Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
We hope you are well.
No more Etgar, no more Machon, no Shnattim in Jerusalem and no more Northerners in our corridors… quite sad and empty here. And still, knowing that we have such amazing agents all over the world, and awesome Shnattim touring Israel (currently in the Sea of Galilee), is good enough!
Our Northerners started leaving on Thursday- Maya was the first to catch her flight and arrived safely home as the last hours together were spent in the Netzer flat; Daniel was second; all our RSY and LJYniks all left on Shabbat evening. And now we have only Sharon with us, who is organizing all things for her Aliyah!!! Can you find the similarities?
We will miss you and hope to hear from you soon!
With us we have our beloved Southern shnattim, who had a very intense week. After saying Lehitra'ot (see you) to the Northerners, they embarked on their journey to the North of Israel, doing Yam L'Yam, literally meaning- from the sea to the sea- hiking from the Mediterranean sea to the sea of Galilee. The mightyAdy Blum, our Etgar Director, joined them and survived! Due to the heat wave we had, some changes to the rout were made, and this morning they arrived safely to the Sea of Galilee, to start another adventure- Rafsodia- their task for the next couple of days is to build a raft, and to sail it tomorrow from one side of the sea to the other (you should know this is called a sea just because we are in Israel. In other places it would be called a lake, and in really huge courtiers…. A pool :P ) With them on Rafsodia is the amazing Lia Avisar, a Netzer Aus and Shnat Bogeret (graduate) who moved to Israel last year. We are so happy to have you with us! Below and attached you can find some photos!
On Friday the group will go to a seminar called "Kehila (community) Seminar". It is designed especially for them, speaking about the purpose of a Kehila, and how to be one, now that they are one group together for the rest of Shnat. If you are interested, the schedule is attached.
Sending Rach a lot of health, and looking forward to have her and Mikaela back with the group this coming weekend.
+ The Southern Corner
Posted on by maayanwords
these are the people who could have been our best friends an could have been our lovers and the people we want to hold our hands when they had left but they had left. relationships explored and half explored and left with potential and people come and go but so do feelings. and there were the people who taught you about other people but then there are those people who are special enough to teach you about yourself. and it’s pain to know that your people are scattered from under the Tower of Babel but it’s worse pain to know that we chose to be scattered from under the Tower of Babel. still our people are all over the world and now we know people can be found.
+ The Northern Corner
Unsurprisingly, I didn't get a weekly update from the Shnattim (although I did try!). This doesn't mean of course that we don't have anything to report. Here are a few photos and even a video of our shnattim returning home!
+ Israel Update
Last Thursday, Reform and Conservative leaders organized an egalitarian afternoon prayer service at the Western Wall's main plaza. Five hundred people from around the country came to participate. In the middle of the singing, dozens of ultra-Orthodox boys and men tried to interrupt the service. They screamed curses and insults, blew whistles, shoved, spat and threw bottles at the worshippers. Uniformed police officers were present, but did not intervene to stop the violence.
The scare tactics did not work. We didn’t run and hide, and we have no intention of doing so in the future. When the cause is just, persistence pays off.
We have the victories to prove it. Just yesterday, Jerusalem’s District Court issued a final order requiring Beit Shemesh’s mayor to remove so-called “modesty signs” from the city’s streets once and for all. The order was issued three years after our legal team first filed suit, and eighteen months after the municipality was ordered to pay damages to our clients for the humiliation these signs caused them.
Six months ago, the government voted and adopted the recommendation to establish a permanent egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel. It hasn’t happened yet, and until it does, we won’t let up. Join us in this struggle. Sign our petition demanding that Prime Minister Netanyahu honor his commitment for “all Jews to feel at home at the Western Wall.”
Your voice matters. Speak up.
Six months after agreeing to create a permanent, egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stil has not lived up to his commitments. Take a minute to sign our petition and to demand that he implement the Western Wall compromise now.
Today Is World Refugee Day. What Are Jews Doing About It? Jonah Dov Pesner: June 20, 2016
World Refugee Day is on June 20, and marks a particularly important time for us to reflect on the work being done in response to the ongoing global refugee crisis. In the Jewish community, and the broader faith and secular communities in the United States and Canada, we have an opportunity to renew our commitment to welcoming and providing a safe haven for refugees.
For many of us, seeing the tragic photo of young Aylan Kurdi, lying lifeless on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea last September, was a powerful moment, demanding that we pay attention to the human impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. Since 2011 when anti-governmental protests led to civil war in Syria, children like Aylan and their families have suffered the daily horror of violence and struggled to escape to safety.
The Reform Jewish Movement has joined other faith, refugee and humanitarian groups to advocate for a robust response to this crisis, including calling for increased refugee resettlement in the United States and humanitarian aid for refugees abroad. Yet the crisis continues. The United States has committed to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of fiscal year 2016, but eight months into the fiscal year, the United States has resettled fewer than 3,000 Syrian refugees.
As a Jewish community, we have known throughout our history what it means to be a refugee. Just recently in observing Shavuot, we read of the challenging, inspiring journey of our ancestors, Ruth and Naomi, who fled famine and struggled to find — and ultimately found — acceptance. Let us not forget, King David was the descendant of migrants. Each of us has a responsibility to ensure refugees are welcomed across our communities. It is not enough to just allow refugees to enter our country; we must go beyond and open the doors to our communities with warmth and compassion.
In times of tragedy, we cannot let fear cloud our values. We must speak out against hateful rhetoric that demonizes the other. The recent rise in anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiment, heard in the voices of public figures openly expressing a desire to ban refugees, goes against the foundational principles of American society. Such vitriol creates a hostile environment for newly arrived refugees and Muslim-Americans who are integral members of our communities across the United States. That is why we take special pride in the many Reform congregations that are engaged in Muslim-Jewish dialogues.
We are proud as well of our congregations whose actions reinforce their words and reflect their values. Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA, is just one of the Reform Jewish synagogues that are opening their doors to Muslim and Syrian refugees as part of the Refugees Welcome Campaign. At the beginning of June, the congregation hosted a dinner with over 200 participants from the synagogue and local mosque, and six recently-resettled families from Syria. Similarly, Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, CT, is partnering with other houses of worship to help resettle a refugee family, expected to arrive this month.
I am inspired by the words of our Torah that command, “The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:34). My Grandma Fannie came here 100 years ago as an immigrant, fleeing ghettos and anti-Semitism in Europe. As I reflect on her story, the challenges that she faced and the opportunities she had in seeking a safe haven in the United States, I cannot stand idly by and watch others face similar challenges today, yet be denied a chance to start a new life in safety and in freedom.
Jews and Muslims, refugees and immigrants, we are all the children of Abraham, and we must stand up together to call out Islamophobia and bigotry in America and to actively welcome refugees of all religious backgrounds.
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner is the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
+ 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
Ruach on Yam L'Yam -
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
Lior and the Netzer staff
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