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 :)