January 28 2016 // 18 Shevat 5776
Netzer Olami, the World Union’s international Zionist youth movement, hosted at Beit Shmuel-Mercaz Shimson, the 2016 Netzer Veida Olamit (World Congress). The Veida was held between the January 14-19 and included 5 Assephot (assembles), 31 representatives from 14 countries and 9 different languages.
Opening ceremony – 80 Netzer Bogrim, Olim, Shlichim, shnatties
and friends came together to celebrate this beautiful event.
The Veida gathers representatives from Netzer Snifim (branches) from all around the world in Israel to discuss ideological and practical matters related to the World Movement. This presents a unique opportunity to experience an educational encounter and engage in a meaningful conversation about the future of our movement.
Meeting with BINA, the Center for Jewish Identity & Hebrew Culture
Each year, the Netzer Olami Veida has a theme, and this year's is "Rooted Away" - the Global Migrant & Refugee Crisis from a Reform Judaism point of view. During this Veida they discussed how to work together on a Movement, community and individual basis to respond to this crisis. The participants met with inspiring lecturers and organizations such as Jeremy Leigh, BINA (Center for Jewish Identity & Hebrew Culture), Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), Yuvi Teshome, Dr. Ester Lopatin, Shani Ben Or, Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) kindergartens, Bialik Rogozin International School and Maoz Haviv.
Netzerniks Meeting with Jeremy Leigh
The highlight of Veida is always about the people. Netzerniks from all over the world came together, celebrated Shabbat, learnt about each Snif (Branch) and created a united global feeling of a movement. It was a special week that will be cherished forever.
Shehechiyanu with Rabbi Steve Burnstein
It was definitely the greatest event of the year! Netzer Olami would like to thank all the representatives who took part in this Veida! It was wonderful having everyone here in Jerusalem, learning, discussing and making strong personal connections.
!לשנה הבאה בירושלים
To view more pictures of the event, please click here. To view the Netzer song video, please click here. To view the Opening ceremony Shehechiyanu, please click here.
The conference begins with an opening ceremony in the medieval Guildhall in the centre of the historic City of London. Shabbat will be celebrated on the Friday night in West London Synagogue and on the Shabbat morning at Liberal Jewish Synagogue, each the flagship congregations of the two British movements.
West London Synagogue
Plenary sessions and workshops will reflect the conference’s theme of Building Bridges: Spanning the Jewish World and Beyond. There will also be opportunities to tour parts of London with particular Jewish interest.
According to EUPJ Chairman Miriam Kramer, “this EUPJ conference will be memorable because of the magnificence of the setting and outstanding level of its content. The representatives of the nine countries who originally met in London in 1926 to form the WUPJ would be so pleased and proud of how Progressive Judaism has grown so strong. And the scholars who founded Leo Baeck College out of the ashes of the Shoah would be equally impressed with the rebirth of Progressive Judaism in Europe. “I hope to welcome delegates from all corners of the WUPJ globe.”
For registration and more information for the conference, please click here.
Remember that Early Bird rates end 31st January
Don’t miss out on the unforgettable opportunity of WUPJ World Travel Tour to Berlin & London. The tour will take place on April 7-14, 2016 and will be led by WUPJ President, Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander. For information and registration, please click here. On January 15 – 16, Friday evening and Saturday morning, Har-El Congregation – Israel’s first congregation – celebrated its 58th birthday. A festive Shabbat evening service was held on Friday evening accompanied by the Har-El choir, pianist Anastasia Sobolev, and flutist Mattan Klein, who performed for the first time at their congregation.
Friday Evening event with flutist Mattan Klein
On Saturday morning, a festive Shabbat morning service was held accompanied by the Har-El choir and pianist Anastasia Sobolev. Following the service, a lecture was given by Anat Hoffman, head of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
Anat Hoffman addressing Har-El Congregation
Please click here to read Rabbi Ada's sermon on Friday evening. Please click here to read Har-El's chairman Zvi Giladi's address to the congregation. Please click here to read the poem composed and read by Har-El member Ronith Halpern. Please click here to read words of congratulations from supporters of our congregation that were sent before and after last weekend's services. For additional pictures from the weekend's events, please click here. For a video of the concluding song for Friday evening, "Siman She'od Lo Higanu", please click here. For a video of the concluding song for Saturday morning, "Shlach Na Et Ami", please click here.
By: Tahlia Bowe
As a chanicha in Netzer Sydney, I participated in Netzer Australia’s annual summer camps. As a year 11 student, I was given the opportunity to be a chanicha at Netzer Australia’s federal camp and lead as a madatzit (Leader in training) at the Sydney junior camp this Summer, which was something I thoroughly enjoyed as it created memories that I will never forget.
The First Netzer Australia camp of 2016
The first Netzer Australia camp of 2016 was the federal camp – Machane Galactica. Despite the crazy weather conditions, I can easily say this was one of the most enjoyable camps that I have been to.
From the first day up until Shabbat, our leaders led some really thought-provoking and kef (fun) programs for us, including our famous Netzer Australia game of gangasluff. The game was themed like a children’s birthday party: we all received invites, dressed up in costumes and participated pure fun party games. As it always is at camp, the entire Shabbat was a really beautiful experience and nice time to relax with our Netzer friends from all over the country. The Kabbalat Shabbat service was especially memorable, held out on the lawn of the campsite and facing the view of the entire town of Bathurst, NSW, where the camp was held.
Chanichim in Netzer Sydney
The Sydney Junior camp was my first leading experience and I’m so grateful for this opportunity. It really opened my eyes to how much work the madrichim put into making a camp run for us and made all of us madatzim a lot more appreciative of what the bogrim do for us and the movement.
Overall, the entire experience of getting to spend such a large chunk of the month being a chanicha/madatza in Netzer Australia just made me more excited to one day hopefully go on the Netzer Shnat program and be a bogeret!
The leadership and staff of the World Union offer their hearty congratulations and Mazal Tov to WUPJ-LA’s president, Raul Gottlieb, and his wife Marina who welcomed their new grandson Yonatan.
Mazal Tov to the entire family, may he bring happiness, joy and blessing to all he encounters.
The leadership and staff of the World Union extend their sincerest condolences to the family of Rabbi Allan (Eliahu) Levine, husband to Suzy Levine.
Rabbi Levine z"l, passed away peacefully on January 23, 2016.
Rabbi Allan was an inspirational figure in the lives of so many Reform rabbis over the years. He led by personal example, whether in the cause of human rights as he did in Selma or in the building of the land of Israel through his tireless efforts to establish Kibbutz Yahel.
The World Union mourns along with Rabbi Allan‘s beloved wife Suzy and their sons Ori and Arye.
May Rabbi Allan‘s memory be for a blessing and may his entire family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion.
The leadership and staff of the World Union mourn the passing of Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz who died early morning on January 22, 2016.
Dr. Borowitz joined the faculty of HUC-JIR in 1962 and was considered the “Dean” of American Jewish Philosophers. He influenced generations of students and authored 17 books and numerous articles. His seminal book, “Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew” has become the classic textbook for students of modern Jewish philosophy.
May Dr. Borowitz’s memory be for a blessing and may his family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion.
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