Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,

We hope you are well.

On our last week's update I mentioned the switch between Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzma'ut. While I was writing the update it was still Yom Hazikaron- the mode wasquiet and sad, the music on the radio was mellow, the thoughts were mixed. A few hours later, a huge celebration took place all over the country. Our shnattim were privileged to go out to the streets of Jerusalem and celebrate with thousands of people. Some photos are attached, as well as amazing video at the end of the Etgar weekly update! The next day, the group organizsed their own vegi- BBQ (/ Braii/ Barbi/ Al- Ha'Esh), as traditional in Israel every Yom Ha'atzma'ut. As people tend to describe all the Jewish Holidays- "They tried to kill us and didn't succeed, so lets eat!". That is of course true on Independence Day as well, and in light of how the days are set in the Israeli calendar- it is even more felt.   

This week we were trying to get back to routine- a really hard to impossible task, given Etgar was on their Northern hike, and that the countdown till the end of this period of the year is now very present, with three weeks to go till Etgar and Machon are coming to an end. Add to that a bush fire that bursted close to the Etgar group while hiking, and the new coalition in the Israeli government, and you get yet another super interesting week here in Israel.

We do our very best to speak about the end of Etgar and Machon and prepare the shnattim to that point. One thing that is going to be amazing is that we plan to have a full long weekend together as Shnat Ma'ayan. This will take place on Shavu'ot, and will allow our shnattim to share some quality time together before the Northerners will head to their Sikkum Seminar in Kibbutz Lotan, while our Southerners get a week off, to gather energy before the hectic month ahead of them J Another project planned is a Shnat Netzer Ma'ayan CD recording which is due at the end of this month! We have a lot to look forward to!!

+ Etgar

Weekly update by Tommy and Daniel -
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+ Machon

Weekly update by Tamara

A week in places An amphitheater in Latrun for the Masa Yom Hazikaron Ceremony, Tuesday evening. A half hour journey that took two. A car park full of tanks and guns and handsome male soldiers. Sad violins, moaning cellos, a vision of royal blue shadows and smoke. Military instructions, calm and slow, commanded us to sit to attention, and watch, listen, watch, listen, to the show. We were silent for fifteen minutes instead of one, just to be sure. Piled up platitudes, heartrending harmonies. It’s about Their Legacy. It’s about What They Left Behind. It’s about Their Kind Smile and Their Sense of Humour. It’s about Their Passion for The Land. It’s about how he never really belonged in Philadelphia, His Heart was Always In Israel. It’s about the yeshivah program established in his name, the charity set up for her cause. Their Legacy was to Inspire You to Love Israel in the Same Way. Maybe Masa is continuing the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Maybe if this is the only way to do it, its better than the alternative. Maybe.

Har Hertzl, Wednesday morning An uphill climb past jammed cars and busses. Cramming onto ramps and stairs and ridges and stone and metal. So much green, shade just out of reach – so much stone. Crumbling, ancient Jerusalem stone framing graves that are so new. Bodies crammed against the railing, white t-shirts scrunched against rough kaki uniforms, sweaty arms folded in, shoulders touching, eyes looking outward. On my right, three yeshivah boys in kippot, in front of me, three men with guns, to my left, a modern orthodox Australian, a socialist Mexican, a cynical, secular South African; in the distance, three soldiers at the grave of their friend. The siren sounded and Israel paused; I have never felt air so thick and full with thoughts and emotions and dreams and nightmares.

I was very grateful to be on Har Hertzl on Israel’s Day of Remembrance, but in the back of my mind, I knew I was literally taking up the space meant for members of this nation. Regardless of my investment in the State of Israel as a Jewish nation, the bottom line is that I am not Israeli, I am not part of the society. My minute’s silence is muffled and grey and obtuse, a cloud. Theirs is piercing and painful like direct sunlight.

Machane Yehuda, Wednesday night We danced to pop songs in the centre of the market boulevard, dark and breezy and lonely and happy. And in those moments I felt like I was truly celebrating Israel’s Independence, in the street, in Jerusalem, with strangers and new friends.

Gaza border, Yom Yisrael – Tuesday A day of contradictions. We disembarked the bus and strolled like tourists to view Gaza city on the horizon. It was Emerald City – vivid green and dry yellow fields of wheat caressed a mirage of tall black poles, below messy, grey skyline. We sat in an idyllic park to listen to Yotam speaking, accompanied by a symphony of gunshots from a nearby military base. We went to Yotam’s mother’s house, a beautiful, tranquil house in a leafy moshav and ate garlic hummus whilst she explained that there is a Gaza tunnel on either side of her property. We then travelled to Sderot, (‘boulevards’), also known as the ‘bomb shelter capital of the world’. After hearing about the astronomical rates of PTSD, stress disorders and trauma, Panni and I went to the shuk to experience a lively and bustling community, where a woman buying nectarines next to me made my day with her friendliness and warmth. We were given a talk by a musician who explained how Sderot has been compared to Liverpool in the 60’s as a rich melting pot of creativity and music. A week of music, of hills and markets. So similar, so different, all parts of a mindboggling whole.


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+ Israel Update

68 things I love about Israel- Yom Ha'atzma'ut column/ Benji Lovitt

A colleague of mine, the great Benji Lovitt, who is a great educator and a comedian, writes a yearly column on which he writes things he loves about Israel. Every year the list is as long as the age of the State of Israel. The amazing thing is that every year it is new things!!! Couldn't recommend this more!!!-

And we must mention the latest hottest news around in Israel's politics starting today - The main question is, will it bring about a change, and to which direction??

+ International

**Help us with this campaign!
Summer Machane in Barcelona**

Netzer Barcelona is a Tnua, a jewish young movement where our children learn about judaism, traditions, culture and they also have the chance to meet young jewish from all the world through our Machanot, the summer camps.

It means a lot to us because we are the youth group of a small community, but we want to create something big! That’s why we need your help, because we want you to be part of this big project!
The summer camp is the most important moment of the year, where we have the possiblity to create a unique atmosphere of education and learning, experimenting and living an awesome jewish experience, and you can be a part of it!

Living in Barcelona and being jew is quite difficult. Little by little the new generation of kids are slowly starting to forget our past, our background and our traditions. The Machane is the perfect opportunity to make a difference, to create a change, to let kids experience their jewish identity and to grow as a community, as a family.

The Impact
By supporting us you’ll help children from 6 to 17 years old to afford going to the Machane and learn their culture, have fun in a jewish context and grow up as part of the jewish people. Thus, they will continue this movement and will teach future Chanichim (the kids) new things that they are learning now, because we want future generations to engage with the jewish people as we do now.

As we are a very little movement, we are used to work with what we already have. Imagine the impact you will have just by helping us! Even if it is just by spreading this message you are empowering the jewish future in Barcelona, motivating future leaders to strengthen jewish communities and making an incredible summer memory on little kids! (What else can you ask for? ;) )

What Will You Do with the Money?
Our Machane (camp) is not expensive, but there are many families that can’t pay the full price, and not just families. A couple of years ago, the Madrichim (councilors) started to pay the Machane in order to reduce the price for the families and be able to make the summer camp without getting losses. The Tzevet of Madrichim (group of instructors) work 24 hours of each day of the Machane to achieve all the goals that we have, but if we can’t afford it, then we will never reach all our purposes. So we want you to join us and help us help the children and the Madrichim so they can go to our Machane.

And this!-

+ 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-

+ Shabbat Treat

New amzing thing by our lovely Rosh Hinuch Orit Shoshani- over 90 photos of Netzer groups and individuals from the past 37 years were loaded to our Facebook page. Find yourself and your friends, and tag it! If you are not yet following our FB page, please do so J (link in pink below).

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom, 

Lior and the Netzer staff




* You receive the weekly update directly from Netzer Olami, as we hope to have more direct and open communication with all our partners in this program*

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