Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shantties. Shalom Rav,
This week we had a few small historical events, last Thursday and Friday, our British shnatties were on their third and last Keshet seminar, the theme was Jewish life back in England while going to university, on Friday we were honored by the visit of the British Ambassador in Israel, who happens to be the first British Ambassador in Israel that is Jewish. There is an attached picture of the group with him. Our South African shnatties, spent last Thursday in the city of Ranana where the headquarters of TELFELD are, it is an organization that helps South Africans that have made Alyah and also do a lot for the community in Ranana, their day finished by being invited to diner at the house of a Sout African family that has made Alyah.
We will be finishing the week by celebrating Jake's Bar Mitzva, we are very excited about this, and we are thrilled to be able to take place, participate and witness this big event. Right after the Bar Mitzva, just like Pessach that symbolizes freedom, our shanties will be off to their Pessach vacation. During the next week all of our shnatties will be on vacation and will be free (while still keeping to our code of conduct) to travel and explore Israel, the week of Pessach is a week full of festivals and events to see and participate, there are a lot of parks and museums that are opened for free during this time, our madrichim Noa and Guy have sent our shnatties an email full of information and tips on what to do during their small vacation.
We know that some parents are already in Israel and that some of you are on your way, if you are Jerusalem, you are more than welcome to stop by the Netzer Offices for a cup of coffee we will be thrilled to meet you.
Please find attached pictures of the third and last Keshet seminar, the South African's visit to Ranana and although a bit late pictures from Purim.
I want to finish by wishing all of you a Chag Pessach Sameach, this year we are very happy that after five years, Gilad Shalit will finally be able to celebrate the seder with his family, and his family can go back to leaving an empty chair (with a glass of wine) just for Elyahu Hanabi.
I wish you all a great weekend, a marvelous time in Israel, a Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach.
Weekly Report – By Alyson Rolfe and Elizabeth Herman (Etgar)
On Thursday morning our Brits went off to their final Keshet Seminar in Jerusalem where they were prepared for things that may come up during their years at university. During this time our South African went to Raanana for a day where she learnt about…. The rest of us who were left in Beit Shmuel had a Q&A session with the fabulous MKK and went to the HUC library where we looked at different Haggadot started to form our own ideas.
We came back from the weekend on Sunday, starting bright and early with Hebrew at 9:00. During the day we had Tanach for the time in what seems like ages. That night we had a spy program with our Madrichim Guy and Noa where we ran around Beit Shmuel and HUC looking for clues that they left for us. During the program we were required to go to places we don’t usually frequent and as a result Alyson, Naomi and Emily got lost while trying to find us.
On Monday we had History with Mark Lazar. This week we went to Mount Herzl. During the day we read a play about Herzl’s life then we had to creatively teach to the others in groups about the different Zionist thinkers. We saw the graves of many important people in Israeli history such as Jabotinsky and Golda Meir. It was an amazing experience.
Tuesday was another day starting with Hebrew class and a small Pesach seder after the break. We had Reform Judaism with M.K.K at 11:30. At three we had Yom Tnua with the machoniks. At 5 the British had a meeting about their Poland trip, which will take place after chofesh and the Southerners has a meeting with our mad for Kibbutz Hannah.
On Wednesday there was a massive cleaning operation of the flat after volunteering. After cleaning we had our meeting with Tal. The lesson was about Israeli trends. It is also the last day before Jake’s Bar Mitzvah, with everyone secretly preparing for it. Jake has been kicked out of rooms and taken out of the flat so we all can make him the best gifts and skits for the day.
Wait until next week to hear all about our time on chofesh.
Weekly report by the Machonicks,
It has been a supreme week for us machoniks.
We have been blessed with visits from Abby’s, Naomi’s, Ruthie’s, Dan Rat’s and Jake’s wonderful families and have spent a large part of our week wining and dining – being kept in the luxury we deserve.
As I write this everybody here is getting ready for Jake’s barmitzvah which will take place today (Thursday) at 2.30, at the Southern Wall of the 2nd temple – the cockpit of Jewish spiritual life and learning, and a place befitting of our excitement and joy. This will be, in many ways, the seminal event of our collective Jewish experience in Israel and a day I am sure we will all treasure forever.
The past week itself has been special enough. On Tuesday we had a moving, at times harrowing, few hours at Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum/memorial in Jerusalem). This was followed, for the Brits, by a 4 hour preparation seminar for the March of the Living – a commemorative trip to Poland which is just 10 days away.
There was no respite yesterday, heading first to an elite army unit to ask select soldiers questions before being faced with more death at the Mt. Herzl, Israel’s military cemetery. There we saw the graves of many great men. From the famous - David Elazar (chief of staff during the Yom Kippur war), Yigael Yadin (archaeologist, Chief of Staff and Deputy Prime Minister) and Yoni Netanyahu (Bibi’s brother killed during the Entebbe raid) – to the lesser known, but equally inspirational soldiers including one man, Nir Cohen who was a madrichim on Machon just a few years ago and killed during the Second Lebannon war. Every grave was the same. It was an extremely humbling and very profound experience and one of those days that very much affirms your decision to spend a year in this country.
Yesterday we were confronted by tragedy, today by sheer joy and next week absolute freedom as we go on Chofesh – it’s a crazy but brilliant life.