On July 25-28, 130 RSY-Netzer Madrichim gathered in Kettering, England for what would become an incredibly special and memorable event. Taking place just before our Summer Machanot began, Mega-Fest is a time for all of the madrichim of the movement to come together, learn from top-quality educators from the UK and Israel, and workshop their peulot (activities), together with these educators. This year, the Chinuch (educational) theme of our Machanot was Innovation, specifically focussing on Reform Zionism and Israel as examples of Innovative thought. We were privileged to be joined by 11 educators, including Netzer Olami’s very own Programs Director, Orit Sagi. The educators became an integral part of our Mega-Fest community.
Another unique element to this year’s Mega-Fest was the fact that all of the madrichim were camping throughout. Although some madrichim were nervous about spending a few days in the great outdoors, the camping created a ‘festival’ atmosphere around the site, and made everyone really come together as a community. This was especially clear over Shabbat, when everyone worked together to co-lead Kabbalat Shabbat and Shacharit, and managed to turn the room from being a quasi-synagogue back into a dining room within 5 minutes of the Kabbalat Shabbat service ending! We were lucky to enjoy amazing food over the duration of Mega-Fest, with two culinarily-gifted vatikim (alumni) of RSY-Netzer returning to help out by cooking a 5 course meal for Shabbat.
Mega-Fest was an event filled with chanting, singing, respectful discussion, learning and growth. The ethos of the event very much echoed the phrase nilmad v’na’aseh – we will learn and we will do. Mega-Fest gave RSY-Netzer madrichim the space and time to learn how to turn ideas into practise, and ensured that their chanichim had the best RSY-Netzer summer possible.
Mega-Fest was made possible through a grant from Tamar Olami, Netzer Olami and the World Union that supported new educational initiatives in our regions and branches around the world. For more information and ways you can get involved, click here.