Tuesday, 31 July 2012
I am back after a brief trip to United States and I will be seeing the shnatties next week at the Chavaya camp, on Monday young kids who came from our sniffim form USA and England for a summer tour in Israel will be stoping by the camp and the shnatties will spend the day with them leading different activities and talking about their experiences on Shnat.
Lily and Josh are currently in England they have gone to lead on the summer camp of our RSY sniff and I am sure they will come back with many anecdotes to tell.
I wish to share something with you that I found rather amusing, I have mentioned my son in past weekly reports, he is today one year and half, one of his little friends has a toy tractor that comes with different farm animals (a horse, a lamb, a roster, etc) that when you place them correctly in their place they make their sound respectively.
We decided that we also wanted to buy this toy for him and started looking in different toy stores for it, here is the bit I found amusing, here in Israel they have replaced the pig fro a hippopotamus but they did not change the sound, what I mean is that when you place the hippopotamus in the correct place it says oink oink.
The pig was replaced because it is not kosher, I ask my self how confused are Israeli kids going to be growing up thinking that hippos are tame animals that grow up in farms and go oink oink.
I am not trying to make a political statement but I do ask my self if we are not allowed to teach are kids that pigs exist just because it is not kosher? This reminded me that during the outbreak of the swine flu, the Israeli Health Minister wanted to call it the Mexican flu just so that we didn’t have to unkosher our mouths by saying the word swine. Ironically the archeological digs find that in Israel they use to it wild hogs.
I want to wish you all a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom,
Weekly Report By Liz H.
This week we got to (finally) see our lovely Lily (if only for a day) before she was on her way to England joining Josh to lead on RSY Netzer's Summer Camp. Our air conditioning, while keeping our flat cool, has been leaking and causing many issues for us over the past few days. It should be fixed over the weekend and we look forward to going home to a dry floor. We are all very excited for the return of Jade and Shoshana who we will get to see next week on Chavayah Camp for our Netzer/Noar Telem Fest! Kitty has changed volunteering places and is now helping prepare for the Karmiel Dance Festival in August. Otherwise everything is the same as always.
Talk to you same time next week!
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
It seems as though there are a good few things that people will do to get free tickets to oppie koppie. This is a music festival that I've always wanted to go to, ever since I heard Stewart talking about it way back in the ninth grade on the corner of Greenside High. Back when we were cool kids, Yo. I've had plans to go for so long, but everytime something comes up. This year im in Israel, last year my Boyfriend wouldn't let me go with a bunch of friends and him not be there, the year before I was probably in the middle of exams and the year before that I was on Israel tour making promises with Joshua to go to Splashy Fen. Ah such is life. But next year I will go! Mark my words!
Monday, 23 July 2012
- Rooibos Tea.
- More Rooibos...
- Minni Marie Biscuits.
- A Ma'amad Booklet.
- Benching Sheets.
- Top Deck and Dairy Milk Milk Chocolate.
- More Rooibos...
- Millie Pap! :D
Groggily I got off the bus in a city I haven't actually had much chance to explore. It was hot, but there was a slightly cooler breeze in the air, We caught another bus to Yafo Street where we met Gal and he walked us the the Hashomer Hatzaier house.
Up four flights of stairs and we were on the second to top floor of their building. Their living situatiopn is slightly odd, so one tries not to spend too much time thinking about how they do it. They all sleep in one room down the hall way from their other flat where they have a balcony, a few couches and a kitchen.
The nights plans were to go to ultrasound, the biggest club in Israel. I ended up not going, but rather hanging out in their apartment with a few other losers who don't like partying.
The balcony was warm even though it had been a good few hours since the sun had gone down. We all squeezed into the small balcony that, if you caught it at the right angle you could see a little bit of the view. There was an incesent drip from the leaking air conditioner. I sat on the chair on the right hand side with the Aussies on the couch. We sat there for a while, discussions flowing easily, as though they were smoke through a pipe, between the people that would come and go, the swing of the door a frequent occurrence, becoming a familiar movement among us. A flurry of words t6hat sounded as though they were one word instead of a few sentences kept us on our toes.
- Jacob broke a table
- Jacob threw a cash register off the first floor of Ultrasound
- Some girl ended up at the hospital
- Jordan stole Liz's box of cigarettes
- Bin probably hooked up with someone
- Jordan and Nitzan nearly got into a flight
The Mom of the Office:
Every time I go there she offers me coffee or tea and makes sure that Im super comfortable and that I feel welcome. She has short, thin, dirty blond hair and works in an office just off the main hall.
Fire-y Red Hair:
She's my favorite person to ask things. She sits at the front desk in the main hall and is almost always on the phone to someone. She wears sunglasses and paints her nails when the phone isn't ringing.
The Nerdy Girl:
She only says hello and goodbye to me, but today I heard her repatedly use the word "Stuiot". I guess they think I can't understand as much as I can...
Imbal the Queen:
A girl, her dark brown hair pulled back into a high pony tail with a libra tattoo on her back greeted me with about 8 boxes of crisp white envelopes. She is bubbly and cheery and I feel as though if I could understand what she was saying, or if either one of us could speak more of the others language we would get along swimmingly. Sometimes when I catch glimpses of her and can kindof understand mannerisms and not words, I can see that she's just a little bit like me.
The Israeli Spielberg:
She is tall. She has short dark hair, curling just under her chin. She wears a gold braclet on her right arm. She wore a bright orange/peach shirt that popped into a million different kinds of bright against her dark, tanned skin. She was just released from the army, and used to be a part of the education unit making movies to promote the IDF and how one should behave whilst one donnes the uniform. She told me about her passion and love for movies and how she will soon move to Tel Aviv to start her career, having already got her degree. Sha talked a lot.
The weekly hi
So this week we're going to star with a poem dedicated to our lovely Lily:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You're still gone
And we miss you.
This week the flat was still alone and empty without Lily who is in South Africa and Jade and Shoshana who are leading on the Israeli version of Netzer, Noar Telem, and sadly will not return for at least another week. Everyone has settled into their volunteering positions with people at the places actually recognizing our shnatties as they walk in each morning. How about we go through the list of volunteering that people do?
Jordy: The Karmiel day camps in the morning and Kef le Aviv in the afternoon which is an opportunity for mentally or physically disabled people to experience fun activities with the others and their families and to take part in learning peulot and art classes.
Sophie: Kef le Aviv in the afternoons and Beit Gil in the mornings where she helps disabled people with their jobs so their income increases.
Kitty: The Agricultural Farm where she helps take care of a farmer's crops and plants so they can be used for education.
Liz: At the Nursery every day for the longest hours, helping to look after the babies of Karmi'el.
Josh: Was at the Karmi'el day camps and volunteering with his host family by helping out their son who is disabled. Now though, he is off toEngland to lead with Lily on RSY Netzer camp.
This week we made sure to have the entire bowl full of avocados considering how many we ate last week (six in 2 days). We made sure to keep busy when we weren't at volunteering by either having a Harry Potter Marathon (only actually finishing the first one... You know it is), and visiting our fellow shnatties in Habbonim Dror who live five ten minute walk from us.
Raya, our neighbor from downstairs and ex head of education from netzer came and talked to us about the individual and the group and where we fit in, through peulot and discussion. We have actually had quite a few guests coming to our flat this week such as Renee and Jodi from Betar, Annie from Habbo, Michelle from Hashy and Alex Lips from Hineni (house guest of the month).
Tenmost special guest this week though would have to be two past shnatties who know how do it best, Josh van Beine and Shmuely Slater!!! We've had lots of fun and reminiscing with them and wish them all the luck with their future travels and life in general since Netzer is unfortunately not their life anymore.
Soooooo anywaaaaayyy ... that was what we did this week. It was nice to catch up... (:
Friday, 20 July 2012
- These plants could be shot glasses
- They are like are mini swimming pools for insects.
- This is such a great life skill, watering plants.
- That's a weed. How did it get so big? Wait, is that the plant?
- "Call me maybe..."
- I could write songs.
- Get ma swag on.
More happy than anything in the whole world.
The couch is blue and uncomfortable. The room is small and crowded, filled to breaking point with sweaty teenagers smoking and rolling blunts on the coffee table. My mind is blurred with heat and exhaustion. Smoke curls in the air as people breath in and out, a ritual that has become all too familiar.
Click and be happy:
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
'to hurl, fling or hurtle'
Assemblage is a non-profit organisation which intends for the visual arts community of Johannesburg to connect, to share ideas, information and advice and to collaborate. It provides an inclusive forum where visual art students, graduates and professionals can network. Assemblage encourages production, participation, professionalism and the sharing of resources, knowledge and skills. Through an informative website, peer mentoring groups, workshops, group exhibitions, artist studios and other collaborative projects, it hopes to contribute and promote artistic innovation, collaboration and a proactive vibrancy within Johannesburg.
Make Art Happen is an Assemblage initiative which aims to support the visual arts community of Johannesburg by raising funds for visual arts projects through crowd funding.
Assemblage can be visited at the Newtown Artist Run Centre and Studios.
Saturday, 14 July 2012
The precarious trip up to the roof is one that we've made quite a few times since arriving in karmiel. We've all become experts at avoiding the several potted plants and the bicycles at the foot of the ladder and have mastered the art of passing hubbly's, candles, guitars and many more things that would make the roof a lovely place for a chilled Shabbat Service or a jam session between friends, up and down again. What we haven't managed to do yet, is not walk into the pipe that blocks the path from the ladder to the area we sit in.
That night Liz and I made our way up to the roof for a Shabbat Service and a few glasses of wine.
Saturday 7 July
Lily and Gal were back from Haifa, so the day was filled with guitars and a surprise visit from Rina. She invited us down to her sisters apartment and we joined them for a Havdallah in their living room. Rina played the ukulele while I shook some shakers and we all sang and said the blessings over wine, spices and the candles, wishing each other a good week.
Wake Up 6:50
Volunteer 8:00 to 12:30
Watch How I Met You Mother 13:00 to 19:00
Play Guitar 19:30 to 21:00
Dinner 21:00 to 22:00
Play more Guitar 22:00 to 23:30
Watch mor How I met Your Mother 23:30 to 00:00
Seeing as I'm no longer going to England I have to "Get Settled" as it were.
Last night I went through my second awkward Host Family Experience where I found myself sitting in a super fancy living room, of my new host family, pretending to read the newspaper. I sat there for a few minutes being hopelessly lost before the littlest of the four siblings, Sicha, came and sat next to me.
She has long dark hair pulled back into a high pony tail and for an eleven year old she speaks amazingly good English. She was basically the only person that I spoke to the entire night. She does Ball Room dancing and likes to read and watch movies. She gave me a tour of the house and then we sat on the rickity old swing set, outside.We were waiting for the other 90 people that were expected to arrive at the extravagant Birthday Party/Dinner of their Grand Father to arrive.
After a while her older sister, who is around my age, arrived and showed me to the buffet table where I helped myself to a few salads and sat at the kiddies table, still not speaking to anyone.
It wasn't too bad, just uncomfortable and i wanted nothing more than to be at home in the flat having a party with Lips, Jade, Liz and Sophie.
Welcome to Jade's Drunk Karmi'el Flat!
Saturday 14 July
The house was trashed this morning.
Today was a day for productivity! I cleaned the kitchen with jade, doing all the dishes until I cut my hand rather badly on a broken mug and cleaned the floors. There is no longer a pile of rando stuff in the corner and you can walk around with out stepping over peoples random stuff.
The rest of the afternoon I spent drawing the new Karmile merch and eating avocados.
Walking down the road in the busy streets of Tel Aviv I got quite a few stares with my Star Spangled Banner high waisted shorts. They were odd and out of the ordinary. It was hot. I got off the train at the central station and made my way down to the bus stop where I knew I had to catch the number 16 shirut to take me to Ben Yehudah Street. In the shirut I sat in the front seat ont he left hand side and stared out the window, wondering what the outcome of today would be. I couldn't help the small bubble of excitement, forming in the pit of my stomach. There was a lot of traffic that day and the sound of cars hooting and bus drivers yelling at each other through open windows was deafening. I tried to relax but I couldn't. I reached my stop and quickly made my way through the front door, up to the sixth floor and through the metal detectors with no hassles. I sat down in the all too familiar, grey chair, in the chilly Visa office that seemed too big for its purpose and looked through the clear glass that separated the thin woman from myself.
"I suppose you know your visa has been denied"
I shook my head. Shock. A little part of my soul died.
The rest of the day is a numb blur of my dreams being crushed in front of me, a spicy Bus Station Falafel and a bar of Cow Chocolate on the train ride home.
I stared through the dirty window of the train at the landscapes speeding past as if they were only a figment of my imagination. I listened intently to the words that the Ethiopian lady was saying to her friend who was sat across from her. They tumbled out of her mouth like a whisper, a song without a melody. Her skin was smooth and the fading light hit it at just the right angle making it shine as though she was the sun and the light from inside her was illuminating the world around her.
The train rolled to a halt and she left.
Two large busses filled with 16 year old Americans.
Two Israelie Madrichim who looked as though they hated every minte of their days.
One American Princess who I suppose was trying to lead this group but failing.
A British Guy who knew about as much as we did when it came to the real point of: Why are we here.
and Four Shnatties who just wanted to go home.
That guy who carried around the American Flag all day.
That girl who wanted to play Super Star
The fruit man.
A peulah about the importance of the IDF.
A tour of an Army Base, complete with a Q&A session.
A trip to an Army Memorial, with no explanation of what it was comemorating.
Lunch where there was only carbohydrates.
River Rafting where it seemed like the whole point was to tip each others boats over.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
The small house on the seventh floor has been awfully quiet for the past two weeks, but has come alive once again in the lasty few dfays as Shoshanna, Jade and Jordy have returned full of stories from Chavaya Camp with Noar Telem. They spent the afternoon animatedly telling us stories of the kids they lead and the exciting things they got up to whilst being Madrichot on their camps. From kids who make funny faces to the odd antics and customs of a new camp they entertained us for hours and had us rolling, and clutching our sides with laughter at the thought of Jordy and Jade repeatedly beating eachother with sticks. (All in good fun though!)
It seems as though Josh hasn't had a break from volunteering. He gets up earlier than anyone else and is out of the house by six thirty every morning, and only comes home at around seven from his soccer coaching. During the day he's working with the kids in the Day Camps and spends a load of time with his host family and Shai.
Sophie has been rather under the weather lately, but still somehow manages to spoil us all with Banana Muffins and all kinds of cakes and dinners (and even sometimes lunch). She's learnt a few new songs on the guitar and has started knitting a scarf (odd seeing as its boiling hot outside...) Shes also managed to watch about four seasons of Gossip Girl, The Big Bang Theory and has now moved onto Greek.
Liz has also taken ill with a bout of Conjunctiveitis and so hasn't been to see those cute babies for a little while. She has been hanging out in the flat with Sophie and keeps us entertained with her singing and hilarious phone calls and sometimes the odd story about kids at the Gan who just seem to drool all day long.
Lily has gone back to South Africa for a while, we've recieved some odd pictures of her via Facebook, all part of our 'Odd Body Parts Picures Project' to keep the community vibe going from across the world. (Lily, if you're reading this, wich I'm sure you are, we're all eagerly awaiting your weekly report from wintertime and that picture!)
As for Me, I've been in my pajamas since Jade and Jordy left and I found out I wasn't going to England due to visa complications. I've built up a pile of dirty dishes and mugs at the bottom of my bed and have watched about three seasons of How I Met Your Mother (The good news is we know that Barney and Robin get back together, but we still don't know who Ted falls inlove with...) I've started a new blog (kathrynwhat.wordpress.com) and have learn't how to play the guitar <Watch This Space> I've even been to the Day Camps to see if they need me there, but alas, back to the farm for me and my Green House wich I'm sure needs watering and weeding!
The community is in utter turmoil as there are no avocadoes left and there is verry little else to make food with in the refridgerator, Tomorrow we shop! (Sophie just informend me that we have rice)
So thats all folks!
Love and regards from all your children, I'm sure they love and miss you all,but I can't ask them as its about 11:30 and they're all in bed (Except Sopie, she's knitting a way and misses Mum and Dad very much and for the ones out partying with Habonnim Dror just down the road... and by partying I mean hanging out in the living rroom discussing ideology... no really... this is Shnat we're talking about...)
Saturday, 7 July 2012
Allow me to introduce myself
My name is Dana Bar - Zuri and I’m the head of “Etgar” program as well as responsible for the educational aspect of a whole “Shnat” year
Since Michael is in the United States and will return at the end of the month. He asked me to send you the weekly report
So Yalla, let's start.
This week in Israel was full of news but what is new about that.
The one big news that affect me the most was :
At the beginning of the week It was announce, the passing of Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's 7th Prime Minister (1983-1984 and 1986-1992), former Speaker of the Knesset and former Foreign Minister. PM Shamir was laid to rest Monday evening, July 2 at Mount Herzl's Helkat Gedolei Ha'Uma
"Yitzhak Shamir was a brave warrior for Israel, before and after its inception. He was a great patriot and his enormous contribution will be forever etched in our chronicles," President Shimon Peres said in a statement.
As for our shnatties,
This week has been quite exciting for the Netzerniks. We have been hard at work at our volunteering, Kitty still at the farm, Josh and Lily helping out with the medium sized kids at the various Karmiel camps, Liz with the tiny kids at the nursery and me surrounded by Argentinian Shnatties at Bet Gil. Our defectors include Jade, Jordy and Shoshana, but we forgive them for going on to greener pastures and leading at the Noar Tellem machane chavaya, the Israeli snif of Netzer.
Amidst all this, we had an evening of bonding with the Karmielites that will be joining the RSY and LJY Israel tours very soon, with an intense kefucation peula explaining the Netzer ideology in very simple and slow English. Similarly, we have been joining the Israeltour from Pittsburg in their discovery of the north of Israel including kayaks, hikes and strong American accents.
Though we have been good Shnatties, learning and living the Netzer ideology as can only be done through ice cream and cake, lots of guitar and cleaning up dishes. And between planning merch, getting excited for layla lavan; the white night, we are preparing to farewell are lovely Lily for her galavanting off to South Africa and then to England, bon voyage!
And for this week, thats about all. Until next time, i hope all our families back home are happy and healthy.
Xoxo shnat teva
שבת שלום לכולכם
Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shnatties. Shalom Rav,
Here in Israel there has been some interesting news updates,
It seems that there will be a Jewish Award, something like the Nobel Prize but for the Jewish world, the "Genesis Awards" the winners will receive $1000000 for their achievements.
The Jewish Agency announced that they will stop funding academic tuition for New Immigrants. The Student Authority (Minhal Le Studentim Olim) is a department from the Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency, it was created a bit over 40 years ago and they give academic tuition to New Immigrants as well as providing them with madrichim that help them out during their studies it is because of this department that thousands of New Immigrant students can actually take time to study, have a career and better their options in the Israeli society.
As for our shnatties,
Yesterday I visited our dear shnatties in Karmiel, it was great to see how they have turned the flat into a home.
I went to the different volunteering places and paid them a visit, some of the shnatties feel that what they are doing is not enough for the community and have taken it up to themselves to program some activities for the kids at the Reform synagogue and they also want to plan a project for their time in Karmiel, I still don’t have the details but we support this positive way of thinking and we will try to help out any way we can to move this forward.
Next week Josh will start leading on the Summer day camps that will take place in Karmiel, Shosh, Jade and Jordy will be leading on the chavaya camps (Noar Telem's summer camps) and Lily and Kathryn are getting ready for England where they will lead on the RSY camps.
I have attached pictures from my visit to Karmiel, you can find more pictures on our Facebook group.
I want to wish you all a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom,
Weekly Report By: Kathryn H.
This Week on Shnays of Our Lives:
"Like sands through the hourglass so are the days of our Shnat"
Shoshanna has just returned from a whirlwind adventure in Turkey with her Father. Along her travels she visited many a historical sight, archaeological museums and returned with a renewed spurt of Feminist values. She told stories of the museums and the historical emphasis on male charecters within the myths. She recounted her adventures inbetween treating all the flatmates to stuffed eggplant ans rice.
Sophie spent the weekend in Tel Aviv stirring up new friendships and rekindleing old ones on the beach with her friends. Kathryn and Lily spent the weekend travelling from one city to the next, seeing friends from South Africa and sleeping on various peoples couches before heading off to the British Embassy to reapply for tehir British Visas. They later met up with Jade and Jordy who had been franticaly writing Ma'amadim for their Chavaya Camp in a few weeks. This all included Avocados, Tea and an excessive amount of Ice Cream on the floor of Jades Mom's house. A guest appearence from Dan Rattan.
Josh spent the weekend with his Uncle seeing historical sights around the country. He excitedly tells the rest of his house mates about the interesting conversations with his Uncle and a few new friends on the beach.
Liz visited family friends in Ranana, for a well deserved rest after the intensity of Etgar and Machon.
Several of the charecters have now succumbed to a grave illness and have taken to their beds.
Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shnatties. Shalom Rav,
What a week filled with mixed emotions, Etgar and Machon ended last Thursday, that same day we all got on a bus and headed north to Haifa and Karmiel, on the way we stopped in Caesarea for a farewell activity, in Haifa, the northerners got off the bus to begin their sikkum seminar while the southerners continued to Karmiel for their Options period.
I am attaching a link to a lip dub that our etgarnicks did, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK0aJr4hrZA, I really recommend to see it I am also attaching a link to an Etgar slide show that they made for the Etgar sikkum evening,
My dear southerners, you are embarking in to the next period of your journey, here you start putting into practice all the skills and knowledge that you learned in Etgar and Machon, you will form your own Karmiel community, you will get involved with the Reform Community in Karmiel, you will volunteer in different projects to help this world become a better place.
My dear northerners, many things happened during this year, Gilad Shalit came home, Israel had its first ever formula 1 race, one Israeli president, Moshe Kazav, was sent to jail and one Israeli president, Shimon Peres, was awarded the Medal of Freedom by president Obama, a cyber war took place, for the first time an Ethiopian Ole became ambassador for Israel, not only did it snow in Jerusalem it also snowed in Africa this year.
But the most important event that happened this year was your event; you're story, your journey, as an individual and as a group. It has been amazing seeing how much you have grown and how much you have matured over the past year.
My dear shnatties, Shnat might have come to an end but now it’s a new beginning, now you begin the life after Shnat, I and the Netzer staff want to wish you all good luck with your university studies, we hope that you all find a way to stay in contact especially now a days that it is much easier to keep long distance relationships,
With in the next couple of days I will be posting pictures on our facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/netzer.olami/
We will miss you
"It’s weird… you know the end of something great is coming, but you want to hold on, just for one more second…just so it can hurt a little more".
Michael and the Netzer staff
Weekly report by the Northerners (the last weekly report)
So here we are. It's finally the end and it's all very sad. We weren't quite sure how to put what we were feeling into writing, so we decided to put together a short video for you all. I hope it gives you an idea of how shnat was overall for us all, what we're up to this very minute, and how we're feeling about coming home.
Love to every single one of you. It really has been a pleasure.
Here is your link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol9PtZBNJXE
If it doesn't work, just type 'shnat 5772' into youtube and it should come up.
SHNAT TEVA FOREVER!
Abby and Tara (and Naomi R who kindly edited the video for us)
Weekly report by the Southerners
Dear Northerners (and other less important people)
Do I even need to tell you how much we miss you!! SO MUCH!! I can hardly believe that you're all reading this sitting in your houses on the other side of the world (or in Dan's case the other side of the country.) It still kind of feels like you've just gone to Poland or a Keshet seminar and we'll be seeing you next week.
It's now Tuesday and Karmiel is beginning to become our home, we've had our first 2 visitors, Talia Meltzer and Gal and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the habo kvutzah. Our lives are finally beginning to function again. That's more than I can say for our flat. In the 6 days we've lived here we've somehow managed to break the shower, the washing machine, the hot plate, the air conditioner, the fridge, the freezer and Shoshana's bed (Shoshana, if you're reading this we're are really really sorry. Notthatwe've been hanging out your bed or anything...)
Apart from our intense distress at your sudden departure and rushed goodbye (that bus thing was about the most traumatic experience of our young lives) not much gas happened to us since you've been gone. We cried all the way from Haifa to Karmiel, stopped briefly to meet Galit only to begin again upon discovering that our first meal in our new home was in fact at Jake's sushi place (for the record, the reality lived up to the legend.) One good thing did come from all the crying, we were all dead asleep by 8:00 that night.
The next day began an intense weekend of decorating (Pictures of the flat are attached as per Naomi's request.) We even politely declined a Barmitzvah invitation in favor of making a crafty spider web for Josh and Shana's wall where the 8 of us are the spiders and 'the minor characters of shnat' feature in the middle as the flies.
We started volunteering on Sunday and after a bit of shuffling we're all very happy. Liz is volunteering with the babies at the local nursery and while it's a long day she is loving it. Lily is working at the Soup Kitchen full time and Sophie and Jordy are working there alternate days . On alternate days Jordy and Sophie are also volunteering with Jade at a new option we requested, the senior citizens centre, we basically do art with the elderly all day, it's so perfect. Kitty, Josh and Shana are working at the agricultural farm with Motie, a farmer who speaks only Hebrew maintaining the crops of the local school children who cannot tend and harvest them during the summer vacation. Hopefully we'll start our afternoon volunteering once we get back from chofesh.
On a more personalised note, here is one little thing that has happened to us all this week:
Sophie has rediscovered the joys of cooking. She has already made 4 dinners 2 cakes and a horribly failed attempt at cookies (she forgot the butter)
Jordy has found herself a boyfriend at our volunteering place. He's about 87 years old and rather than speaking one language fluently, he speaks a combination of Hebrew, Spanish, English and French. He winks at her rather frequently and kisses her hand after every game of dominoes. What a gentleman.
Josh finished volunteering early this week to go see his uncle in Tel Aviv who is visiting from England.
Shana's dad arrived and took us all out for a lovely dinner (thank's Jim! I hope our Zionistic crises and talk of rebellion didn't scare you too much.) They have now taken a trip to Turkey together over chofesh.
Jade used the stove by herself for the first time ever, she made eggs, they weren't as good as Lily's but they also didn't kill anyone so she counts it as a success.
Liz won the handstand competition at the pool. It was a short lived victory however as very soon after we were almost kicked out for not wearing hat's in the pool (what normal person wears a hat in the pool...?)
Lily against all odds bought and managed to keep a baby pool in the laundry/kitchen of the flat. It is her most prized possession.
Kathryn had a particularly traumatic experience with Motie on her first day at the agricultural farm involving a cup of tea, a staff meeting, and the ruining of a staff-member's birthday.
So that was our week. We're still sad and we still miss you but are slowly realizing we have no choice but to move on with our lives.
Your other half: the Southern shnatties
Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shnatties. Shalom Rav,
What an intense week this has been, it was the last week of intense studying in Etgar and Machon and by the end of next week the northerners will be going to Sikkum Seminar and the southerners to Karmiel for their options period.
This week we also said goodbye to Rebecca Winchell, who left early to lead on camp in USA, we wish a lot of luck and we will miss you.
I myself just got back from England where I was well received by our RSY and LJY sniffim, I went to interview 16 potential shnatties that will be coming this next October on Shnat.
In the Netzer office we are getting ready for the Sikkum Seminar which will be starting on Thursday next week and will finish on Monday June 18th, the last day of Northern Shnat.
In Karmiel, Galit (our madricha) and Miri (our Hebrew teacher) are getting ready to receive our Southerners. Galit is preparing an orientation weekend to get our lovely shnatties settled in the lovely city of Karmiel.
In England, RSY is getting ready to receive Lily and Kathryn who will be helping them lead on camp.
That is it for now; I wish you all a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom.
Weekly Report By Josh L. (Etgar)
This week has been themed to the Etgar Apprentice. The teams were divided and challenges set with the winner to be announced Wednesday night. The challenges were cleaning, a gangashluff (gameshow) program and a dress up themed night of plants vs. zombies.
The week started as normal with Hebrew class where we a starting to wrap up the course, and as we wouldn’t have really imagined at the beginning, Kita alef (beginner class) is doing most of it b’ivrit (in Hebrew). The day then went into the first Etgar apprentice challenge and finished on Tanach where we learned about how hard it is to be a prophet preaching to people who don’t want to listen through shouting the prophet Jeremiah’s words to the general public.
Sprite Day (formerly Monday) consisted of an all-day class with our Jewish History Teacher Mark Lazar. As this was our last class with him, our sikkum (summary) was to take the lead from him, and, in groups run peulot (programs) for each other on site as he has done throughout the course. The day started at Beit Shmuel with Dan R, Rebekkah and Josh doing a Ma’amad (creative prayer service) focussing on the sites you can see from our rooftop. That was followed by Tara, Kitty and Jake doing a Ma’amad/ peula in the old city overlooking the Kotel. Third was a Schindlers grave peula done by Emily, Jemma, Liz and Jeff, and the day was completed by Naomi, Dan A and Alyson at the Tayelit (a site near machon overlooking most of Jerusalem). We then had dinner at Marks house and went home to have the second Etgar Apprentice Challenge.
Tuesday consisted of Hebrew for Kita alef while kita bet (advanced class) had one on ones with Dana. We then had Reform Judiasm Class with Rabbi Michael Klein-Katz (MKK) where we looked at the difference between presenting comical views on religion and preaching as well as how realistic and how relevant g-d is to religion. Yom Tnua (day together) with Machon at Machon finished the day with a discussion on what ideology is and what our individual ideologies are.
A station rotation on our upcoming Tikkun Day started Wednesday followed by Hebrew for Kita bet while the others had their one on one time with Dana. The day will finish with the third and last Etgar Apprentice challenge of the theme night, plants vs zombies. Who will win the Etgar Apprentice 2012? We will find out next week!
Weekly report by Machon
HEY EVERYONE. ITS JORDY.
Okay so this is my first time writing the weekly report, so bare with me. The last week ended with Jade, Shoshana and I on kibbutz shefayim preparing for Noar Telem camp. There was a lot of bonding, practise peulots, netzer-like shabbat services, fun games in hebrew (probably not as fun for us considering we only knew what every 850th word meant when they spoke as fast they do), amazing feasts of dinner followed by too many little cakes, followed by too many icy poles and israeli dancing. The next day we were lucky enough to got to a waterpark for a few hours which was just amazing, amd so much fun to have the time to just chill with the kids we'll be leading with on Havaya.
Sunday and Monday were Machon's last real classes which felt relieving but also fairly sad for all the educators we're not going to see or be taught by again, many of them becoming good friends with us machoniks. Thankyou to every educator who provided the incredible classes for us :)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was an overwhelming but fascinating 3 day seminar about the Jewish culture in Israel and the Diaspora. Tuesday was an introduction to the seminar with a few talks informing us on the different ways people live out their Jewish life. Tuesday afternoon was the horrific moment when we had to comprehend that Becca was returning back home to the big USA. We had a big discussion for a few hours on Ideologies, personal and Netzer, and then with no explanation to Becca, walked down to the Taylelet and threw her a surprise farewell party! Awakardly but accidentally brought Bamba to eat, forgetting she is anafalactic. We didnt open them.
At 7pm on the dot we all waved her goodbye as she flew off in her shirut and then proceeded to watch all the Northeners freak out as they realised that would be them in a week and a half.
Wednesday was full of workshops about Anti Zionism, Anti Semitism, Aetheism, In reach and Out reach. We then spoke about what we wanted our homes to look like when we had a family. Keeping shabbat? Going to shul once a week? Having Mezzuzot? Jewish partner? Naming our kids with traditional Jewish names? This process of discussing between different people from different Youth Movements was very controversial, with many things succeeding expectations of being disagreed on, but then some things suprisingly agreed on between different Youth Movements. The only thing every single Machonik agreed on was what books would be on their shelves - Dr. Zeuss, Harry Potter and some Cook books.
Anyway so that is as much as i can remember from this week. I cant even imagine what the next weekly report will be filled with, re-capping our last week of Machon.
MISS ALL OF YOU AUSSIES BACK HOME.
Especially me ole' mum and dad, love you guys so much :)
Okay, hope you enjoyed it, Jordy out.
Dear parents, sniffim and shnatties shalom rav,
The week finished and started with a lovely Shavuot seminar/field trip, our shnatties left Jerusalem early Friday morning and came back Sunday evening. It was very nice seeing all of them enjoying together regardless of who is Etgar and who is Machon, who is a northerner and who is a southerner. Especially since we are coming to the end of the Jerusalem experience period and the southerners will continue their year moving on to their second period (Options period) in Karmiel, and the northerners will head to Haifa for their sikum seminar and the end of their year.
Israel has been having a complex week, the issue with the illegal immigrants is if not every day than almost every day on the news, and to be quite frank I think it is getting out of hand. No one seems to be taking responsibility for the different issues that arise and sometimes it seems that it is forgotten that we are talking about people. As for myself I am glad that I have neither the Minister of Interior Affairs nor the Prime Minister’s job.
I want to wish you all a great weekend and a Shabbat Shalom.
Weekly report by Rebekkah K (Etgar)
This Week in Challenges:
Monday We Were Challenged To:
· Dress modestly (girls only challenge)
o Wonder why only the girls had to dig out their long skirts and modest shirts and sweat through the hot Jerusalem day, while the boys could wear whatever they wanted
o Debate what ‘modest’ meant: just covering skin or not wearing offending patterns and colors?
§ Is a bright pink skirt offensive or just attention drawing? Is that the same thing?
· Hear Dana speak through her sickness. (Get better soon, we miss you!)
· Walk all the way up that hill to the Old City walls
· Discuss the history of the Green Line we were about to cross
· Stroll through Me’a Sha’arim (an ultra-religious neighborhood) despite all signs telling us not to
§ Is it our right to walk anywhere? Our responsibility to educate ourselves? Or is it respectful to stay out when asked?
o Observe different streams of Judaism, styles of dress, and ways of life
o Not offend the residents
· Discuss what we saw
o Signs in Yiddish, men in dress suits, women in long dresses with baby strollers, girls in matching dresses, boys carrying schoolbooks, announcements littering the sidewalk
· Walk some more through the neighborhoods
· End up at a more commercial part of town (Davidka)
o Talk about what we saw and observed in depth
§ A MDA ambulance was treating a pateient, but two trained and able girls were turned away from the scene and were unable to help simply because they were girls. Another ambulance had to be called in to provide the needed skills. Overall, we were astounded at that.
· Receive our next assignments: buy dessert food and talk to different types of people in the Machane Yehuda shuk
· Split up into groups and be released into the shuk
o Buy a delicious dessert food to share that no one is allergic to (surely the hardest challenge of them all)
o Find people of different ethnicities, such as Mizrachi, Oriental, Ashkenazi, American, and ask them questions about how they liked Israel, politics, economy, and life
§ We were surprised at just how many people whose entire family history is from Jerusalem
· Eat lunch and dessert together while talking about what we encountered in the shuk
o We talked to so many people from completely different backgrounds, but the overall theme we got from theme was that the majority of them came to Israel for the economy and try to stay out of the politics, which is the opposite of what most of us would expect
Tuesday We Were Challenged To:
· Learn Hebrew
o A morning Hebrew class got our brains working
o “Ani cotevet et ze caday lhagid lchem al hashavua shelanu”
o “I write this in order to tell you about our week”
· Make (or at least think about) Aliyah
o An interesting lesson left each and every one of us (except Jeff, who is sick with an eyeball issue, and Tara) questioning whether we did or did not want to make Aliyah, and more importantly, the reasons behind whether we did or did not want to make Aliyah.
· Challenge each other
o We watched episode one of Black Mirror, a British series, that had us all gasping in shock or utterly confused. A discussion afterwards provoked feelings about topics such as media in our lives, authority, human nature, and what would each one of do in a horrifying situation.
o Whose dinner was the best: pizza, salad, humuus, or chinese?
· Cook. And cook. And cook some more.
o After an intense and efficient shopping trip by Rebekkah, Jemma, Kitty, and Alyson, we all set ourselves to jobs to pull off a fundraiser bake sale tomorrow for our projects. Alyson, Kitty, and Jemma cooking, the boys pretending to help (by now they’re not even pretending anymore), Emily and Tara making signs, and me sitting here writing and putting together logistics for our bake sale.
My Next Challenge: Steal some of Alyson’s chocolate chip cookie dough before she bakes it all.
Weekly report by Machon
Here are the Spaniards again!
This has been a very special week. On Friday early in the morning, Machonicks got picked up from Kiriat Moriah at 7.30 am. We got on the bus carrying our bags, sleeping bags, hiking shoes and ready to go! We drove to beit Shmuel and the etgarnicks got on the bus. From there we went somewhere up north where we had a nice stroll and a couple of hiking games and learned about Moses with several skits prepared by ourselves. Our small stroll that day ended in a nice beach near Tel Aviv, where we all layed for a bit and relaxed while others took their time finding shells. Then we drove to a nice camping site near MontFront and divided into groups to prepare a nice bonfire dinner. That night also included a nice Kabalat Shabbat, a love competition presented by Jess, and wish writing for the Tikun Olam Fairies. We all slept outside laying on mats, and although we got woken up at 4.30 am by a crazy old man and got bitten by all types of bugs, it was a pleasant night. The next morning we woke up and had a nice Shacharit service, nice breakfast, and prepared our bags and lunch for the intense hike ahead of us that day. During our 6 hour hike, we could see the most amazing views, we climbed, walked through water, some of us slipped, we had our lunches, we enjoyed the water, had several coffee and tea stops, had some wishes granted, played assassins, and got exhausted from the hike. At the end of it, we were all sweaty and trying to catch our breath but a nice ice cream truck was waiting for us at the end. The sick and injured ones: Jeff, Dan R, and Jemma had a very pleasant day at the beach with madricha Noa, and although they got very burnt the could relax for a bit.
That night we had a 3 hour long peula run by Jemma and Emily, where we travelled around time. In the past we learned about the netzer symbol, its ideology and intense facts about Netzer sniffim. We then recorded videos by sniffim to share with the rest of netzer. Followed by that we ran peulot in groups with different themes which we will be able to share in each of our sniffim! We had a very emotional end to the peula. Each one of us went up and sat on a chair surrounded by candles and talked about where we each saw ourselves in 10 years. What would our life after shnat be, our jobs, families, religion... After a very intense day, we all went straight to bed, but some of us woke up Shoshana and gave her a birthday surprise with lots of cake (maybe not a good idea).
The next morning was a very nice and pleasant day. We began with art workshops. We played with clay, beads, made galaxies, and art pieces from nature. After that, we could chose between drama, dancing or singing workshops. Then we each divided and small groups and began our Shavuot cooking! We stuffed our mouths with delicious pizza, home made cottage, salads, home made butter... Later that day we went to Kibbutz Zora where our great Maoz lives and could experience some Kibbutz Shavuot festivities for a bit until we went back home (Etgar, Machon...)
It was a veeeery nice weekend with our Netzer fellows as we miss them a lot lately :)
Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shnatties. Shalom Rav,
We began the week with the celebration of Yom Yerushalim (Jerusalem Day), it is a day where the people of Jerusalem finish working early and go out to the streets to sing and dance.
Here a few fun facts about Jerusalem that were posted in this week's newspaper in light of Yom Yerushalim.
Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel, there are 801,000 people living in Jerusalem (back in 1948 there were only 82,900 people), during the past year 10,000,000 people have visited the Kotel (in 2005 only 2,000,000 people visited(
This week we also celebrated Students Day, each University dedicates a day to their students, the student council organizes a huge concert inviting many Israeli singers/bands to play.
This past Tuesday we went to the closing ceremony by MASA, there three very interesting panels, the first guest speaker was Rona Ramon, the widow of Ilan Ramon who was Israel’s first astronaut. The second panel consisted don Tal Brody an American immigrant that had a bright future in the NBA and instead came to Israel and did wonders for the Israeli Basketball, today he is an Ambassador of Goodwill for Israel, Yael Arad, a Judoka who was the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal and Keren Leibowitz who is an Israeli swimmer for the special Olympics that has won many medals (she was injured during her IDF service and she is paralyzed in both legs), not only is she a great swimmer but she is also a single parent for two sets of twins
For the third panel the invited Natan Sharansky, today he is the chairman of the Jewish Agency, he was imprisoned in USSR for being a Zionist activist it was very interesting to hear his story.
For the second part of the event the Prime Minister of Israel was invited to give a speech, which was followed by an amazing performance by Mayumana, as someone that has never seen them perform and that doesn't really like modern ballet, I was mesmerized with their performance
We are going to finish the week with a Shabuot 3 day seminar, we are going to leave this Friday and go up north we are going to combine hikes, camping, and shabuot.
I am attaching pictures form Etgar's northern tyul and from the MASA event, you are more than welcome to join our facebook group and see more pictures. I am also attaching some pictures that Rebekkah Karp sent.
I want to wish all a great weekend, Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shabuot Sameach,
Weekly report by Etgar
Sitting on Kathryn’s bed, in our pajamas, feet cold due to the air conditioner, a funny smell wafting in from the kitchen where Naomi is attempting to replicate Hollywok sauce, we are:
Discussing the events of the week.
Kitty: “Wow, I learned so much Hebrew today! I can now talk about where I’m going, what I’m going to do, and what I had to eat for lunch, but only in the present tense.”
Rebekkah: “How interesting! What did you think about the class with Neil Lazarus? Hearing about all those different types of anti-Semitism was eye-opening.”
Kitty: “It really made me think about the political situation and how it relates to Jews worldwide and Israel.”
Rebekkah: “It’s much more complicated than that.”
Kitty: “What do you mean? It’s just The Conflict.”
Rebekkah: “Let’s step away from rhetoric and look at the facts on the ground. We know that there are many types of anti-Semitism. We know how it relates to us and to Israel.”
Kitty: “We know it affects the Jews as well as the Palestinians. And the best part, we now know how to combat anti-Semitism!”
Rebekkah: “And what about that Tanak class? Talking about King David and that one guy…”
Kitty: “Yea, he cursed the king, but he was conniving and almost evil.”
Rebekkah: “Yea, what was that weird part about him begging for forgiveness with an entire army standing behind him? That’s just not cool.”
Kitty: “What an interesting session that was. What did you do that night?”
Rebekkah: “I went to a student concert with Dan R and Josh. There were thousands and thousands of people there to see some of the biggest bands in Israel. We even saw Hadag Nahash!”
Kitty: “I went to the Old City with some friends from Machon where we met an interesting rabbi and had a chance to visit the Kotel and see the festivities of all the people celebrating Yom Yerushalyim.”
Rebekkah: “I heard Jeffrey tried to find the folk-dancing, but it wasn’t actually happening so he had intellectual conversations with HUC students about the controversy of Yom Yerushalayim.”
Kitty: “How did you like your first visit to Yad v’Shem, the Holocaust museum and memorial, on Monday?”
Rebekkah: “The tour was a bit dry, but I loved the memorials. They were all so interesting and emotional.”
Kitty: “Yea, I wish we had time to walk around the museum by ourselves. I liked Jeff’s program after because it had been a long day of being bombarded with information and it was nice to be able to process thoughts. How was your Hebrew class Tuesday morning?”
Rebekkah: “I love it, we’re all able to speak in past, present, and future tense, and we can demand things in Hebrew now.”
Kitty: “We learned how to say things belong to people. HaMachshev HaNayedet sheli po. That means, “My laptop computer is here.”
Rebekkah: “What did you think of the movie we watched afterwards?”
Kitty: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of my absolute favorite movies. I can say almost every line.”
Rebekkah: “And the Masa event we went to Tuesday night? I found all those motivational speakers interesting, but I thought Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu’s speech was thought-provoking. He spoke about a lot of things like making Aliyah and the recent tragedy in Yemen.”
Kitty: “That was cool, but the dance performance afterwards was sensational! I really liked the way it was all about how everyone is an individual and they all find their individuality through music and beats.”
Rebekkah: “The bagels we got that day were delicious. You even ordered yours entirely in Hebrew!”
Kitty: “Well after the class on How to Teach Hebrew on Wednesday, I’m practically fluent.”
Rebekkah: “I’m so proud of you! What about Jemma’s program on secrets and sharing after that? I thought it was a nice thing for all us to do.”
Kitty: “It really gave us a time to think about ourselves and how we would respond to things. But Wednesday was so British! Remember the High Tea theme night? I loved your dress!”
Rebekkah: “Thank you! The scones Alyson made were delicious, and hearing even the Brits put on posh accents and talk about weird British things was such a culture shock.”
Kitty: “I’m a bit disappointed about how that night ended up. The protest we were going to was sure to help end racism against Ethiopian Jews. I wish we could have found that.”
Rebekkah: “Me too, but the park we went to was pretty cool anyway. We got really nice drinks at that café bookstore with our friends, remember?”
Kitty: “I’m so glad we walked so much around Jerusalem that night to work off all that sugar! What did you get for breakfast?”
Rebekkah: “Tara and Alyson made me french toast and tea, but I couldn’t even wait for them to bring me a fork before I just ate it with my hands.”
Kitty: “Live Shnat! I had scrambled eggs but they forgot to bring me my tea. What else have you done today?”
Rebekkah: “I had a feedback session about Northern Tiyul-“
Kitty: “Oh my word, me too!”
Rebekkah: “And then I met with Michael about Closing Seminar Week and I made those massive signs organizing the Etgar Project. Thanks for helping me with that. We really make a great team!”
Kitty: “Sounds like everyone’s really enjoying their lunch. You know, after this week I really hope that someday we can bring peace to the children of the future.”
Weekly report by Ariel T. (Spanish speaking Machon)
¡Hola a todos!
This week's weekly report is a very special one. We, "the Spaniards", are in charge of it. Not only that, but we are writing very special news for you. This Wednesday, at around 6am, we got back from our Masa Le Polin, a very intense week in Poland. It is hard to say that we had a good time, but without a doubt we have learned a lot and gained a lot of new experiences. We left Wednesday the 16th at 1am, and that same day we landed and began our trip. Everything started in Kashimish, a Jewish neighborhood in Krakow where we walked around a Jewish cemetery and learned about the Jewish life there before and during WW2. That same day we went to Plaszow, and walked around the ruins of the work camp.
On Thursday our early day began in Birkenau, the center of reception of Auschwitz. We walked through the huge camp, heard a lot of stories, and had our own time to sit and see with our own eyes the ruins of the gas chambers. Our Hadracha was intense, we heard stories of survival, others of death, and others of hope. Us, personally, couldn't believe that we were standing in those same fields where over a million Jews were killed in the most brutal ways. Even after we left the camp, and through the rest of our trip, and even now, we still think about those images that before the trip we had only seen in pictures. That afternoon we went to Auschwitz I, which has been reconstructed into a museum. We walked around the barracks where there were piles and piles of what had been taken from the Jews at their arrival there, from suitcases, glasses, talitot, shoes (and baby shoes), to even human hair. Without a doubt, that was one of the most intense days, where we experienced all kind of emotions.
Friday, we walked around Warsaw, visited the Jewish cemetery, the biggest Jewish cemetery in Poland. As we visited a lot of graves, our madrichim told us many personal stories of people who were buried there and were important for the Jewish life in the Ghetto. After that, we went straight to the Catholic cemetery and visited the grave of Irene Sendler, a non jew who is considered a "Just among nations", who saved 2500 Jewish children during the Shoah. Later that day we visited a part of the wall in the Warsaw Ghetto, and finished our day with a very significant Shabbat in Poland, celebrating that the Jewish life there is still alive.
On Saturday, we walked around all day in the Warsaw Ghetto as it was Shabbat, and had some time to see the nice part of the city as well, in the old city. We, personally, felt very close to home as all the South Americans gazed amused at the European lifestyle. :)
Sunday we went to the Lublin Ghetto, and then straight to Majdanek, another of the horrible extermination camps in Poland. From the reconstructions that were made, we could see with our own eyes something very similar to what had been there 70 years ago. This was the only place where we saw the gas chambers and the crematorium exactly as they were, one of the most shocking images that we won't be able to erase. At the end of the journey around Majdanek, we all sat around a huge monument constructed by the Polish, of 70 tons of ashes of burned bodies covered with earth. None of us could say anything as we sat and stared at what was in front of us. To finish our day in Majdanek, us, representing Netzer, and another 10 people from the Noam Olami Movement, performed a Tekes (closing ceremony) of Majdanek.
Monday we went to Bialystok, a shteytl in Tiktin, and finally the huge forest of Lupujova. In Lupujova we had another of our most significant experiences in Poland. In that forest, the whole community of Jews in Tiktin were shot, buried, and burnt. This was only one of the thousand of unknown stories of many communities which were killed not only in concentration camps. The forest was covered in Israel flags and candles, in memory of all those whose life was taken.
Our Last day in Poland we went to Treblinka. Not much is left there other than 17 000 rocks representing communities of Europe from where Jews were deported there. Although we couldn't see many things with out own eyes, the huge amount of communities destroyed by the Nazis meant a lot for us. We walked to the stones of the communities which we knew our families came from, and had a very personal time there.
We left Poland that night, and although the many places we visited are staying there, we got on the plane very different from how had arrived. A very important part of our Hadracha there, was to reinforce that although we cant change the past, we cannot allow to come back to our communities in a passive way. We have learned a lot, not only about the past but about the values of humanity, morals, and life.
P.S. excuse us Spaniards for the spelling mistakes :)
Lots of love!
saludos a los papis y mamis y a netzer barcelona! los queremos muuuuucho!
This has been a quiet week in Jerusalem since all of our shnatties went to explore the north of Israel on their Northern Tyul.
Our etgarnicks left last Friday and spent a beutifull Shabbat in the city of Safed; our machonicks made use of that weekend to rest up before leaving for their Tyul on Sunday. And our Spanish representation left for Poland, so as I mentioned before it has been a very quiet week in Jerusalem, so quiet that I even brought my one year and 3 month old son (Ilan) to work with me just to have some noise (and quality time of course), this is what he had to say about his experience in dad's office:
While we are still on the subject of Jerusalem, I found it interesting that more and more new immigrants are asking to do Aliyah to the city of Jerusalem, today's paper said that back in 1999 only 5% of new immigrants wanted to live in Jerusalem and now 15 % of the new immigrants want to live in Israel, out of that 15 %, 34% are American new immigrants and 10% are British new immigrants.
3 of our Australian shnatties have opted and been accepted to lead on Noar Telem's (our Israeli sniff) Chavaya camp (summer camp), in order to lead they have to attend to preparation weekends, I have attached a picture of them hard at work ;) during their first preparation weekend. The camp will take place during their Options period right after finishing the Etgar/Machon period.
Next week we will be starting the last month of Etgar/Machon period, to be specific, the Etgar and Machon finishes on June 14th and from there we leave right away, the southerners will be going north to Karmiel to start their Options period, they will be living there for two and a half months before moving south to kibbutz Lotan. The northerners will be going to our Sikkum seminar, which will take place in the city of Haifa; it will end on June 18th with a farewell lunch. More details to follow.
I wish you a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom,
Weekly report by Ruthy S (Machon)
Northern Tiyul was: wild, exhilarating, eye opening, salty, scary, life changing, nail biting, finger licking, knee slapping, toe curling, hair raising and slimy.
This is some of the things we did: hike, swim, swim/ hike, drive jeeps, see sights, learn history, visit borders (Syrian and Lebanese), party hardy at a kibbutz pub and listen to awesome Yeshiva Boys Choir and Michael Jackson on the bus.
I’ll share my highlight:
On Wednesday we went rafting on the Jordan River. Having experienced the foaming white death of south eastern America’s toughest whitewater, I thought the calm Jordan would be a breezy, relaxing vacation from our long day of hiking, but I was mistaken. This was a kind of rafting I had never seen before- pirate rafting.
About five minutes after hopping into my boat, I was captured by Yoni Genende, the son of a rabbi. It was a quick and clean maneuver. I thought I would be there forever. I didn’t really mind my new crew, they were good to me. But I missed my old ship. Before I knew it, they came back to save me. This was not such a fast and simple task. I actually thought my body would be split in half, right there in the water. After what seemed like days of tugging, the rightful side won and took me aboard. There is no stronger force than the loyalty of your crew. After my role as skipper was reinstated, we sailed along, capturing dozens along the way, while suffering a few crucial losses on our side as well. In an attempt to capture Kelly the South African, Byron Ellis fell overboard as a result of miscalculation of distance and speed. Though he could not get the girl, he managed to seize a paddle. Then I witnessed a pants wetting scene. Byron was floating downstream with his life jacket, using only a paddle to propel him forward. Kelly, who usually straightens her hair, surprised us all with her natural curls revealed by the water. We saw the poodle of a girl dog-paddle after Byron to retrieve the stolen paddle. Sorry if you didn’t wet your pants, I guess you just had to be there. But that wasn’t the only pants wetting moment. In fact my pants were wet a majority of the time, not only by the water but by urine catalyzed by laughter. I was laughing the whole time, which made being a pirate quite hard. By the end, our once successful ship had been so brutally attacked that we lost all paddles and men. We were just swimming at that point. And then it was over.
I’ll end with the words of the Yeshiva Boy’s Choir: to God’s house we will go!
Shout out to ma and pa!
Weekly report by Rebekkah K. (Etgar)
Northern Tiyul "Everybody can be Rosh of something"
Friday: Individual Peace and Spirituality We started off a lovely tiyul with a stop at a cemetery, where we were all attacked by thousands upon thousands of bugs. We heard about writers and revolutionaries who changed and risked their lives to follow their dreams. We were then challenged to seek out our own passions and ideologies and act on them. Our next stop featured a strategic military spot, complete with graves and a Palmach memorial.
We had an Opening Tekkes, led by the Tiyul Tzevet: Rebekkah, Naomi, Kitty, oh and Dan Aron. Then we were led into a cave on the mountain.
We heard more stories about spiritual fulfillment and ways to achieve them, and were personally challenged to come up one word to describe ourselves. I know that for at least a few members of the group, this was very difficult. One by one we said our words and heard them echoing back to us again and again in the dark cave, and then sang Eli, Eli resoundingly.
From the Palmach hilltop, we left for the city of Tzfat. We walked around, viewed the beautiful color blue all over the city next to the bullet holes and walls missing chunks from missile attacks. We talked about history, and then informed EVERYONE in the city of Tzfat that were were NOT Taglit. We stepped inside an old shul were we saw such different things than we were used to, like a chair that supposedly gives anyone who sits in it good strong babies. After, we had some time off for pizzur, which involved some very stressful pizza decisions for a few of us. I'd like to formally apologize to Emily for being so wishy-washy about that. <3 We finally made it to the hostel we were staying at, and got to enjoy the view from outside the gate for quite a while before we were let in.
Showers all around, and then Naomi led a Shabbat Preparatory Time, where we spilt up into groups to make place-mats for Shabbat dinner, the drash for Saturday's service, and Shabbat candle holders. Naomi and Tara led a Shabbat service that has us all pondering our own connection to each prayer and song, while we enjoyed the light of the candles held in our own specially-made candle holders. From there, we rushed over to dinner to partake in a hearty rendition of Shalom Aleichem, HaMotzi, and the Kiddush prayer, and then an even heartier dinner. We ended that night huddled around the bunsen burner for a cup a tea.
Saturday: Group Spirituality
To start off our second theme, group spirituality, Kitty led a wonderful service, and then we all worked together to provide a Torah Service with improv Torah readings, Aliyot, Hagbah, and Glilah. Then Naomi had us all thinking about what Etgar is as a group, what our purpose is, and how we should interact with the outside world. We had a great discussion, and then it was time for lunch. After eating way too much food than we ever thought we could, we ventured outside the hostel walls to get our hearts pumping in an exciting game of Capture the Flag, supplemented by real Israelis and ogled at by a large family.
A few injuries were had, but we're more or less all okay. As it always is with us, there was more food, this time for Sueda Shlishit.
We told stories about men from Tzfat and then gorged ourselves with all the best Israeli treats. Kitty then led a peula on how far would we take our own beliefs and what we would give for them. We ended by creating a piece of art representing both the sun and Netzer with our bodies (I keep reminding the people who took pictures to post them so I can send them out with this, but it's not looking too hopeful). After, we all got ourselves dolled up for an exciting night out; most of the girls asked make-up extraordinaire Dana to make us look beautiful, and we were not disappointed (Again, I hope the pictures will be up by the time I finish writing this). Later, we had a Havdallah service celebrating group support and love, and as an added plus we were joined by some Israelis and an army unit. In our time to kill, we took way too many pictures of ourselves, and then all got on the bus to Rosh Pina. Our lovely madrichim gave us pizzur money, and we were off.
Some of us went to a nice restaurant were we ate to our heart's content, and others sought out Chinese food. In the end, we were all exhausted from the sheer excitement of looking nice and being classy for a change.
Sunday: Communities within Israel
Sunday was an early morning, and we all almost froze to death (not really, we're an exaggerative bunch) on the top of the Palmach hilltop.
We spoke for a long time about this different group and communities within Israel, specifically Tzfat. Most of us were surprised to hear the kinds of facts that we heard, but I'm sure each and every one of us took away something different. We went to the hospital, kind of, and learned about the kind of socio-economic issues that can be found in Tzfat and how it affects citizens there and all around, for example in the medical system. When I volunteered in MDA (Magen David Adom, the emergency medical service in Israel), the patients we had almost always requested the Tzfat hospital, so I was surprised to hear that the whole hospital is not looked upon so highly by most of society. From there we left for Rosh Pina, where we had lunch. I'm proud to say that Kitty and I found the best lunch for the cheapest price: Massive, delicious egg sandwiches, chips, salads, and a free drink, all for nineteen shekels! We for to enjoy our food, but were soon off to tour Rosh Pina itself, not just the mall area. We watched a 3-d film about the history and hiked up to the hilltop (there were SO many up-hills that
day) to see the breath-taking view. After, we travelled to Kibbutz Machanayim for lunch and talked to a man who had lived there during war times and had some interesting stories to tell. After that program, we would all tell a story about a dog and a cat and the circle of life, but I'll leave you to ask your Shnattie about that one. Another drive, and then my roommates, Noa, and I ended up watching preteen kids cook for a few hours, and then bed.
Monday: Communities within Israel
We started off Monday with a nice service led by Emily, and then Tara's last-minute Druze program. We then proceeded to eat allllll the food before the movie started, but we enjoyed watching the Syrian Bride anyway, despite Noa having had given it away just beforehand. We left for yet another bus-ride-that-was-long-enough-to-sleep-but-not-long-enough-to-get-any-leg
it-rest and arrived at a lookout where we would see Syria right there.
We had lunch, and then embarked on our first nature-y bit if the tiyul:
the Ein Tina hike.
Dressed in swine suits and hats, we hiked up a waterfall. Plants and bugs tearing at our clothes, shoes slipping on the wet rocks, the hot sun beating down throughout the wet plantation surrounding us, we pushed ourselves to reach the top, and the pay off was amazing. At first, a beautiful waterfall. Little pools to play in and water to douse ourselves in, an amazing sight. Realizing the water was coming from a pipe was a bit of a kill joy, but with all of us laughing and splashing each other and having the time of our lives, it didn't matter so much. We took the path less travelled on the way down, at the bottom played around some more. Well, Dan A and Jeff probably had fun, but as the one they teamed up against to dunk in the water, I had colder, wetter fun. We had coffee, dried off, and changed, and then we back on the bus to head to our destination for that night. Another great dinner, this time at the Han we were staying at, and then Kitty held a theme night that involved so much sugary foods, I though I was going to be sick.
As our nature day, we spent the majority of Tuesday wondering at Alyson's eye, which had swelled shut, and hiking. Swim suits, water bottles, lunches, and hats in tow, we set off. It was an amazing hike, with beautiful exotic flowers, bugs bigger than our heads, and an exciting Discovery Channel Live episode, where we got to watch frogs, crabs, and fish fight and eat in their natural environment while we had our lunch. We managed to get across to several groups that we weren't Taglit and collectively decided that the average walking pace of Israeli schoolchildren is much, much too slow. After a stop for a swim break in a spring, a stop for lunch, and stop for another swim and coffee break, we had to head back. The walk back was less exciting, but the excitement from the journey there lingered all the way back until dinner time at the Han. Naomi them held her theme night, which had us competing to take over the Netzer world, but I think the outcome was that one team kidnapped and overthrew the UN, and the Netzer Olami Bank was too happy with the gifts it was given.
Wednesday: Peace over borders
Breakfast at the Han included the flimsiest and smallest bowls of cereal, but the hottest cups of coffee (I've got the burn marks on my hand to prove it). More frustratingly-short/long bus rides took us to three look out spots where we could see Syria and Lebanon. Guy and Dana led us in thinking about the wars that had occurred there and the outcomes of them, and we talked about how we felt about it all. A brief visit with Machon, whom we met up with at one look out, was exciting and we got to hear all about their tiyul. We shouldn't have worried, we won More Epic Tiyul once again. We had pizzur lunch at the Kiryat Shmona mall, where we found amazing frozen yogurt. Luckily, we were able to work it off with yet another hike, but this turned out to be a short walk cut even shorter by a mysterious closing down of the park that maybe had something to do with eucalyptus trees, we heard.
Popsicles, cookies, and a bit of sikkum were had at one of those awkward that's-the-West-Bank-right-there-next-to-us places, and then back home. The arduous journey up to the flat, a delicious dinner by Alyson, and now the epic battle for laundry and showers.
Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shnatties. Shalom Rav,
Last week finished with the machonicks staying in Machon for a Shabbat Beyachad that was very lovely.
The week started with democracy at it’s best and continued with politics at its best, the same day our etgarnicks went to visit the Kneset, was the day that the Israeli government was to supposed to be dissolved, they saw a lot of commotion going on, we even thought that our southern shnatties would be able to experience election day in Israel. In Israel, elections are held every 4 years, however since the assassination of Itzhack Rabin there hasn’t been one government that has finished its term and we thought the same was going to happen this time when we woke up the next morning to find that politics had a different plan for us. The head of the opposition Shaul Mofaz has joined the coalition and therefore the early elections have been canceled (for now).
This weekend the etgarnicks will be leaving for their northern tyul, the machonicks will be leaving for their northern tyul on Sunday, the tyul committees have been working very hard to plan the tyul, and our representatives form Netzer Barcelona that are doing the Spanish speaking Machon, are getting ready to leave for Poland with Machon.
Hopefully I will have pictures from the tyul for the next report, meanwhile I am attaching pictures form our machonicks.
I wish you a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom,
Weekly report by Jade K (Machon)
Hi everyone’s mums and dads!!! (and Sam Osborn, who recently informed me that people who aren’t parents actually read the parents report. I must say though I’m still not entirely convinced that this isn’t one of your many quirks, so if you’re reading this and you aren’t everyone’s mums and dads and you aren’t Sam, give me a yell, I’d love to know that you exist!)
The Machonikim began this week on a bit of a low in the wake of Tara’s departure, but we soon dried our tears knowing firstly that she had followed her heart and done what would make her happy and secondly that Etgar isn’t North Korea, we’d still be able to see her all the time. In fact, we’ve probably seen Tara more in this one week than we ever did on Machon.
As it was so wisely put this week by our very own Lily Manoim, “Pluralism means that in order to make everyone comfortable, everyone needs to be a little bit uncomfortable.” (A simply hilarious side note for those who know Lily: when quoting this exact statement 5 minutes after she had coined it, Haggai attributed it to Abra who is not only a Habonik, but a man and worst of all an Australian, needless to say she was not impressed.) Jokes aside, I truly believe that this statement strikes at the core of Machon’s pluralist ideology and like a Machane provides a Movement with the opportunity to practice Hagshama collectively, so does Shabbat Beyachad provide the Machon with a similar vehicle for the practical realisation of its ideology.
As a fairly distinctive (and sometimes misunderstood) Progressive minority faced with the prospect of `presenting ‘our Shabbat’ to our Cultural, Secular Humanist and Modern Orthodox friends, it was safe to say that Teva was feeling a little bit uncomfortable, however, in true Netzer style we didn’t let this deter us. Three services, three meals, two sets of chuggim, two divrei torah, five aliyot and one tish later with our fingers practically bleeding from all the guitar playing, siddur making, challah braiding, leyning and of course tree hugging we sat back, reflected on all of our hard work in preparation for shabbat and we saw that it was good. All in all it was a very restful and enlightening experience.
Shabbat was followed by an otherwise uneventful week as far as the day to day running of Machon was concerned, however that’s more than I can say for the Knesset. In the interest of not stealing Michael’s thunder, I’m sure he has already had lots to say on the subject in his funny little introduction thing… (Michael, if you are reading this know that by ‘funny’ I mean lovely and very informative.) All I’ll say is that if you get the chance to ask your Machonikim their opinions on the coalition, I promise you won’t be disappointed. After all, both a Machonik and a Netzernik are nothing if not informed and I’m not trying to impress you or anything but we happen to be a delicious combination of both.
Today's Yom Yisrael was truly unbelieveable (pictures included). We were given a choice between 4 tours that each examined a different aspect of Israeli high culture. Shoshana, Jords, Becca, Naomi, Lily and I chose to visit the main campus of the Hebrew University's affiliated design school, Bezalel. There is something weirdly comforting about walking through the campus of an Arts Collage. I think this is probably because no matter where you go in the world, they all look more or less the same (polished concrete floors, exposed pipes painted a bright 'unexpected' colour) and tend to be populated by the same general crowd of hipsters. Having said that, there were a few cool things that set Bezalel apart from the rest, most noteworthy being that Herzel was a huge fan, (saaaah Zionist!) he really pushed for it's establishment making it the oldest tertiary institution in Israel. Also, in the spirit of preserving the classic hands-on roots of the fine arts in the digital age, Bezalel is the only institution in the whole of Israel that teaches glassblowing and wet print colour photography. Pretty cool. We were then taken to the Cinemateque (yeah, the Cinemateque! I couldn’t believe it either!) where Steve Israel gave those hardcore enough to fight off their undeniable exhaustion an incredible lecture complete with film excerpts as examples about the history and thematic development of the Israeli film industry, which really was a perfect end to what was one of my favorite days of Shnat so far. As is evident from Benjy’s face (see photo), we sure found it interesting but I know film isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so I won’t bore you with the details (If you’re dying to hear them I’d be happy to send you my notes)
So there you go, another week has gone by in a flash. We all can’t wait for Northern Tiyul next week but also would never dream of wishing our time on Machon (or with our beautiful Northerners!!!) away. The last thing I wanted to say was thank you for sending us, I don’t think we say it enough. I honestly can’t imagine what our lives would be like now without Shnat and without each other.
We miss you! (but probably not quite as much as you miss us…)
O’s X’s and just an insane amount of love,
Jade (and all your kids by extension)
Weekly report by Tara D (Etgar)
Hello all from Beit shmuel,
you'll be pleased to know all is well
This may be a suprise, for not all of you are aware
I'm now an "etgar-nick", if anyone cares
Life here is peaceful and calm
We are all safe and have come to no harm.
We've toured the knesset and attended court
Learnt the difference between "bought" and "brought"
This week has featured pokemon
And on top of it all, the sun has shone
Shabbat service was arranged by Kitty,
Combined with star wars- how creative and witty!
We've been on buses, trams and walked,
We've had heated discussions and calmer talks
Today's Lag B'omer and we all cant wait
To celebrate here in the Jewish state
Its been a week of gluttony and excessive greed
Each person has been out for their own selfish needs
The cheddar went missing and chaos broke out
"It was Alyson Rolfe", we all heard Naomi shout
with hummus, champagne, strawberries and fruit
We picknicked happily at the shukh
Seeing as we are on the topic of appetite
We are due to barbeque this very night
Jeff has offered us a unique opportunity
and will answer questions for the community
Naomi is busy roshing the week
We are researching holidays in Mozambique
Lactose intolerance has become an epidemic,
Emily was the last to be taken sick
Jemma and I have been doing a lot of debating
Whilst Naomi did all the catering,
Theme night was "Thai", I am pleased to say,
A great way to start the month of may.