Netzer Australia is a Progressive, Zionist Youth Movement, which aims to inspire and educate the youth of our community. Netzer Australia is a nonprofit organization run by skilled volunteer youth leaders (madrichim) of university age who have completed intensive leadership training and education. Netzer uses informal education to run a variety of activities that are both fun and intellectually challenging. Netzer aims to empower the youth and encourage them to be active participants of the Progressive community. Netzer is a world-wide movement which is affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism and has branches (sniffim) in twelve countries.
The word “Netzer” is an acronym for “Noar Tzioni Reformi” – Progressive Zionist Youth. These are the foundations of Netzer’s ideology; Progressive Judaism and Reform Zionism. Some of Netzer’s principles are:
- Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)
- A strong relationship between the Diaspora and Israel
- Aliyah Nimshechet (Aliyah to Israel followed by active work to improve Israel and the world)
- Pluralistic Judaism
- Jewish Unity
- Tzedaka (Charity) and Tzedek Chevrati (Social Justice)
- The centrality of the state of Israel in Jewish life
- Equality, especially in Jewish life
- The importance of dignity for all human beings
- Tolerance and respect for one another
- Care for the environment
Having a strong ideology gives participants in the movement common goals to work towards and the ability to accomplish feats on a larger scale. The ideology also serves as an example for all of how to live a good Progressive, Jewish, Zionist Life.
Through all aspects of education, chanichim are encouraged to question and evaluate the information presented to them. Netzer’s educational program is designed towards a comprehensive knowledge of Judaism, Jewish History, Israel’s history and culture, and Zionism. Our approach to Reform Judaism encourages the use of Jewish sources, in order to make informed decisions concerning our Jewish practice and identity. Tikkun Olam, a key value that stems from our Jewish practice, encompasses the Jewish value of repairing your surroundings in every way possible. We teach this not just through study but through active participation in social action and environmental projects. This includes Tikkun Atzmi (repairing yourself), and Netzer includes wider education for personal and social development in our activities.
WHAT DO WE DO?
As well as teaching these values Netzer provides a way to actively participate in them, thereby creating a link between ideology and everyday life. Netzer participants (chanichim) benefit from learning through experiencing a diverse range of activities such as summer and winter camps, weekly meetings, celebrations for Jewish festivals, Israeli cultural events, social functions, Shabbat services and active social action activities.