This weekend, we ran our first Kivunim residential weekend, bringing together 24 young people from across the country.
Kivunim is the MRJ’s brand new national B’nei Mitzvah programme for small and mid-sized reform communities across the UK. We had participants from Liverpool Reform, Menorah, Jacksons Row, Sinai, Cardiff Reform and Southend and District Reform come together for the first time in person after beginning their B’nei Mitzvah journey in their local communities in September. All the chanichimot (participants) were prepped and ready to embark on an incredibly exciting weekend exploring their Jewish identity with RSY-Netzer leaders.
We started the weekend off with a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat service before engaging in a fun filled activity ran by the madrichimot (leaders) which sparked new friendships and some friendly competition. Over the weekend, the chanichimot learnt about what Reform Judaism really means, why they want to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the importance of Community in Judaism, and the many different ways to be Jewish. With the theme of the weekend being Jewish identity, the chanichimot have started to think about what being Jewish means to them as an individual and as a part of the communities they belong to, which is only the beginning of their B’nei Mitzvah journey!
As well as learning more about Jewish identity, we participated in several site activities such as archery, abseiling, rock climbing, and low ropes. Even in the freezing cold, we still managed to have a great time learning some new skills! To warm ourselves up we learnt new songs and chants, including the RSY-Netzer song which introduced them to a brand new community to be a part of.
They are all eager and ready to continue their 2 year journey on the programme through their local communities’ regular Kivunim activities, and through logging their ‘footprints’ on the Kivunim app each time they go to synagogue, complete volunteering hours, celebrate festivals, learn new things, work on their tikkun project and practice for their ceremony.
Our throats may be slightly sore, but our spirits certainly aren’t after such an amazing weekend!