On October 31 to November 2, close to 60 youth and young adults came together in Belarus for a Netzer, Reform Zionist youth movement, conference. With students of the University of Moscow in attendance, participants explored ways to advance Netzer in the coming years, including strengthening current projects in communities in the region, and developing new ones to meet growing needs among the next generation.
With the phrase by Ben Zuma as its focus, “איזה הוא חכם–הלמד מכל אדם, Who is one that is wise? One who learns from every person,” participants spent three days in workshops, learning sessions, prayers and more around such topics as: Zionism, our global Progressive Movement, the Jewish Calendar, My Shabbat, Jewish Mysticism and more. Highlights of the conference including evening “audio sessions” learning Jewish text with local rabbis and rabbinic students, and coming together for Kabbalat Shabbat.
An important part of the conference, was strategizing Netzer’s vision for growth across the Former Soviet Union. Conclusions reached by participants and new ideas identified as necessary for change included:
- Investing in education
- Developing local, young leadership
- Increasing collaborations with other Jewish organizations
- Increasing the number of participants in Netzer youth clubs and summer camps