Shnatties in Israel
The Australian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC) under the auspices of the Zionist Federation of Australia welcomed the 2017 Shnatties in Israel in an opening seminar, full of ruach and excitement for the year ahead.
Australia sent 96 shnat participants from Bnei Akiva, Betar, Habonim Dror, Hineni and Netzer youth movements to participate in their respective gap year programs. The yearlong programs focus on education, leadership training, Jewish learning, community service, touring, hiking and more. The programs are designed to give the participants skills to be educated, competent and passionate leaders in the Jewish and wider community.
Gabi Newman (former head of the AZYC) – “It’s always wonderful seeing the future madrichim of our movements in Israel and it will be a privilege to see them grow and develop into the future leaders of our movements and Jewish communities. The AZYC opening seminar gives the Australian shnatties a fabulous opportunity to connect across movements, to establish a communal unity, despite the various programs and ideologies they follow.
The AZYC Opening Seminar was a unique opportunity for all the youth movements to join together as they prepared for the year long journey ahead. They participated in daily activities and varied experiences, which were designed to challenge, encourage and help set the framework for the year ahead.
Yigal Sela, ZFA Israel Director: – “It was an honour to see how the movements came together over the opening seminar. The excitement, energy and participation was inspiring. They are a wonderful group and we look forward to having them in Israel this year and truly developing their potential.”
The opening seminar was about having an introductory Israel experience but it was also about setting goals for the year. It was a time to discuss and appreciate different ideologies and diversity, to debate topics relevant to Israel, to examine the mindset of being a Shnat participant and to be mentally prepared to make the most of the year.
Lior Aufgang from Betar said: – “AZYC seminar was a lot of fun, we had the opportunity to get a glimpse into Israel, though most importantly to meet our fellow shnatties and spend some time with them. We devoted a lot of time to talking about working as a united front and I look forward to seeing all the other movements later in the year.”
The group has now headed out to their respective movement seminars.