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Shemesh Camps a Smash!

“What a smashing Shemesh!” That was the message more than 130 young people took home after RSY-Netzer’s successful summer camps held over the past month. 

As the youth movement for Reform Judaism, RSY-Netzer has been running Jewish activities and learning in a fun environment for youngsters for over 35 years. However, the summer of 2021 will go down as one of the most remarkable in its history. 

After all the pandemic lockdowns and uncertainty, the Movement for Reform Judaism was determined to go ahead with its annual Jewish experience for young people especially as the restrictions were slowly being removed.  

Enormous time and effort went into making sure all Covid protocols were firmly in place, before during, and after the camps, enabling all those taking part to enjoy a range of creative activities and learning programmes. Run by 70 very enthusiastic young leaders and a very resilient in-house youth team, many lifelong friendships were made. 

Whether it was the 10 and 11-year-olds at the Briyah camp in Stourbridge, the Shachar group in Norfolk, or the older groups of Remunah and Atid, the camps delivered opportunities for everyone to think and benefit from time spent together learning the traditions and values of Reform Judaism in new and imaginative ways. 

RSY camps have played a formative role in the Jewish life of generations of young people. Fun, friendship, conversation, and competition remain the order of the day and in true RSY tradition, everyone went home a winner. 

“You managed to keep them safe during a pandemic whilst giving them a feeling of being completely carefree,” said Rabbi Miriam Berger whose 10-year-old son Ben enjoyed his first ever camp away from home. “RSY experiences were formative parts of my own upbringing and Ben hasn’t stopped talking about it since he got home,” she added. 

Another of our Rabbis commented that her relative had returned home deciding he does want to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah after all- a testament to the positive Jewish experiences formed on our events. If you would like to support these experiences for our future generation of leaders please donate here.

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