by Kathy Brown

For four magical days once a year, liberal Jews from all over England gather for an incredible event; Veidah. This is an event unlike any other run on LJY Netzer, and personally, my absolute favourite.

On this event,  Galim and Bogrim (all members aged 16 to 25) come together for education from inspiring speakers, to discuss the topics important to us, and to debate motions about our youth movement. It’s truly something you don’t want to miss, and this year, over forty people attended!

Veidah is a chance for members to have a say about the direction of their youth movement. It’s a time to put ideology into action, and to give every single person a voice. Anyone is welcome to bring a motion, which are debated and then voted on.

This year, some excellent motions were brought, including that our social action project of the year and our charity of the year will now be combined into LJY Netzer’s Tikkun Olam of the Year (TOOTY). Other exciting motions include the reinstating of a session on each of our four ideological pillars and Netzer (the worldwide Zionist youth movement of Progressive Jews) on all mechinah events. Wonderfully for anyone attending Kadimah summer camp; another motion passed saying there will now be dorm breakfasts in bed on Saturdays!

Interestingly, this motion to have dorm breakfasts in bed was brought to Veidah from Kinus; the decision-making event for 11 to 15 year olds. Youth empowerment is one of LJY Netzer’s four ideological pillars, and so it is wonderful to see this made a reality at Kinus and Veidah; everyone has an opportunity to share their views and vote on issues, and therefore every single person helps to shape the movement. For younger LJY Netzer members (8 to 10 year olds), there is a day on Kadimah summer camp called Yom Kinus, where they can also bring and discuss motions, which then go to be discussed at Kinus then Veidah.

In addition to passing motions, Veidah is also when we vote on the theme of the year, and our new Tikkun Olam of the Year. This year there was thought-provoking discussion for both these topics; excellent proposals were made by many passionate supporters, and we voted for our theme of the year to be “Minorities within Minorities”.

Our Tikkun Olam of the Year was voted to be Centrepoint; a charity which supports homeless youth. As a part of our Tikkun Olam of the Year, LJY Netzer will focus on educating about homelessness at events over the coming year, and will also hold fundraiser events for this charity (so don’t forget to look out for events coming up soon which you can take part in!)

Furthermore, as well as voting on the theme and Tikkun Olam of the Year, Veidah also voted on Mazkirim for the year ahead. LJY Netzer has a Mazkir for Netzer, Israel, Tefillah (prayer), Kef (fun) and Social Action. All attending had the opportunity to run for these roles, and those appointed have a passion for the area which will help them to improve this and be a source of knowledge for this topic.

The appointed Mazkirs for the following year are:
Jess Baker as Mazkir Social Action
Josh Powell as Mazkir Kef
Ruth Brown and Daniel Briskin as joint Mazkir Tefillah
Jess Mindel as Mazkir Netzer
Ben Wyatt as Mazkir Israel

LJY Netzer is very much looking forward to see the work they will do over this year!

You must be thinking; Veidah seems so jam-packed full of content, can there possibly be any more? And I can gladly tell you that yes! In addition to all these debates and discussions, motions and Mazkirs, we were also lucky enough to have sessions run by some amazing members of Galim, Bogrim, and outside speakers.

Some of the sessions run include a session on Reform Zionism by Jess Mindel, Tom Smith, and Becky Penhey who attended Shnat Netzer last year, a session on different branches of Netzer by Ben Wyatt from Netzer Australia, and a session on Ideology and Activism by Fran Kurlansky. We were also lucky enough to have a fantastic evening activity run by members of galim entitled “I’m in the patriarchy, get me out of here!” It’s slightly difficult to describe this session, but it was definitely one which will be remembered fondly by those who attended.

It’s difficult to put into words an experience like Veidah; its busy, it can be manic, debates are interesting, and can be intense, but overall it is so satisfying to be able to make an input and difference into the movement which has given each of its members to much. What I love about Veidah is that I feel that as an event it encompasses our ideology entirely, and so in addition to seeing all your friends and being on LJY Netzer (because honestly what is better than that?), you get to help make the movement even more fantastic.

So Veidah was amazing, and luckily it doesn’t end there; lets keep making a difference, keep raising issues important to us, and keep being inspired to make positive change. I sincerely hope to see you on this incredible event next year.

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