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Op-eds

Netzer Machaneh Kol HaNeshama – ‘All of the soul’

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Netzer South Africa is the Jewish youth movement, affiliated with the South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) and the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF). We are a dynamic, entirely youth-led and youth-organised body, which works with the youth to provide the unique Netzer community a space of fun, learning and growth.
by KENDYLL JACOBSON | Nov 16, 2017

Our main aims are to educate, grapple with and consciously strive for; the Jewish notion of tikkun olam (repairing the world), being proud Progressive Jews, empowering the youth, being Proudly South African and ensuring we are active Reform Zionists.

And as a small movement, with less than 100 channichim (student campers), Netzer prides itself in the family-like environment, where interactions take place on a personal and individual level. We are a non-profit, Progressive Jewish, Reform Zionist youth movement of South Africa and form part of the international Netzer movement, Netzer Olami (worldwide).

So, why Kol HaNeshama? We’ve all sung it once or twice in shul; the Hallelujah, ending off with “Kol HaNeshama Te Hallel Ya”, (“let everything that has a breath, praise the L-rd”).

If you were to read up about it, you would find so many translations and ideas. And from the many, we chose the translation which we identified with the most, “All of the soul”, not only because we are so very proud of our Judaism and the individual souls that we have been given, but also because we loved the double meaning hidden in this sentence.

For those of you who don’t know much about Netzer, we are the youth movement that caters to everyone, AND every soul. We are weird, we are intelligent, we like to be barefoot, we like to organise, we sing, we dance, we read and we play.

No one is too different, too Jewish, not Jewish enough, “too” anything for us! All the singular souls connect, and we create one very special and very unique Netzer soul. In an effort to remain true to ourselves and our channichim, we have chosen a camp name that encompasses them all. It helps that we can also play on the meaning of the word “soul” and make this a funky, groovy, fun-loving Netzer camp that everyone knows and loves.

Throughout the year, our educational goals have been to show our channichim how to be Jews in the 21st century, allowing them to explore their Yiddishkeit and inspiring them to be who they are.

Not only is Kol HaNeshama about praise for Hashem and a celebration of Progressive Judasim, but it is also a celebration of those who give us a purpose to do what we do; the channichim.

We look forward to having every chanich/a on our campsite enjoying, learning, growing and embracing their inner-funk!

This year, camp will be running from December 12 - 26. Contact us to find out more: www.netzer.org.za or on Facebook - Netzer South Africa

This column is paid for by South African Zionist Federation

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