A youth movement is more than a social gathering of young people. It is more than wearing matching shirts, (chultzot) and more than the popular conception of a ‘summer camp’. To be in a youth movement is to play party to an ideology that is collectively espoused. But this ideology is not merely envisioned, quite the contrary , to be a movement is to be dynamic. Youth movements aim to live out their ideals – to be a counter culture.
So how does Netzer South Africa fit into this definition? Well, we embody an ideology that rests on five fundamental pillars – Progressive Judaism; Progressive Zionism; South Africa; Youth and of course , Tikkun Olam. The beauty of such a framework of beliefs is that each is relative to and has an impact on the other. This means that we contextualise a holistic conception of our ideal world.
Netzer attempts to tikkun the Olam by not only engaging in social action and upliftment projects in the country, but rigorously educates our channichim about the purpose and origin of the concept of tikkun olam, how it evoloved and what are its implications for a contemporary South African society. In this way our pillars of ‘Youth’; ‘Tikkun Olam’ and ‘South Africa’ are intertwined , strengthening each other.
In addition to our pillars, stands our maxim: ‘Nilmad ve’na aseh – we will learn and we will do’. This expresses the manner in which we live out our ideology and is central to the value of informed decision making in Progressive Judaism. In this sense, Netzer South Africa has a unique vision and a plan of action to implement it – through collective education, social action and Jewish communal life, we live out our principles, (pillars) to hone and exemplify both our personal and collective Jewish existence.
In essence, if we were to describe the counter culture that we aim to create for our channichim and madrichim in Netzer, this quote from Athol Fuguard’s ‘’Master Harold and the Boys ‘’ would capture it; ‘There’s no collisions out there. Nobody trips or stumbles or bumps into anyone else. That is what the moment is all about. It is like being in a dream about a world in which accidents don’t happen. And it is beautiful because that is what we want life to be like.’