Netzer Olami, the WUPJ's global youth movement, operates a Shnat (year course) program in Israel. As a global movement, we get participants from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, depending on school graduation dates.
The "Dromies" (Southern hemisphere participants) have arrived in Israel and joined their fellow "Zfonies" (Northern hemisphere participants) Shnatties in Israel, as part of the Shnat (year course) program. Two participants from South Africa and half a dozen from Australia make up the southern group, and bring the total number of participants to 27.
Both groups will be spending the next months together in Jerusalem, where they will be attending one of two leadership programs, depending on each participant’s personal choice.
Having fun in Jerusalem
The participants can choose between the Machon Le'Madrihei Chul , run by the Jewish Agency for Israel, at its Kiryat Moriah campus, or the Etgar program, run by Netzer and the WUPJ.
Both programs provide a demanding and challenging syllabus that includes leadership training, Jewish history and thought, Zionism and Israel. Machon participants live on the Kiryat Moriah campus. The Etgar participants live in the Netzer apartment in Beit Shmuel, creating their own Progressive Zionist community while combining academic studies and leadership training at Beit Shmuel with volunteering in Israeli society.
Shnatties planting trees for Tu Beshvat
Before returning to Jerusalem, The Zfonies, who are nearing the end of their program, said their bitter-sweet goodbyes to Carmiel in northern Israel and Kibbutz Lotan in the Arava close to Eilat, where they have been spending the past months. Those who spent their time in Carmiel left the town that has been their home for the past months, joining their friends at Lotan for a final weekend.
Earlier this week the group arrived in Jerusalem, where they met up with the new shnatties from South Africa and Australia. Both groups spent the past week at a seminar at Beit Shmuel before beginning Machon or Etgar. For the "Dromies" it was primarily an orientation seminar, discussing their expectations of the program and the program’s expectations of them. For the "Zfonies", it was an opportunity to sum up their experiences so far, share them, and give some friendly advice and insights to the recently arrived Dromies.
Upon conclusion of the leadership element of Shnat, the northern Hemisphere program which began in October 2011 will be nearing completion. The Southern group will continue on the options element of their year course, and will be making their way to Carmiel or Kibbutz Lotan.