Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
We hope you are well.
A good week is coming to an end, in which we were busy and doing meaningful things, the heat wasn't too bad, and some blessed routine was here for a bit. We also welcomed Max and Rach back home in Tel- Aviv, after completing Machaneh Chavaya, about which I told you last week. Hopefully they will write us the next update, so we can hear more.
Our offices at Beit- Shmuel feel split between the low of the shnattim-free corridors, the absence of Ady who is doing his reserve duty, and Orit who is in Netzer UK Mega- Chalutz camp; and between the high of getting Israel tour groups who visit us and come down to the Netzer shrine to buy merch…. Quite crazy. The best side of it is to have our shnattim over to lead these tours for an hour or so- so great to see them in front of groups, enthusiastic and telling them why they should come on Shnat in two year.
Following my last update, the shnattim had a really interesting time joining the Jerusalem Pride Parade, which was the biggest ever in Jerusalem! Thank you Ezequiel for sending me this great photo! Always great seeing our Olim in the right places!
+ The Southern Corner
Weekly update by Sarah Sadique
Welcoming home Rach, Max and our friends from home
Everyone working hard at volunteering
Eating communal meals including: sushi, rice paper rolls and curry
Kvutsah programs being run for us and by us, to build our intentional community
Finding cool places in Jaffa, Florentine and Tel Aviv, the night life here is incredible
On and off the swings, up and down the slide, making sure they survive, the daily life of a volunteer
Understanding Talmud, to teach us about love and social justice
Running a maamad about love, making everyone feel appreciated
Under the shelter of the roof we spend time laughing, parting and having a good time
People working at the pool helping the kids have fun in the water
Dealing with the heat, always coming home sticky, our only refuge is beside our fans
Arabic and Hebrew, we are learning the languages of the land
Taking the dogs out, waking them around in circles, trying to give them exercise
Eating our meals together, helping us grow together
+ Israel Update
Two Strokes Forward, One Stroke Back
As a young Israeli swimming champion I used to compete in freestyle, back stroke, and individual medley. I owned nine bathing suits, one for each race. Changing from one suit to another was about more than moving from wet to dry. It was a way to forget the previous race. Even when losses outnumber wins, a new suit brings new hope for winning.
Today I want us all to step out of a wet bathing suit because together we must face a setback. Ultra-Orthodox members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition this week closed the doors of Israel's public ritual baths to Reform and Conservative converts. It is a stinging defeat not only because the law is in defiance of a recent Supreme Court ruling, but also because this is the first time a law has codified discrimination against Conservative and Reform Jews.
The new law will take effect in nine months. During this waiting period, the government is obligated to construct four new public ritual baths specifically for use by Conservative and Reform converts. If this happens we will move on to the next battle. If not, we will go back to court and do what it takes to make sure that our converts receive the same rights and publicly-funded access to ritual spaces as all other converts in Israel.
Make no mistake. We will prevail. A hopeful sign came last week when we received a judgment in the case of our client Dina, the Jewish bride I wrote to you about in April. The judge awarded Dina $18,000 in damages after she was not allowed to immerse in a ritual bath because she is a Reform Jew.
Take some advice from this swimmer: Change bathing suits, take a deep breath, and when you hear the whistle, dive back in. I’ll meet you on the medal podium.
+ Shabbat Treat
The cutest video we had in while sent us from the Netzer Mega- Chalutz in the UK, where we have many ex-shnattim, one Nancye (Shnat Souht), and one Orit (Rosh Chinuch)- Thank you Orit! You are amazing!!!
+ 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-
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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