By Dan Marx, RSY-Netzer Movement Worker
The summer of 2020 left RSY-Netzer in unprecedented circumstances, not being able to run Israel Tour as well as any kind of in-person UK based activities for our chanichimot (participants).
When lockdown began in March 2020, RSY-Netzer was quick to launch an online platform (Remote Synagogue Youth) for our chanichimot to engage with while stuck at home. Remote Synagogue Youth provided a few hours a day for chanichimot to engage with a variety of activities run by RSY-Netzer chanichimot (leaders). These activities included: morning wake-up activities (for example Yoga sessions); t’filla services (including morning Shacharit & Friday Kabbalat Shabbat services); and evening livestream events (including live cooking shows and Netflix parties).
We received so much positive feedback from parents, chanichimot and madrichimot during Remote Synagogue Youth and how much it was able to lift spirits in households during such a difficult time. From May 2020 – July 2020, while the RSY-Netzer Movement Workers were on a rotating furlough, our incredible madrichimot were on hand to help run RSY-Netzer and take on more of the responsibility of running Remote Synagogue Youth, aswell as creating our very first Multimedia Choveret (learning resource) based on the theme of Justice & Judaism. This was a truly incredible resource that we hope to utilise in the coming year.
After a brief break during July 2020, RSY-Netzer launched a revamped version of Remote Synagogue Youth during the two weeks that Shemesh (summer residentials) would have taken place. The event was named Camp Kesher (Camp Connection) to bring together the RSY-Netzer community that had been isolated for so many months. The event was a real success with an incredible team of rashimot (senior leaders) and madrichimot running activities on a daily basis for chanichimot. The event also included a fundraising walking day to help raise money for RSY-Netzer and encourage families to go outside. The fundraiser raised over £4,500 and saw Reform families from all over the country walking in support of our Appeal.
It may not have been the summer we expected but we are beyond proud of our Movement and all its members. We really hope to be providing in-person activities in the near future, but despite COVID-19 we still are proud to say that the summer of 5780 was another successful year on RSY-Netzer.