Last night the Zionist Youth Council hosted a cross-communal learning event in support of the three kidnapped Israeli Teenagers. The night was run along the of pidyon shvuyim (the redemption of captives).
The night started off with an introduction from Yiftah Curiel, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy. He talked about how terrible events like these unite the Jewish community and how the Israeli government is doing all that is possible to get the boys home.
We also had Colin Baulker, head of programming at JW3, speak to us about what it is like to be an Israeli living in Britain when events like this happen in Israel. That there is a sense of uselessness even though in Israel there wouldn’t be much he could do either. Matan, the FZY Shlichim, talked to us about family and showed us an interview by the Rachel Fraenkel, mother of kidnapped teen Naftali.
It was then that we split into groups to discuss different topics. The plan was to have three different groups. One discussing the ideas of pidyon shvuyim through and Orthodox lens, one looking at the history and morality of it from more secular viewpoint and one looking at the idea of the sanctity of life through a Progressive Jewish lens.
Matt Herman (BBYO) and I led the sanctity of life session which was filled with great discussion which was massively aided by the cross-communal nature of the event. We discussed whether all human life is equal, what it means to be created in the divine image and what does the sanctity of human life actually mean!
All in all it was a meaningfully cross-communal event in support of a deeply tragic cause and we all hope that Eyal, Gilad and Naftali are brought home safely and soon.
The Zionist Youth Council is the representative body of Zionist Youth Movements in the UK and Ireland.
The ZYC is the mouthpiece for both the youth movements and the movement workers, it represents young Jewish people to the wider community and, they organise cross-communal action and facilitate cross-communal interaction for the membership of all movements.
The ZYC consists of LJY-Netzer, RSY-Netzer, Bnai Akiva, Habonin Dror, BBYO, NOAM, FZY, the Tzofim and Hanoar Hatzioni.
Follow them on Twitter: @ZionistYouthC