Three hours into the Seminar… and not one person had turned up. Glad all the effort we put in was paying off. There was a small cause for concern from the Bog Sem Rashim when we thought it was going to be a Tzevet-only weekend, but alas, we were thrilled to be proven wrong.
Just before the arrival of the Shabbos bride, we were greeted by the arrival of over 50 Bogrim who battled with five hours of traffic to get to the magical world of Bockleton, the land where Zionist dreams come true.
Weary faces soon turned to euphoric smiles as Bogrim began to embrace the Shabbos Kodesh, followed by an enlightening, if not somewhat confusing Shabbat story about an Israeli bus driver, inevitably named Yossi.
This led onto our first Peula, which involved expressing our Zionist identity through the medium of theatrical musicale. An Israeli putting on a poor Israeli accent followed by a rendition of The Lion King where the group used the only lion-related song that wasn’t used in the film resulted in a highly entertaining start to Bogrim Seminar 2011.
A professionally choreographed performance of ‘Jar of Hearts’ by the Tzevet led to the audience going wild and rapturous applause. One Boger fainted due to being so overwhelmed by the soloist at the end of the rendition.
It wasn’t long before the spiritual tunes of Lecha Dodi and impassioned debate from the Alternative service were being echoed around Bockleton, signalling the beginning of Friday night services.
A stupendous banquet awaited the hungry gladiators, all eagerly anticipating the Palwin number ten. The four courses were devoured by the Bogrim, except for the morbidly offended Vegetarians who were only served three courses – we’re terribly sorry.
It was only after dinner that things really steamed up. A Friday night Oneg Battle of Sexes, full of challenges and excitement. Things calmed down a little as the Oneg came to an end, and the evening turned to a relaxing atmosphere, where all the Bogrim got to know each other better.
Day 2 in the Bockleton Manor, and most of the Bockleton Housemates arose surprisingly early with the potential Tour Madrichim eager to impress. The Reform service had yet another good turnout.
Shabbat lunch proved a delightful surprise when we were again met with the culinary delights of Anthony Angel. Despite the devastating absence of James Schuldenfrei, lunch was a far cry from the usual cold meat spread as Bogrim feasted into a delicious meal.
Lunch was immediately followed by a fascinating talk by Denis Mc*****, former editor of Middle East Quarterly. As well as an inspiring Movember participant, Denis’ talk proved to be a thought-provoking session, inciting debate about the Israeli-Arab peace process.
The Q&A session was followed by a delectable Sushi Seudi that put the works of YO Sushi! to shame, and after a day filled with food, friends and fun, it was time for the final Peula. Served culinary delights by toga-wearing waiters, Bogrim engaged in stimulating and controversial conversations about important contemporary issues surrounding Israel.
After hours of heart-wrenching debate, the Bogrim gathered round from the four corners of Bockleton and sadly waved goodbye to the Shabbos bride. The magical Havdallah tunes filled Bockleton, as hopeful Tour Madricha Charlotte Collins uncontrollably sobbed. She described the weekend as “an amazing opportunity to relax and learn with year course friends and like-minded Bogrim, and a chance to reconnect with FZY and our Zionist heritage.”
Being Guy Fawkes Night, we trawled through the darkness and headed towards the Bonfire pit, returning to the days of the Wandering Jew*. We were greeted with the blistering heat of the scorching flames, as the Veida Rashim feebly attempted to steal our thunder. Very rude. Everyone rushed for a new Shiron as Adam Monty again showed his musical prowess. The dulcet tones of the FZY Bogrim could be heard for miles around, as they engaged in poignant and emotional tunes, such as Ceelo Green. Fireworks were unfortunately were off the agenda due to a previous horse-related incident, however the glow from the Sparklers illuminated the scene. People were having such a good time that they didn’t even seem to mind missing the X-Factor. But then again, given that most of this year’s contestants are Horrendous, we never mind these days.
All in all, Bogrim Seminar was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, and as one Bogeret accurately depicted, “It took merely 24 hours for me to be reminded how much I love this movement and what it stands for.”
* The Wandering Jew is a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the 13th century. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming.
By Olivia Morris and Simon Marks
On the 7th September, the new FZY movement team headed out to Israel for FZY’s visionary seminar Mabat and UJIA Chazon, a hotbed of ideology, passion and Zionism designed to inspire the vision for the forthcoming year. On the trip, we followed in the footsteps of our Zionist heroes as we reclaimed our pioneering vision statement, ‘The Jewish Nation living in peace in the State of Israel as One People and as a Light Unto the Nations,’ and discussed how we can implement it through everything we do.
We arrived in Jerusalem and had an opening ceremony overlooking the heights of the city with our new Shaliach, Daniel. Gili, the new Northern Shlicha, joined us the following day as we took part in an intense day of meetings at Beit Ar-El with our partners at Young Judea Israel. The night ended with a bang as we were invited to join the Year-Coursers at their opening ceremony, complete with rikkud, shofars, and a speech by our very own Mazkir.
The next day we put our ideology into practice, spending the morning volunteering at Hazon Yeshaya soup kitchen. We were all very humbled by the sight of so many poor people, many of whom were refugees and Holocaust survivors. After this meaningful experience, we met up with Einav (he’s got the best ponytail in the world), our gone-but-never-forgotten Shaliach, who took us out for an authentic lunch of Iraqi Kube Soup, and ran a fantastic discussion about Bogrim involvement. Watch out for some exciting developments coming this way… Shabbat was brought in at Shira Hadasha synagogue before we headed over to spend some quality time with the new FZY Year-Coursers over dinner.
After Shabbat we joined the UJIA Informal Education Department, as well as the other British Zionist youth movements for the Chazon seminar, an intense and fulfilling programme in the beautiful Tel Chai campus. This five day seminar allowed us to bond with the other movements, sharing both our similarities and differences, and to further develop FZY’s unique vision. We came away from the seminar very inspired to begin work and with many new projects to consider. We also got to know Dandi better, the Tzofa who will be working with us for half the week.
The final Shabbat in Israel was spent with old friends, Emma ‘Nagglepuff’ Nagli and Tash Kalmanson, in Bat Yam, reminding us all how far we have come since we were on Year-Course. As we watched the sun set over the beach, it was impossible not to feel a huge sense of love for Israel, igniting our passion to continue our work when we get home.
On Sunday afternoon, 140 chanichim from across the country arrived at Kenton Kulanu centre for our annual tour reunion. This year the theme was ‘Party in the Park’ and although the sun may not have been shining, the atmosphere was brilliant.
Filled to the brim with copious amounts of burgers, sausages, and candy floss, excitement levels were running high as we caught up with friends from the summer and our Tour madrichim. Getting a sneak preview of the Tour DVD, we relived summer memories and bonded as an FZY family.
We were also very excited to have a special visitor from Israel – Israeli Tour 2 madrich, Atar Stern, who flew in from Israel to visit his Tour. It was a great surprise for his chanichim, and we were impressed at the distance someone would travel to attend an FZY Kedma event!
Typically, as the event finished, the sun came out, shining down on the inflatables which now resembled paddling pools. Seeing everyone saying their tearful goodbyes, we realised just how much this summer had meant to us all. It marked the end of this life-changing experience, but the beginning of Life After Tour
It was with tears and beef burgers that FZY said goodbye to Niv, FZY’s Northern Shaliach, who is returning to Israel after two years of service to FZY.
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There are three exciting tracks to get involved in!
So check out what’s in store for YOU upon your return…
SUNDAY 4th SEPTEMBER
This year we are hosting a reunion like no other, so get ready for the hottest day in the calendar
FZY’s PARTY IN THE PARK!
SAVE THE DATE!
YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUT
Including a BBQ Feast, Candy Floss Stalls, Giant Inflatables, Mini Games Stalls, Karaoke, Personalised Tour Stands, Music… and much much more!
This is YOUR CHANCE for your TOUR to reunite after your summer together and relive the rivalry of the Maccabia as you play head to head in the ultimate
HUMAN TABLE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT!
*Tickets will be available to buy ON TOUR for only £10!
Want your own shetach experience?
Sleep out under the stars each night, telling stories and singing songs around camp fires. This is your opportunity to help others whilst also getting fit and having the most unbelievable time.
What are you waiting for?
Watch the highlights from past trekkers!
Yes… FZY’s University Fresher Programme is FINALLY HERE!
Calling all FZYniks about to embark upon their university journeys in September to join our brand new programme.
This exciting opportunity is NOT TO BE MISSED!
For more info and to secure your place visit the FreshZY page on our website.