off into Ben Yehuda for dinner.
Friday was spent getting ready for Seder. Everyone broken off into groups in preparation, with people working on the Haggadah, Kabbalat Shabbat service, Kef peula after dinner, cleaning and decorating the flat, and of course getting ready for dinner. At 4.30 Barney and Charlie ran a Kabbalat Shabbat service for us and we had the pleasure of being joined by Ella J-K's mum. Then at 9, Mikaela and Noa lead us through their Haggadah. Through this we acted out the story of Moses' life, looked at the story of Pesach through a modern perspective, had anyone that was the youngest in their family to stand up as a group and sing the Ma-Nishtanah, and mostly yelled 'Dayenu' at each other. Most of the meal was vegan and turned out very well.
Once the Seder finished at midnight Sam, Tommy and Barney ran a Kef peula where they put us in 3 groups and ran competitive games for each plague in the Pesach story. The main event taken from this was when they got to lice, each group had to get as much body hair as possible into a bowl, causing Jordon to loose most of his hair and myself to get a slightly high and crooked undercut.
As the next day was Shabbat we all went to the park and got to chill together, we stayed there until the spiders became too much and we left. We mostly relaxed as we were limited of what we could do, so we finished the evening having a movie night of a bunch of us watching Pride, and the British explaining to the Australian's what the Miner's Strike was. On Sunday most of us ended up in Tel Aviv, as some people were staying there and some of us wanted to go for a day trip. When we got there we all went to the Yaffo and went to the Shuk, from there we made our way to the beach where we met up with everyone, and made some of the Sydney-siders, and Perth-ian, think of home as we all got to go swimming in some nice fresh salty water. We finished the trip with Ben W taking up to a vegan ice cream place then walking to the central bus station. Once we were back in Jerusalem and leaving the central bus station we saw the light rail and started running which ended in Daniel getting tripped and falling.
On Monday all the Zorba people were getting ready to go, and were packing or buying their food for the rest of Chofesh. Tuesday morning most of the people left for Zorba and there were 4 of us left in the flat. That day Ayanda went and saw her brother, Maya chilled in the flat and Sammy and I went and had lunch with Lior. Wednesday we turned into a chill day and after doing nothing all day we decided to all go out to dinner together.
So far we have all been loving Chofesh and it has been well needed but we also can't wait to get back to our daily lives on Machon and Etgar.
Etgar on the Dead Sea, sharing their master piece- https://youtu.be/QoSzXP_n3so
And a few photos from the event-
On the top of Massadah, overlooking the Dead Sea: Image 1
Descending Massadah: Image 2
At the Dead Sea, trying to keep their eyes open, after some splashing in the water…: Image 3
+ Israel Update
Why Are Israelis Lashing Out at Reform Jews? Because We’ve Reached the Tipping Point!
Malcolm Gladwell had it right: “There comes a time when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science who wrote of similar tendencies in his classic “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” would have called this the moment of “paradigm change.” Whichever author’s construction you prefer, we are now witnessing this moment with Reform Judaism in Israel...
Click here to read more
+ The Southern Corner
ANZAC Day memorial service took place this week, and was commemorated all over the world, including in Jerusalem. Three of our shanttim were there on behalf of Netzer, and stated that it was a nice ceremony, though not as dramatic as it is back home.
Here is part of a letter we received from the director of the Israeli office of the ZFA- "I wish to thank you personally on behalf of the leadership of the ZFA for representing your programs at the ANZAC Day ceremony yesterday in Jerusalem. The fact that you chose to make the journey from your Pesach hofesh speaks greatly of you and your programs. By attending the ceremony yesterday that received full page coverage in today's Jerusalem Post (page 7) you not only brought honor to yourselves and the program but also to the Australian Jewish community. The ZFA has received a number of thank you letters from officials in the the Australian Embassy which all expressed their admiration for your attendance and participation in the event. […] Apart from the Jerusalem Post there was also a write up (with quotes from some of you) in the Jwire report (http://www.jwire.com.au/anzac-day-jerusalem-4/)".
Celebrating 90 and Building Bridges towards 120 at the EUPJ Biennial in London
As the trumpets blared from the upper balcony of the Guildhall in London, and everyone took their seats excitedly, the European Union for Progressive Judaism(EUPJ) officially opened their 2016 biennial conference, “Building Bridges.” Flags of the nine founding member countries of the WUPJ 90 years ago waved across the stage by lay leaders from around the world and the tone for the evening – of our global Progressive family coming together to share a collective vision for the future - was set. As speeches, workshops, plenaries and services brought participants together throughout the four-day conference, it was the Friday night gala dinner that stood out for its moving content.
In celebration of 90 years since the founding of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) in London in 1926, Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander presented a timeline of our growth and achievements, including key milestones that expanded our Progressive Jewish family. The presentation also featured video clips from individuals reflecting program areas and achievements of the WUPJ over the past decades, including leadership seminars, rabbinic training, founding of new communities, Netzer youth programs and more. The presentation culminated in a surprise montage honoring Rabbi Joel Oseran’s 30 years of dedication and distinguished service to the World Union. For nearly three decades – a significant third of the World Union’s history – Rabbi Oseran has been at the forefront of growing new communities and training congregational and rabbinic leadership on behalf of the WUPJ.
Honoring Rabbi Joel Oseran’s 30 years of dedication
and service to the World Union
From left: Miriam Kramer, EUPJ Chairman; Leslie Bergman, outgoing EUPJ
President; Rabbi Joel Oseran, WUPJ Vice President of International
Development; Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, WUPJ President;
and Carole Sterling, WUPJ Chair
+ The Weekly Portion
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- http://wupj.org.il/Publications/Newsletter.asp?ContentID=1081
Wishing you all Chag Same'ach and Shabbat Shalom,
Lior and the Netzer staff
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