Young Liberals fill the gap in Israel


Members of Liberal Judaism youth movement LJY-Netzer have returned from Shnat Netzer, its gap-year programme in Israel for 18-year-olds. Participants spent eight months exploring the country, learning Hebrew and about Zionism, living as part of an ideological community and training to become leaders. They stayed for a month on Kibbutz Lotan, an ecological community in the Negev, volunteered for four months on local community projects and spent the rest of their time in Jerusalem studying a variety of subjects.

Participants included Dawn White from Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation, who said it had been "amazing being able to view the kibbutz as a resident and not just as a tourist. I spent the next section of my shnat year living in a flat with 16 other 18- and 19-year-olds in the centre of Jerusalem. Our days were spent attending classes about anything from Zionism and Jewish philosophy and history to Islam, the transgender community and extremist terrorist groups.

"Shnat gave me a space to explore who I was as well as letting me see where I, as a Liberal Jew and Progressive Zionist, stand in terms of Israel. What I found was a vibrant community in need of a strong Progressive voice."

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