Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
We hope you are well.
This week is our second one in Tel-Aviv, and our shnattim started going regularly to their new volunteering placements, volunteer with refugee kids, education for excellence, The Bialik- Rogozin school in south Tel- Aviv (http://www.strangersnomoremovie.com), working with people with disabilities or going to an animal shelter. For the next month, each of them will be expected to go on daily basis to one of these placements during the morning, and another one for the afternoon. Each had a chance to see the different placements and decide which ones are best suited to their interests and abilities.
Volunteering can give a huge sense of achievement and contribution if done right, and that is why we support the shnattim with their volunteering process, and as part of it, we meet every Sunday to speak about service - relating issues, such as social inequality, social justice, love and more.
Another option we give our shnattim is firsthand experience in leading on our camps, where they can gain leadership and Hadracha tools. This week, 3 of our participants- Max, Rachel and Ella, started volunteering on Machaneh Chavayah- the Israeli Reform movement' summer camp. They started with a few days of orientation, and on Wednesday, the kids will start coming to have their best camp ever! Next week we have Nancye who will be going to lead on RSY- Netzer camp (UK) and Bec who is going to lead in Netzer Germany- we will send you their updates as well of course!
We want to take this opportunity to wish Sarah S. Refu'a Shlema, tell Mia we miss her and wish Kiara the best of luck in her new path! We love you all dearly.
Next Thursday, the 21st of July, the Jerusalem Pride Parade will take place at 17:00 . The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) will be there, and would love you to join. We see this is a moral obligation to be therein light of the events happened last year on the parade. Please contact Yehudit from IRAC for more details - Yehudit@irac.org.
+ The Southern Corner
Weekly update by Nancye and Noa
A day in the life of a Binanick
7:20: Wake up, already sticky with sweat. Drink a liter of water. Rush downstairs and catch the bus to volunteering, whipping away the sweat as you run.
8.30: Arrive at volunteering and prepare yourself for a difficult yet rewarding day.
8:35: Be greeted by an excited sea of small children coming from the regions of south Tel Aviv and Yaffo.
8:36: Feel overwhelmed by the cuteness of these children.
8:37-12:30: Decide to take the children to the park around the corner, bring out a ten meter rope which the children must hold onto while we take them through the streets to the park. Be extremely carful while crossing the road, looking out for the naughty ones not holding on to the rope. Arrive at the park and the children run with delight and play. As we see them climb the ladder to the slide we see the amount of potential that these children have and feel fortunate to have been involved in this experience, helping them enjoy early childhood. It is our responsibility at the park to rub the boo-boos and make sure everyone gets an equal go at the play equipment. These children come from quite low socio-economic backgrounds and have been quite neglected, so much so that they call us, complete strangers, ‘Ima’ (mommy) and refuse to share our company between them, making it a really overwhelming experience. As we leave the park we see the older children grabbing the hands of the younger children, looking out for their safety, and feel a great sense of pride in them.
12:31: Attempt to peel the children off our bodies as we leave and say goodbye.
13:00: Arrive back to the mechina and collapse in the air-conditioned moadon (communal area)
15:30: Party on down to the beach! (an approximate 12 minute and 30 second walk)
19:00: Communal dinner in the moadon, filled with engaging discussions and stories of our day
21:30: Enjoy a peer-lead communal activity, could be anything from a ma'amad to communal kef
23:30: Turn your fan on the highest level and with our stomachs full crawl into bed for a good nights rest, and get ready to do it all over again!
+ Israel Update
Update by Ady Blum (Etgar Director)
Ady, our beloved Etgar director, is currently in the reserve army, doing a three week service. This is what he sent this morning:
In the last two days I've been spending (or perhaps I should say investing) hours of deep conversations with my army roommates. One of them is a hardcore religious settler; another one came out from the Haredi community and today is very secular; the third one is a guy from a periphery town who grew up in the religious Zionist movement. However, as this movement focused on the settlement enterprise it neglected the periphery, and the Haredi rabbis filled their place is his world. The last guy made Aliya as a teenager from Russia by himself. We had serious talks about Religion, peace, war and the settlements, obeying orders that contradict the Torah, privatization of education, you name it...
This is the best manifestation of the IDF as the "people's army". I would never get the chance in any other place to meet these fellows and having the time to actually discuss our core beliefs and dispute. And the fact we are all here, attending for duty and stopped our personal life routine, created a strong sense of basic common ground of caring for Israel. This untangled lots of prejudice and suspicion and enabled us to talk further in to everybody's hearts.
While we were working on tanks' engines we talked about Israel's future. This is defiantly a very rewarding experience.
Ady, we miss you and hope to have you back with us soon!
+ Israel Update
Send PM Netanyahu a Boost of Courage
Six months ago, after years of intense negotiations with Jewish leaders from Israel and abroad, the Prime Minister reached an historic compromise to create a permanent egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel. More than half a year later, he has not implemented the deal.
Yesterday, six organizations, representing three million Jews worldwide, handed a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu demanding he live up to his promise: "As Prime Minister of Israel, I will always ensure that all Jews can feel at home in Israel- Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, Orthodox Jews – all Jews."
We told him "We appreciate the commitment you expressed to implementing the Kotel agreement, yet we expect you to close the gap between your statements and the actions of your government. We look forward to the day when headlines feature not hateful, demeaning stories of ultra-Orthodox intransigence but rather how PM Netanyahu courageously led the Israeli government to affirm the multiple ways Jews express their Jewish commitment at our people’s holiest site. In doing so, you will have affirmed the State of Israel’s respect for all world Jewry and its diversity. Read the full text of the letter here
We voiced our grievances in the letter, mincing no words, and backed up our words with action. If the government does not shape up and honor its commitments in the weeks to come, we will go to the Supreme Court again to demand our due. In the meantime, we have organized egalitarian prayers at the upper Kotel plaza, and will continue to do so, as is our right, despite efforts to stop us.
You can help. Send Prime Minister Netanyahu an email and share with him the courage of your convictions. The voice of Diaspora Jewry matters. Prime Minister Netanyahu cares what you think about Israel. Join our campaign today.
Export some courage to PM Netanyahu
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. Send an email to the Prime Minister and demand that he honor his pledge to make Israel a place that is welcoming for all Jews.
Check this super cool RSY-Netzer day resource!- https://sway.com/H9KYJWTy2rMBO9Uv
+ 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://www.wupj.org/Publications/Newsletter.asp?ContentID=1104
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
Lior and the Netzer staff
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