Ideology & Education

February 9, 2015

The word “Netzer” is an acronym for “Noar Tzioni Reformi” – Reform Zionist Youth, with the aims of engaging and inspiring the youth of our community. We aspire to learn and do and change the world through Social Action; like Tikkun Olam. We believe in the 14 platforms of Netzer Olami and have added our own 5 Pillars specifically for Netzer South Africa: Progressive Judaism, Reform Zionism, South Africa,Youth and Tikkun Olam.

Netzer aims to instill a sense of hope in the Youth of today by giving them a voice, and thus provides an image of growth, development and fulfillment. These attributes are what we aim to impart on our members, so that they can grow into the young Jewish leaders of the next generation.

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, culture, and Zionism. Our approach to Progressive 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 world 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.

The concept of Tikkun Olam is a broad one, meaning different things to different people. At Netzer, we equate it to Social Action, but are currently working on a definition that includes a spiritual aspect, so that what we do is deepened by a spiritual understanding.

One of the main Tikkun goals for Netzer South Africa is to promote awareness of privilege (and diversity), as well as to increase our involvement in creating change in our own and other communities. We feel strongly that we gain just as much from the people we work with and the work we do, as they gain from us, and that a continued relationship, rather than a once-off visit, makes a sustainable, long-term difference in the lives of everyone involved.

Netzer has begun to be more actively involved in making a difference, and we would like to see this continuing to flourish. Through Tikkun Olam, we hope to develop Netzerniks who are involved in outreach because they want to be, who see the importance of this work, who understand the needs of others and who accept the responsibility that comes with being a privileged, educated young person in our country.