Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav.
We hope you are well.
Our shnattim moved to Tel- Aviv last Friday, after very intense few weeks. They are doing well and had a really lovely Shabbat, led by Noa, Mikaela and Kiara, who did an excellent job on planning and executing the Shabbat Beyachad (together). Here is a short glimpse into their Kabbalat Shabbat. -https://www.facebook.com/ben.wyatt.7169?fref=ts
This week started with orientation into the Tikkun period, which will end in mid- August. The shnattim are very excited about starting volunteering and were exposed this week to the different volunteering placements, who all sound very challenging and meaningful and include: volunteering with little kids of migrant workers and refugees; volunteering with school kids; volunteering at an animal shelter; volunteering with disabled people; volunteering in enrichment classes for kids. Each shnatti is expected to have a volunteering placement 4 mornings a week, and another placement 2 afternoons. On Sunday we will have an educational day, as well a night activity every Wednesday. The rest is in the hands of the talented shnattim.
Wishing us all the most meaningful experience in Tel- Aviv.
+ The Southern Corner
Weekly update by Bec Szabo- https://youtu.be/2QYI3OMP6Tc
This is my “Three weeks later” letter, which is also the first in the series “And so it continues…” So be prepared to get a lot of these.
It’s been a few weeks since the end of Etgar and I now finally have the time and the state of mind to process. I guess the first word that comes to mind is “WOW”!! I mean, we actually did it, didn’t we?
I’d just like to say thank you to all of you for helping Ady and I make this new model happen, and for blossoming to your full potential as a kvutza with the limited time given, with a lot of hard work and creativity from your side. I could not be more proud. The individual journey you’ve each begun, as well as the projects you built together and have in hand to pass on, are beyond what I ever imagined could happen on Etgar.
Etgar Ma’ayan is living proof to me, that all the crazy things I believe in really can come true. Thank you for that unbelievable feeling that will forever be a reminder to me, to always strive to be better wherever life may take me. And, thank you for your partnership, scattered around the world, that I know I can rely on to live out the reform Zionist dream of working towards an Olam Metukan.
I think the rest of my thoughts were summed up in the letter I gave you on the last day. Please know that I meant every word…
Continuing forward - Ady and I have already started planning next year’s Etgar and… (Dramatic sound!) We even had a meeting about stages B and C. It’s only the very beginning, but who knows what may happen in the future – I’m really excited!
Brexit? I guess it’s time to talk a little more about politics. Amazing to hear that some of you have decided to register to the labor party.
Here in Israel - I’m proud to report that I have witnessed Southern Ma’ayan discussing socialism and how they’ll implement it into their kvutza life in a way that will potentially take Ma’ayan and Netzer to the next level. Also, Moko is working on an internet ma’amad tank (that’s a terrible name to describe it, I’m sure she’s thought of something much cooler) and Sharon is working hard on her Hebrew and pushing through (physically and mentally) shocking Israeli bureaucracy. And (!!) She just had a meeting with Dani Freelander about the Netzer Foundation and with some work, it’s going to happen! Contact Sharon to see how you can help. Good stuff happening all around.
We’d love for you to check in and tell us about any cool ideas you’ve had for bina, camp, life etc.
I hope those of you who are going, enjoy summer launch, and that the Californian/English/Chofesh sun is being good to you all. Sharon doesn’t get a “sun shout out” because she stole a bag of merch from the office this week – Maybe next time, Patritzia.
Miss you all immensely; it’s too quiet around here.
All the Netzer love,
+ Israel Update
June Opinion Piece By Dr. Ron Weiser
Game of Thrones (GoT) is looking more and more like a straightforward yarn compared to the changing alliances inside Israeli politics. And some of those who considered Lieberman’s re-entry to government a potential disaster just a few weeks ago, now GoT like look to him as the potential fixer. Prime Minister Netanyahu faces increasingly strident criticism from an ever growing number of some of the most senior people and leaders in Israel and especially from those who served under or with him at the highest levels. Till now, whatever the situation, the people of Israel have continually stuck with Netanyahu. And even if the main reason for many was simply that there is no-one else with his stature and experience, that itself is good reason enough.
It is clear however, that the search for an alternate leader, and the public calls for this swelling from even within traditional Likud quarters, are increasingly ominous for his leadership long term. The general public’s impatience comes in two policy areas. On the matter of Israel and the neighbourhood, it is not so much what Netanyahu is or is not doing and not too many who can convincingly offer something else given the intransigence of the Palestinian leadership. It is not even Netanyahu himself. It is more the perception that the government he has formed will not allow him to take the steps he might want to in order to respond to the ever increasingly interesting steps and pronouncements emanating from president El Sisi in Egypt and the Saudis. And the second area is the inability to deal with the many internal social and status issues that his coalition, to emphasise again not so much Netanyahu himself, is not built to deal with. And in neither policy area is the entry of Lieberman seen as the stumbling block. On the contrary. I am surprised that so many so called experts say they in turn are surprised by Lieberman.
A good example is a column by J.J. Goldberg writing in the Forward on June the 13th. . He writes: "It could turn out to be the biggest surprise of the year in Middle East diplomacy: Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s blustering, ultra-nationalist new defense minister, just might be the key to reviving the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process… Lieberman’s significance lies in the fact that despite his fearsome reputation as an anti-Arab provocateur and bigot, he’s not opposed in principle to Israel yielding significant parts of the West Bank and allowing a Palestinian state.”
None of the above should really surprise anyone. Lieberman is not ideological about land, only about demography – about the size of the Jewish majority required to keep Israel a Jewish State. And for that he has always been about relinquishing territory. One thing you can say about Lieberman is that he is consistent, at least when he is in government. Goldberg agrees: “Lieberman, is almost frighteningly consistent. He does what he says he will, for good or ill.” That’s an unusual trait in a politician. Most would say it is a good one.
The other thing is that Lieberman is also a believer in the separation of religion and state, reforming the Chief Rabbinate to deal with matters of conversion and personal status as well as an advocate of electoral reform. Many of his positions therefore on both the external and internal questions resonate with the general public. And he will be a force for progress on these two fronts from inside government, but a spoiler from outside.
Dr Ron Weiser AM
The Zionist Federation of Australia Public Affairs Chairman and the Hon Life President of the Zionist Council of NSW
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, dies at 87
- Reuters, Posted on Jul. 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm
Holocaust survivor, activist and writer Elie Wiesel, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for becoming the life-long voice of millions of Holocaust victims, has died, Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem said on Saturday.
Wiesel, a philosopher, speaker, playwright and professor who also campaigned for the tyrannized and forgotten around the world, was 87.
The Romanian-born Wiesel lived by the credo expressed in "Night," his landmark story of the Holocaust - "to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time."
[Quotes from Elie Wiesel]
In awarding the Peace Prize in 1986, the Nobel Committee praised Wiesel as a "messenger to mankind" and "one of the most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world."
Wiesel did not waver in his campaign never to let the world forget the Holocaust horror. While at the White House in 1985 to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, he even rebuked U.S. President Ronald Reagan for planning to lay a wreath at a German cemetery where some of Hitler's notorious Waffen SS troops were buried.
"Don't go to Bitburg," Wiesel said. "That place is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the SS."
[Excerpts from works of Elie Wiesel]
Wiesel became close to U.S. President Barack Obama but the friendship did not deter him from criticizing U.S. policy on Israel. He spoke out in favor of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and pushed the United States and other world powers to take a harder stance against Iran over its nuclear program. Wiesel attended the joint session of the U.S. Congress in 2015 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the dangers of Iran's program.
Wiesel and his foundation both were victims of the wide-ranging Ponzi scheme run by New York financier Bernie Madoff, with Wiesel and his wife losing their life's savings and the foundation losing $15.2 million. "'Psychopath' - it's too nice a word for him," he said of Madoff in 2009.
Wiesel was a hollow-eyed 16-year-old when he emerged from the newly liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. He had been orphaned by the Nazis and their identification number, A-7713, was tattooed on his arm as a physical manifestation of his broken faith and the nightmares that would haunt him throughout his life.
Wiesel and his family had first been taken by the Nazis from the village of Sighetu Marmatiei in the Transylvania region of Romania to Auschwitz, where his mother and one of his sisters died.Wiesel and his father, Shlomo, ended up in Buchenwald, where Shlomo died. In "Night" Wieselwrote of his shame at lying silently in his bunk while his father was beaten nearby.
After the war Wiesel made his way to France, studied at the Sorbonne and by 19 had become a journalist. He pondered suicide and never wrote of or discussed his Holocaust experience until 10 years after the war as a part of a vow to himself. He was 27 years old in 1955 when "Night" was published in Yiddish, and Wiesel would later rewrite it for a world audience.
"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed ...," Wiesel wrote. "Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live."
Asked by an interviewer in 2000 why he did not go insane, Wiesel said, "To this day that is a mystery to me."
By 2008, the New York Times said "Night" had sold an estimated 10 million copies, including 3 million after talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey made it a spotlight selection for her book club in 2006.
In 1985 Wiesel helped break ground in Washington for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the following year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In typical fashion, he dedicated the prize to all those who survived the Nazi horror, calling them "an example to humankind how not to succumb to despair."
Wiesel, who became a U.S. citizen in 1963, was slight in stature but a compelling figure when he spoke. With a chiseled profile, burning eyes and a shock of gray hair, he could silence a crowd by merely standing up.
He was often described as somber. An old friend, Chicago professor Irving Abrahamson, once said of him: "I've never seen Elie give a belly laugh. He'll chuckle, he'll smile, there'll be a twinkle in his eye. But never a laugh from within."
A few years after winning the peace prize, he established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, which, in addition to Israeli and Jewish causes, campaigned for Miskito Indians in Nicaragua, Cambodian refugees, victims of South African apartheid and of famine and genocide in Africa.
Wiesel wrote more than 50 books - novels, non-fiction, memoirs and many with a Holocaust theme - and held a long-running professorship at Boston University. In one of his later books, "Open Heart," he used his 2011 quintuple-bypass surgery as impetus for reflection on his life.
"I have already been the beneficiary of so many miracles, which I know I owe to my ancestors," he wrote. "All I have achieved has been and continues to be dedicated to their murdered dreams - and hopes."
He collected scores of awards and honors, including an honorary knighthood in Britain. Obama presented him the National Humanities Medal in 2009.
Wiesel was attacked in a San Francisco hotel in 2007 by a 22-year-old Holocaust denier, but not injured.
Wiesel and wife Marion married in 1969 and their son, Elisha, was born in 1972.
+ 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!
We were asked today for some promotional videos about Shnat. Check out what I found on my computer today!!- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYDEjEqyg0k&feature=youtu.be . So nostalgic and great seeing our ex-shnattim, some of which made Aliyah, some are studying to be Rabbis, some have been in key young leadership positions and still are. So proud to see this!
Also- check out the article posted in the WUPJ newsletter about us! - http://www.wupj.org/Publications/Newsletter.asp?ContentID=1098#NETZER
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
Lior and the Netzer staff
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