It’s been a few weeks since Netzer Veidah 5778, and it’s time to reflect on what went on –  motions passed, discussions had, and ideology thought through. Here’s what happened:

We started our asephot on Veidah with somewhat lengthy standing orders to decide the exact details of how our debates would work. Many a POC, POI, and POO were used! Once we eventually got into the proper discussion, the real debates started, though.

The first motion to be proposed was from the Netzer staff themselves: an official charter that all the sniffim would have to sign that set out everything they’re expected to do. We had some reservations about this one. The content was great, but it felt more of a contract than anything else, which we felt wasn’t in the spirit of a youth movement. Nonetheless, it passed, so LJY will be signing it soon. Any new sniffim will have to sign it too.

We had a long discussion with both Netzer and the WUPJ about Shnat and its cancellation. It was interesting to hear the motivations behind the move. The Shnat program runs at a huge deficit each year (which the WUPJ covers) and declining numbers (17 participants this year vs over 50 a few years back) were the main issues. The sniffim that normally send shnatties were understandably shocked/concerned, but about 2/3 of sniffim don’t, either due to language barriers or systems that don’t lend themselves to gap years. They often view Shnat as a very Western-centric program, and the money that goes into it could be used for a more globally beneficial event/program. The discussion was open, so there was no specific resolution, but it was certainly interesting to hear everyone’s perspective. There’s also more dialogue to be had about the 2020 program.

We also discussed a very novel motion regarding a new position at Netzer – the Young Mazkir. This would be a 2 year role specifically for a young person who would be the ideological figurehead of the whole movement. As LJY, we liked the idea in theory, but were very concerned about from where the salary of this role would come from. Netzer’s financial situation is far from ideal right now and the motion was very vague about that subject. The motion passed in the end though, so get applying!  

LJY proposed our own motion – changing Netzer’s ideology to include direct inclusivity values (feminism, Black Lives Matter, etc). There was a discussion on whether the term ‘feminism’ could cause issues with its different connotations around the world, but in the end we decided it was more important to stick to our values and use the term itself. It passed, so Mazel Tov to us!

We had many interesting sessions on Veidah. The theme was What the Tikkun, and it was explored in a variety of ways. We visited multiple NGO (Non-Governmental Organisations), discussed the most effective ways to assist charities (if at all), and had an incredible afternoon talking about gun violence with kids who were there when the Parkland shootings happened.

There was a real atmosphere of multi-snif collaboration this Veidah. With Shnat being cancelled, it felt like everyone realised we really needed to put the effort in to bring sniffim together. We discussed more potential Israel programs and it was really interesting and refreshing to hear how other sniffim went about their camps. A highlight to me was a fantastic KabShab run by Noar Telem (the Israeli branch of Netzer), with many songs and chants that were new to us.

All in all, it was an amazing event with amazing people. We all learnt so much, and it really felt like we were together as a global movement. We’re going through some difficult transitions right now, and I’m confident we can make it through with the inspiring bogrim we are lucky to have in Netzer.

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