FAQ (39)

What ages can attend LJY-Netzer events?

Our events start for those in school year 3 (aged 8) and run all the way until they are 25 years old.

What does my child need to bring to the event?

Each event is different is what is required and will be specified for the event. In general a change or two of clothes, a sleeping bag, toothbrush & toothpaste and a jacket will be fine for a weekend sleepover.

What is the food like?

LJY-Netzer is a vegetarian youth movement and we aim for all our meals to be healthy, good quality and appealing to all children. On smaller events the Movement Workers or a dedicated volunteer team cook the meals and on larger events we employ a team of professional cooks. We accommodate all food preferences and allergies and make sure no one goes hungry on our events.

What are the beds like?

Our machenot (camps) are held in boarding schools and the beds are dorm rooms. On smaller events such as weekends we typically sleep on synagogue floors. On all our events participants must bring their own bedding.

How are the leaders trained/checked?

All our leaders are DBS-checked as according to legal requirements. We run a three year leadership training course as well as regular refresher courses before events. The training includes everything from how to plan and run a session, to how to look after the participants’ welfare as well as confidentiality, disclosure and child protection.

Where are the events?

The majority of our events are based in and around London but we also run events in cities across the country such as Birmingham and Leeds. Machaneh Aviv (spring camp) is held at a boarding school in Sussex and Machaneh Kadimah (spring camp) is held at a boarding school in Wiltshire.

I don’t live in the UK. Can I still send my child/ren?

We have many participants from abroad attend our camps. In recent years we have had several regulars from Israel, the USA and France. If you have any more questions about travel arrangements please contact the office on 0207 631 0584

What will my child/ren be learning on LJY-Netzer?

At LJY-Netzer we teach according to our ideology. The topics we tend to cover include: Social action and responsibility, Israel and Israeli culture, Liberal Judaism, Jewish history, Progressive Zionism, current affairs and how it fits with our ideology, prayer and Torah. We are keen to tolerate and encourage an atmosphere where a plurality of views are aired, and we would never criticise anyone for holding a certain view.

My child has learning difficulties/a disability. Will they still be able to attend?

We do everything possible to include everyone. We train our leaders in how to engage children with learning difficulties or any disability that may affect their involvement.

For several years we have had participants who have autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia and are able to include them fully in our activities. If your child has mobility issues or requires a wheelchair please contact us. Unfortunately, at this time some of our sites are inaccessible to people with these issues but we will do everything possible to accommodate them where possible. We are constantly reviewing this and hope that in the near future we will have sites where this is no longer a problem.

If you would like to chat about this further please give the office a call on 0207 631 0584 and you can chat to the movement worker who is responsible for your child’s age group.

Who do I contact in an emergency?

On every event a Movement Worker is present and has a mobile number for you to contact them on. This appropriate number will be on the publicity and joining letter for each event. Please contact the office is you don’t have this information.

It’s pretty expensive, is there any financial help?

We never want financial constraints to prevent anyone attending our events and therefore offer financial assistance for all events. All enquiries and applications are dealt with confidentially by Shelley (shelly@liberaljudaism.org), who is the LJY-Netzer line manager. Roughly 25-30% of all applicants receive some form of financial support each year, and in 2012 we gave away over £30,000. We give awards of all sizes so please don’t feel unable to contact us.

We don’t do Jewish stuff at home. Can my children still come?

That isn’t problem! Some of our participants do very little ‘Jewish stuff’ at home if any but still have a great time on camp. We ain to make the religious side of our events accessible to all, and do not prescribe a particular way to “be Jewish”.

Can my child/ren be in a room with their friends?

On our smaller events most participants of the same sex will be in one large room so this isn’t an issue. For our larger events the application form will give you space to write 3 preferences for roommates. We will consider every request and do everything possible to make everyone happy although this is not always the case. Participants spend very little time in their room while on events as there is so much going on, therefore, being in a different room or with only one friend will not stop friends seeing each other while on camp.

My child/ren will be having a birthday on an event. What happens?

They will have the best birthday party ever! On camp every participant with a birthday gets a birthday cake and a whole camp celebration. Everyone sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday girl/boy and they have a fantastic day all round!

My child/ren doesn’t/don’t know anyone. Will they be okay?

Many participants start on events not knowing anyone or only knowing their siblings. The staff are very aware of this and spend the first few days ensuring that everyone gets to know one another while bonding as a year group and a dorm.

My child/ren doesn’t/don’t know any Hebrew. Is that okay?

Most of our participants don’t know much Hebrew. All the Hebrew we used is also transliterated so it’s easy to read, even if you don’t know Hebrew.

Should my child/ren bring any pocket money?

There are some events where your child can bring pocket money. On Machaneh Kadimah, pocket money is included in the price, this includes money for the tuck shop and on the day trip!

How much sleep will my child/ren get on the event?

We have bedtimes and wake up times on every event between which they are not allowed to leave their room. We also have dorm leaders who remind the participants of the wake up time and calm them down before they go to bed. However, they are away from home and will often stay up talking before heading to bed and getting a good night sleep.

Will they have a shower on the event?

On our weekends we are often at sites without showers but all our longer events will have shower facilities. There is time every morning and evening when they are able to shower. Dorm leaders will also make sure that the participants are brushing their teeth and showering.

My child/ren has medication to take. How does that work?

Medication is held and distributed by the medic on the event. All medication must be specified on the application form and then given to the Movement Worker or medic when you arrive to the event. Please go over your child/ren’s medication with them before you leave. At the end of the event the medication will be given back to the participant before they go home.

My child/ren has special dietary needs. Will you be able to deal with that?

All dietary requirements are able to be accommodated for on our events. The dietary requirements must be on the application form for the event. In the preparation for the event we will consider the requirements while planning the menu.

What security do you have in place on events?

All our sites have risk assessments and are safe for children to be in. Events at synagogues have the usual synagogue security. On our larger events all our staff wear identification badges as well as being trained by the CST in identifying and dealing with intruders and strangers. We also inform the local police of our presence and take their advice on any appropriate situations. For Israel Tour we liaise with the Israeli Government through the UJIA. For Kayitz Netzer, we stay in the centre of major cities and in all the years we have run the tour we have never had any problems.

What sort of transport do you use for events?

We use public transport where possible on weekends and smaller events. For our larger events we use coaches driven by professionals and fitted with seatbelts.

What happens on the events? What activities do you run?

Our activities differ from event to event but they can often fit into several categories: fun sessions, Shabbat, services, Get-to-know-you sessions, educational sessions, evening sessions, outdoor sessions, music, drama, art and sports.

Why should I send my child/ren on LJY-Netzer?

LJY-Netzer is a chance for your child/ren to make new friends who have the same cultural and religious background while learning more about their identity and having a chance to shape it through education and fun. LJY-Netzer helps participants gain a sense of social responsibility, confidence, leadership and team work as well as learning new skills from sports to arts and crafts to cooking. LJY-Netzer is an inclusive community where everyone is encouraged to take part and this gives them an international network of friends that they can always rely on and see several times a year.

My partner isn’t Jewish. Is that okay?

LJY-Netzer accepts participants of all Jewish identities. We accept participants with one Jewish parent, same-sex parents and where both parents are Jewish. If you identify yourself as Jewish then you can attend our events.

What is your policy on bringing mobile phones?

As a general rule we don’t allow mobile phones on our events. If they want to use their phone as a camera or music player they are allowed to do so if they remove their SIM card. We do this so they have an immersive experience and get the most from their time on the event. If you have any questions about this please contact the office on 020 7631 0584

Who do I contact while my child/ren is/are on an event?

Your contact person while your child/ren is on an event is the Movement Worker at the event. This information is available in the event information. Please contact the office if you don’t have this information.

What do you mean by ‘education’?

Our education on events is done informally through creative techniques so your children will not be sitting in a classroom as they do at school. Our educational sessions include being active, arts & crafts, drama, discussions and group work to provide education in many different ways. We aim to make it interesting and thought-provoking; we call it “fun-Jew-cation” for a reason!

Is there anything to do between the organised events?

Between our organised events there are youth clubs and events at synagogues that you can get involved with. Please contact the office to find out about what is going on near you.

I don’t know anyone on LJY-Netzer is that okay?

That’s not a problem. Lots of people who come on our events don’t know anyone but they all leave with loads of friends of all ages! The beginning of every event is all about getting to know each other so you have no need to worry.

Can I be in a room with my friends?

On our weekends we have a girls room and a boys room so you will be in the same room if possible. On our larger events we give you the chance to say 3 people you would like to be in a room with and we will see what we can do.

What sort of sessions will there be?

We have sessions about everything from football to Harry Potter, dancing to juggling and even cloud gazing and friendship bracelet making. We can guarantee there will be sessions that you love all the time!

It’s my birthday on the event. Can I have a party?

Of course you can! And it will be the best one you have ever had! Everyone who has a birthday gets a birthday cake and an awesome celebration where everyone sings to you, you skip around the room and have a day you’ll never forget!

I don’t like swimming. Is that okay?

Not a problem. If you don’t like swimming you don’t have to go. Swimming is an optional session so there is always something else to do if you don’t want to go swimming.

What do I need to bring?

We will tell you what you need to bring but usually a change of clothes, something to wear for Shabbat, your toothbrush and toothpaste, a sleeping bag and your favourite teddy bear will be fine.

Can I call home?

On our weekends there isn’t much chance to call home as it is sooo jam-packed with fun session and things but if you really need to call home you can ask the Movement Worker about it. On our larger events there are payphones available for you to use during free time.

How much education is there?

We usually have one educational session a day but even that is done in a fun way where you talk to your friends about things, do arts and crafts, act a bit and also learn something!

Is it like Cheder/Saturday/Sunday School?

Not really. We don’t sit in classrooms and talk at you but instead we do lots of discussions, acting, drawing and creative stuff. We think that learning about your Judaism should be a really exciting experience supplementary to your cheder/Jewish school. If you haven’t found Jewish education inspiring before you’ll be surprised with what you get out of our sessions. All our leaders have gone through hadracha  training and know so many different, creative and unique ways to educate.