Dear Parents, Sniffim and Shnatties. Shalom Rav,
This has been quite a stormy week, on one hand we got some much need rain in Israel, actually we got more than our share of rain, it came with hail and snow. Unfortunately the snow did not pile up in Jerusalem so our shnatties did not really wake up to enjoy a white view. On another hand it, we are it what seems to be the mist of a political storm, it appears to be that "Tal Law" has been canceled, this law was passed back in the time of David Ben Gurion, exempting the orthodox Jews of serving in the army and thru out the years there has been a sense of Non-Equal rights among the Israeli civilians. Time will tell what will come out of all this.
After experiencing an orientation week both on Etgar and Machon, this week our shnatties started the actual studying per say. They had an intensive week of classes, activities, siyurim (small field trips and tours).
On Tuesday we all got together for Yom Tnua, which was led by our Madrich Guy, it was nice to see all of our shnatties together, this year we were granted extra Tnua days, and we are thrilled with that. It is also nice to hear that our shnatties are arranging to see each other and spend time together on their own, last Friday the Etgarnickim invited over the Machonickim for a Shabbat diner.
We wish our shnatties to take full advantage of this period; we invite them to pick their teachers, and the staff's brains. We truly believe our shnatties are here to explore, to learn, to teach and we look forward to having some really great conversations and discussions.
I and the Netzer staff want to wish you all a great weekend and a Shabbat Shalom.
Weekly report by Jeff S. (Etgarnickim)
Hello Families, Friends, Rabbis, and others. It is I, Jeff Silverstein, writing to you once again. Last week you were able to read a beautiful and poetic weekly report from Kitty, and now I feel the pressure to attempt to write coherently and expressively, so here goes.
The winds of change have been upon Jerusalem since the last week in multiple ways, but none so literally as the abrupt winter weather we were faced with starting on Thursday. As a group, we all charged up our Rav Kavs (bus and train passes in Israel) and proceeded to embark on shopping adventures in our small groups. Our madricha, Noa, dismissed us into the wilds of Jerusalem. No less than 30 seconds later, did the sky open up in a torrential downpour of rain and hail. Seeing as it had been sunny only a few hours before, we were generally unprepared without raingear or umbrellas. Nevertheless we had great fun attempting to dodge balls of hail (unsuccessfully of course) and exploring new grocery stores, all while fighting hypothermia and frostbite, among other exaggerative results of cold weather. We returned home having survived our excursions, preparing for our Thursday evening.
On Friday, we had no planned programming, as it is the Israeli weekend already. All of us etgarnikim stayed for the weekend, with the exception of Dan Rattan who had business to take care of in Tel Aviv. The majority of the machon people decided to join us for Shabbat to have services with us in the flat, which was definitely a good call, as I ventured out to shul and came back wetter than something that is not as wet as I was at that time, because it was pouring and that’s what happens when you walk 20 minutes to shul and back in the rain. On Saturday we all did our own things, as it was Shabbat.
Sunday was our first day of school, beginning the morning with Hebrew class, followed by our first class in Hadracha. After a break for lunch we had a lesson in Tanakh, in which we discussed the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael. On Sprite day, we had our first tiyul with Mark Lazar. We first waited at Beit Shmuel for our Jewish Agency security clearance, and then continued on to the Dome of the Rock (Jewish mothers, don’t worry, we had a guard), and then to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We then left the old city in a bit of hurry, because our security agency has our backs. All was well though, and copious amounts of Sprite was had by all. Tuesday came after Sprite day, making it the Day after Sprite day. In the morning we had Hebrew again, and then we had our class on Reform Judaism with MKK, also known as Professor X. Acherai that, we had Zman Tnua, which was time together with all of Etgar and Machon, where we discussed things like Consumerism and Love and tried to make sense of the modern world, with some success. We all left confused, which meant that we were at least using our brains. That brings us to now, Wednesday, day of days. In the morning we went to our volunteering places, which were pleasing to most everybody as I understand. We then had a program with Dana, our Etgar director, the first of many that will teach us to be great leaders and movement directors and other Netzer related things. Now we are preparing for our Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat NEWRAVE theme night. We shall see how it goes.
This has been your weekly report from Etgar. I hope you found it pleasing to your literary pallet. If not, oh well, you win some you lose some.
Jeffrey M. Silverstein.
P.s. SPRITE DAY
Weekly report by Sophie G. (Machonickim)
This week was a very intense one for all the new machonikim. We had a shabbat dinner at etgar, cooked by them, and then spent most of saturday catching up on some well needed sleep that had been lacking over the previous 3 weeks. After shabbat we spent sunday choosing our classes for the next four months. These include compulsary ones of judaism, hadracha, zionism and hebrew, and also electives where we can go more in depth in these subject areas. The learning style ranges from more formal to peulot based dependant on the sudents desires. Classes started that afternoon with hadracha and then continued for the next two days. The content of the classes are really interesting and varied and is a welcome relief from the strict formal school education we had back home.
Tuesday was Jade's birthday so we all woke her up at midnight singing to her and filled her room with balloons. In the afternoon we had yom tnua, movement time where we join withthe etgar people for a profram at beit shmuel. It was really nice to be able to see the rest of the netzer group who aren't on machon. After our program ended we went to waffles then to the local bars near ben yehuda to celebrate jade's 18th. It was a really nice time celebrating with all of netzer shnat.
Wednesday was our first Yom Israel, where we leave Machon for a tiyul. This week we went to tel gezer, an old archeological dig between jerusalem and tel aviv. We saw the remains from the caananite town during biblical times, including evidence of judaism from 4000 years ago. The whole day was really interesting and enjoyable.
So that has been our last week, i hope yours has been as enjoyable as ours.