After months of anticipation and excitement, Netzafon rolled into town on 27th January bringing 11 children and seven madrichim (leaders) from 11 communities (representing all but two of the Northern Reform synagogues) to Newcastle Reform Synagogue to enjoy a weekend of kef (fun) as Jo Edwards explains.
Arriving on Friday afternoon, they started Shabbat by meeting new (and old) friends. On Shabbat morning, Rhiannon Humphries, the RSY-Netzer Northern Youth Worker led an extra special family Shabbat service with a distinctly RSY flavour to give all those over the age of 25 a new experience.
With a new seating arrangement we learned some new tunes to familiar songs and created new morning blessings based on what we personally were thankful for that day – cups of tea and warm cosy beds were definitely a theme but it was lovely to hear one parent say she was thankful for being given the opportunity to come to Newcastle to visit her RSY friend of over 30 years.
The Torah service included a very insightful discussion about the ability to make and keep promises as we reflected how Pharoah felt during the time of the ten plagues. We were left with the task to reflect on why God hardened Pharoah’s heart. I’m not sure I have an answer yet. Following the service we had a special kiddush to celebrate a number of birthdays including long standing member Alan Share, Gabriella Mitchell aged two and Keira Edwards aged 13.
Following the service the fun continued with quizzes, games and havdalah edible crafts. On Sunday afternoon the children all went home with smiles on their faces with our local children looking forward to the next Netzafon event in Manchester where the kef will continue.