The word “Netzer” is an acronym for “Noar Tzioni Reformi” – Reform Zionist Youth. It also translates to the word new shoot or bud. We believe in the 15 platforms of Netzer Olami and have our own 4 main pillars specifically for Netzer South Africa: Progressive Judaism, Reform Zionism, Youth Empowerment, and Tikkun Olam.
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, chanichimot are encouraged to question and evaluate both, the information presented to them, as well as the status quo. Netzer’s educational program is designed towards a comprehensive knowledge of Progressive Judaism, Jewish History, Israeli history and culture, Zionism and of course Social Action and the environment that we live in. Our approach to Progressive Judaism encourages the use of Jewish sources, in order to make informed decisions concerning our Jewish practice and identity.
Because we are Jews, we are Progressive Jews
In order to ensure that Jewish ritual and practice has engaged the Jewish People on a dynamic level, Judaism over the centuries has constantly interpreted and reinterpreted our texts and lessons in response to the various contexts in which it was practiced. In seeking to take responsibility for and ownership over our Jewish practice, and as a natural continuation of this tradition, we proudly identify as Progressive Jews.
Olam Metukan – Tikkun Olam
A world which we are perfecting
Our commitment to Progressive Judaism and Reform Zionism make it our obligation to actively strive for a Messianic Era through the actualisation of these ideologies on a personal, communal, societal, national and global level, in the vision of our Prophets. In viewing the Messianic Era as divinely inspired by a God of our own personal understanding, we see it as our human responsibility to undertake a process of Tikkun (reparation) in pursuit of this ideal, informed by our Jewish teachings, texts and values.
Because we are Progressive Jews, we are Reform Zionists
Netzer believes that Reform Zionism is the logical extension of Progressive Judaism. This means that we believe in a religious form of Zionism, based on the principles of Progressive Judaism, seeing Israel as the ultimate destination for living a fulfilled Jewish life. Chaverim of Netzer should seriously consider moving to Israel as a step in the process of repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), and all Aliyah should be Aliyah Nimschechet (continual improvement of the state of Israel).
Because we are a youth movement, we strive to empower the youth
As a youth movement, we believe that empowering our members and youth leading youth is essential to our philosophy. We believe that youth movements are meant to question the status quo, and through education and leadership training, they can be leaders in all aspects of their lives and furthermore empower others to become leaders and take on the task of Olam Metukan. We believe that through educating the youth, we will see the leaders of tomorrow embodying the values of Netzer and striving to create a better world for all of its inhabitants.
Netzer South Africa strives to:
- Be leaders in society through Dugma Ishit.
- Be critical and open minded in our thinking.
- Empower youth through informal education and programs.
- Create chaverimot that are constantly shaping the world around them to be a just society.
- Embody the values of Progressive Judaism by making it relevant to the youth through studying
Torah, Prayer and music.
- Constantly shape the state of Israel to be the just society that we envision for the rest of the world.
- Experience Israeli culture through programs, visiting ha’aretz, bringing in shlichim and the use of
the Hebrew language.
- Be active in South African society through education, volunteering and projects.
- Value and respect the environment by living sustainable lives as far as possible.
- Value and empower every human being for the unique intrinsic value that each one possesses.