Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sikkum Seminar

The Workshoppers have left Rishon Letzion and moved to Kibbutz Revivim, south of Beer Sheva, for their sikkum seminar.

Bye to the house!

Final Havdallah on Workshop.

Enjoying the desert sunsets. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bye Brits!

The goodbyes are beginning over here, as the Workshoppers came to the airport to bid farewell to their British friends. The Brits were an integral part of their meeting with World Habonim this year, sharing in large parts of Boneh, seminars, Poland, and the odd party here or there. More than a few tears were shed as the Workshoppers and Brits exchanged a few songs, kind words, and hugs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jerusalem Seminar

Last Wednesday and Thursday, the Workshoppers were in Jerusalem in a seminar, focusing on visions and conflict within the the state of Israel. On Wednesday, they met with Yehoshua Weinstein, a member of the Haredi community in Jerusalem who works with educational institutions outside of the Haredi community. Afterwards, they met with Anat Hoffman, founder of Women of the Wall.

Anat Hoffman speaking about issues of religious authority with a Jewish state, particularly around non-Orthodox expressions of Judaism. You can read more about Women of the Wall here.

Wednesday finished with a siyur (tour) of East Jerusalem, including the separation barrier, with Ilan Brandvain, former Tavornik and currently a tour guide in Israel. 

Thursday morning began with a meeting with two members of the Parents' Circle Families Forum, an organization bringing together the families of victims of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on both sides. The Workshoppers listened to the story of a Palestinian who lost her husband, and an Israeli man who lost his daughter, and then learned about the reconciliation and education work done by the organization. You can read more about them here

Rami, our guest speaker from the Parents' Circle, with Tom.

Wednesday continued with a siyur in the Old City of Jerusalem, discussing the history of Jerusalem and it's place as the center of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Above, overlooking the Mount of Olives from the edges of the Old City.

At the Cardo (Roman market) in the Old City. 

Overlooking the Dome of the Rock and the Kotel in the Old City. 

The seminar finished with a panel session with activists from Jerusalem. Overall, the two days gave the Workshoppers a chance to explore the history of Jerusalem and discuss some of the major conflicts present in the city today, while shaping their own visions for Jerusalem and the state of Israel. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Day Rally and Workshop Video

Yesterday, the Workshoppers participated in the May Day Rally in Tel Aviv. Aside from seeing all their friends from the May Day Seminar, they joined thousands of other people for a festival, march and concert.
If you missed the new Workshop video, click here!

Monday, April 27, 2015

April Round up Part 2: Yom Hazikaron and Chava Achot

Yom Hazikaron 

Wednesday April 22nd was Yom Hazikaron, the memorial day for fallen soldiers in Israel. The Workshoppers participated in a national wide project called Zer L'Nofel (A Wreath for the Fallen). In order to limit flower sellers from profiting from families of fallen soldiers, youth movements in Israel hand out free flowers at military cemeteries around the country. This year, the Workshoppers participated in this project and were present in various cemeteries around the country.

Cliel and Shosh helping out with their ken. 

Chava Achot

Two weeks ago, the Workshoppers met their sister "chava." Chava is the name of the shnat hachshara (training year) of Hanoar Haoved. In between finishing high school and starting the army, Israeli teens can choose to spend a year volunteering. Graduates of Hanoar Haoved spend their year living in kvutza and doing messima, just like the Kaveret portion of Workshop. The Workshoppers and their Israeli counterparts will meet up several times, for shared meals and to learn from each other. Together, they will discuss growing up in the diaspora and growing up in Israel, and how this has effected their perception of being Jewish and Zionism. They will also be learning from each others' youth movements! More pictures to follow. 

April Roundup Part 1: Yom Hashoa and the May Day Seminar

It's been a very busy few weeks over here in Israel! We are in the mad dash to the end, trying to fit in everything possible during the Workshoppers last month in Israel.

Yom Hashoa

After returning from Passover break, the Workshoppers headed to Kibbutz Loachmei HaGitaot for the national closing tekkes of Yom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Before the official tekkes (ceremony), the Workshoppers led a tekkes for all of the Habonim shnatties. Micaela shared with everyone some of her thoughts from her journey to Poland.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the movement since I returned from Poland two days ago. The longer we are back from Poland the more I think I am realizing what exactly Poland is going to mean to me in the future as a member of the movement. It was the type of experience that I will never get to have again.

Something I keep thinking about is what it must have meant to be apart of Dror at the time of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Back when being in a Youth Movement really meant something. I want to learn from their devotion. I want it to inform my future as a member of the movement...I think the idea of this story gives me strength. I want to be a madricha like Zivia, and a leader like Antek, and I want to know the passion Mordechai must have. I need to know that there is power in this movement, and that there is power in the choice to be apart of it. When I doubt the movement I want to remember this story, because when I was in poland I think I saw into some of the darkest parts of humanity. It scared me to understand that humans can hate so absolutely, and so blindly, and it taught me that when we face such darkness we also need to understand how to create light. Because darkness seeks to draw the light from our world, and something like this can never happen again. There is a way to the light -- we just need to find it.

In his last letter to Antek, Mordechai wrote this:
“The last wish of my life has been fulfilled. Jewish self-defense has become a fact. Jewish resistance and revenge have become actualities. I am happy to have been one of the first Jewish fighters in the ghetto.
Where will rescue come from?”

Mordechai died at Mila 18, we need to remember what his dream cost him. Let us dream the next part for him. That much we can do. So maybe my dream for the movement comes back to this: I want to lead a movement that will always remember Antek & Zivia, and is always ready to fight the fight against the encompassing darkness. I want our movement to be brave, I want it to serve with readiness & devotion.
After our tekkes, the Workshoppers watched the national tekkes, including performances by Ivri Lidir, and speeches by the head of the museum, local politicians, and Isaac Herzog, current leader of the Labour Party.

May Day Seminar

After Yom Hashoah, the Workshoppers went to Kibbutz Ravid for May Day Seminar. Along with Australian, South African, British and Dutch Habonim, they explored the historical relationship between Habonim Dror and the labour movement. The participants also discussed current issues with workers' rights, and heard from guest speakers on Saturday afternoon to learn more about our sister movement, Hanoar Haoved, and their role in various cooperatives and labour struggles around the country. Hanoar Haoved operates the youth workers' unions in Israel, and as well as supporting efforts among youth workers' to unionize, they are also the address for young people in Israel who are denied their rights. On Friday night, we also enjoyed a kabbalat shabbat led by the Australians.

Fun evening programs!
 Attempting to complete a mission for the fun evening program: a picture of everyone jumping at the same time. 
Learning about workers' cooperatives and enjoying some sun. 
 Rayna and Tali singing "This Land is Your Land" for our closing tekkes.