This year in June, LJY-Netzer sent 20 Bogrim, 1 Movement Worker and 1 Communities Youth Coordinator to Morocco on a coexistence Tour with the Bristol based media and creative arts interfaith group Salaam Shalom.
This tour was very successful, and we are interested in looking for further oppurtunuties. Do you have an idea where the next Bogrim tour should go? If so, email the movement workers now!
To remind you of how good Morocco was, here is a write up and some of the Salaam Shalom videos!
If you have been a member of LJY Netzer for a few years like I have, you get used to the idea of the path that you will take on your Kadimah journey – Machaneh Kadimah, Israel Tour, leadership training, Kayitz, being a madrich(a), (for some, going on the shnat gap year programme) being a rosh, leading Israel Tour/Kayitz, possibly as far as Movement Work – and whilst I feel that I gain skills, knowledge and have fun on every LJY Netzer event that I go on, sometimes I find myself wanting something a bit different. This summer I got just that when I chose to spend 9 crazy days on Bogrim Tour in Morocco with LJY Netzer and Salaam Shalom, a Bristol-based organisation that explores interfaith through media.
Our trip was very much a Tour, as we went from Marrakech, to the Atlas Mountains, to the Sahara Desert, to Fez and back to Marrakech via Volubis and a spectacular waterfall. In Marrakech, we had a tour of the city, including visiting the Jemaa al Fna (the main square), complete with stalls, fast motorbikes, and even monkeys and snake charmers. We also visited the Bet-el Synagogue, where we had a fascinating talk about the history of Jews in Morocco. Moving on to the Atlas Mountains, where we looked at some spectacular scenery and tried in vain to pronounce the name of the town Ouarzazate. Next, we took a camel trek to spend a night in the Sahara Desert, getting stuck in a sandstorm in the process! Afterwards, we visited Fez, where we had another city tour which included the main gate, the palace and Maimonides’ house, followed by an afternoon exploring the Roman ruin of Volubis. Before our final day free to explore Marrakech, we visited a magnificent waterfall, where some went for a swim and others listened to the sound of the falling water.
Whilst the sight-seeing was fantastic, what made this trip unique for me were the conversations that we were having. Whether it was in a session on comparing passages in the Qu’ran and the Torah, or random chats with both Muslims and fellow Jews about their experiences with religion as well as their lives in general, whilst on a long coach journey or eating our tenth tajine (a traditional Moroccan dish that we all ate far too many times), I really felt that we were breaking down ideas that society has about who can get on with who, whether it is religion, life experiences, interests or anything else that can divide us. I think LJY-Netzer is at its best when it embraces that, and that its involvement in an interfaith trip was a perfect fit for the movement, as well as a great opportunity to have personally. I hope that LJY-Netzer chooses to continue to allow its members to branch outside the typical LJY journey and explore more interfaith opportunities, doing what it is does best: the small steps towards social change.
By Sarah Newman