Featured

FZY Veida

Sign up here for Veida 2011

Since the dawn of time, men and women have battled it out in shows of physical strength, gathering from the four corners of the earth for the ultimate demonstration of sporting prowess. This winter, join FZY from the four corners of the British Isles (The North, Essex, NW London and Ireland) for a four-day festival of banter – celebrating the very best of FZY in four days of ideology and fun!

FZY Veida is your chance to shape the future of FZY, to decide the next generation of leaders in our movement and to discuss other crucial matters of importance – such as the amount of double-velvet toilet paper required at FZY events and whether we should serve apple crumble at every meal.

This is your chance to shape the future of the movement, so join us for the grand Olympic opening ceremony and banquet on Monday 19th December.

So fellow Olympians, please fill in all the forms below, including the medical section.

From 19th – 22nd December at the fabulous Bockleton Manor

The cost will be £85 for non-members and £80 for members and can be paid by cheque or through a paypal request sent to your email.

If you are under 18, please get your parent or guardian to sign a paper version of the medical form and consent form, which will be posted to you once you sign up!

We are so excited for Veida 2011 – the chance for you to shape the movement!

The Champion Chairs of Steering

Bogrim Seminar 2011: Guest Post by Bog Sem Rashim

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.

Bockleton Manor

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

 

Chavurot Up North

This month has seen the re-launch of FZY’s four Northern Chavurot. Often known as the lifeblood of the movement, the Chavurot are weekly meetings run by young FZYnikim for young FZYnikim. They are a true example of youth empowerment and activism, and have been the beginning of many an esteemed FZYnik’s journey through the movement.

NMH (North Manchester)

EditNMH has voted in its new committee . Sam Calmonson and Sam Franks are continuing their reign as co-chairs.

They have already had successful meetings, including one about Gilad Shalit’s return, and one educating the chanichim about FZY’s ideology.

Ein Gedi (South Manchester)

In the south of the city, Simon Goldich and Sophie Calmonson take over as the new chairs, heralding in a new era for the Chavura.

The new committee have plenty ideas of how to make Ein Gedi even more exciting.

Ketura (Leeds)

Leeds’ very own Ketura Chavura has been going from strength to strength getting numbers in the high twenties weekly. They have also elected a new committee, headed up by our very own Laurie Hirschowitz and Rebecca Frazer, who have created innovative programmes such as a murder mystery evening.

Project 500 (Glasgow)

Even further north than Leeds is Project 500, who have a new committee chaired by Rebecca Cohen and Nicole Chewen. They are very excited to get weekly meetings going, and have lots of new exciting ideas.

Check out the photo gallery for updated photos.

Gilad is Home – 3 Perspectives

Gaby Cohen, 17, Manchester

I first heard the news that Gilad was to be released when I arrived at a Year Gaby CohenCourse meeting one week ago. I have been involved in the campaign for the release of Gilad Shalit since first becoming involved in FZY in 2007, learning about the captive soldier in weekly Chavurot meetings and then further on my time on Ofek ‘08 and Kesher ‘09.

On Tour in 2010 I went with 2 other fellow FZY participants to the tent in Jerusalem where I was lucky enough to meet Noam Shalit and presented him with a poster that my entire Tour had signed showing the Shalit family that FZY would be behind them all the way and would do anything to see Gilad’s release – and that we have done.

I stood strong with other fellow FZY members at the Vigil in Manchester on 24th February 2010 where we released yellow balloons to show our support for Gilad Shalit. It was an extremely emotional Vigil that made me yearn for Gilad’s homecoming.

I woke this morning to the news that Gilad was in Egypt and have not switched the news off since. I have been glued to the screen and have been filled with happiness but also anger. I think many young Zionists in Britain will agree that for them today has been a rollercoaster ride for our emotions.

I personally am overjoyed that Gilad has returned home, where he belongs and I understand when people say it is wrong that 1,027 terrorists have been released, however, Israel promises to do what they can to protect the lives of its soldiers; and this is what it has done.

What I can’t understand is the mentality of the Palestinians who were shouting “We want a new Shalit”, this disgusted me, but I will continue to campaign, if G-d forbid this happens again, and the Israel Defence Force will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

I hope now he can be on the road to recovery and will be comforted by the love and care of his family.

Bruchim Habayim!

Gili Dvash, 24, FZY Northern Shlicha

Gilad is home!

It has been an exciting week of nerve racking, cautious and happy thoughts.

Gili DvashIn the past 5 years, the world has heard a few times that there might be a deal to return Gilad. It has never been as certain as this that he is returning and yet whilst talking to friends in Israel we did not have the courage to say it straight up. We were afraid to jinx it.

5 years and 4 months ago I was just out of high-school, right before my gap year with FZY Year Course, I was talking to my friend who was serving in a tank unit in the southern border of Israel with Gaza, which I didn’t understand anything about at the time. He mentioned that there was a soldier that had been taken captive by Hamas, and that they weren’t allowed to talk about it in the news since his parents didn’t know yet.

Since then I have served in the Spokesperson Unit and understand a lot about each unit, the borders and  the rules of letting the media know information only after the family knows what had happened.

I remember sitting in my class in officer school when they brought back Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, remembering how powerful a moment it was for us. We sat in the same class almost six months later when operation Cast Lead started knowing we were part of a big thing.

But there was one thing I wanted. There was one thing we all wished for during our army service and it was to be there when Gilad gets back home. When he is back with his family and friends. When he is free.

I left my army service 9 months ago but I am excited. I am thrilled. I have tears in my eyes. I have had them there waiting, in preparation, for a week now, since I first heard the news.

There is no need to be cautious any more, Gilad is in Israel, Gilad is on his way to his family as I write these words. Gilad is free. Gilad is home!

Sam, 24, FZY Oleh

When I originally made aliyah I had many passionate views and opinions regarding the conflict and the problems that Israel are involved with. This passion for Israel has not decreased, but my opinions have become far more open-minded. I have had to live amongst the diverse nature of Israeli society, particularly when serving in the army. This means I have had to tolerate other people who live an ideology completely different to me such as Kibbutznikim or religious mitnachlim (religious settlers), from both sections of Israel’s social divide.

The release of Gilad Shalit very much highlights to me the complex nature of Israeli society and my response in turn has been to respect these sensitivities. On the one-hand I am delighted to see the return of a kidnapped soldier and a citizen of Israel. As a soldier in the IDF I feel comforted to know that the Israeli government will do everything in its power to look after my welfare and life. I feel immensely proud that our government would go to the lengths that no other government in the world would go  to in order to sanctify the life of its citizens. On the one hand I am not celebrating in the streets nor is really the rest of Israel because there is nothing to celebrate, I feel more a sense of relief. In the army as your shlicha will tell you, every soldier is counting the days when they are on base until they get to go home for shabbat!

In the army you miss your family so much. Gilad should have been coming home in June 2006, instead he came home 5 and a half years later. The trauma of those 5 years will never leave him and lets not forget he witnessed the murder of 3 of his fellow soldiers while he was kidnapped. So while I rejoice at his homecoming, I am more relieved than delighted.

I also feel for the victims of terror, some of whom lost their families in suicide bombings, having to witness murderers walk back to a life of freedom. In prison they were given the human rights innocent Gilad was denied and they walk free back to a life that we have no influence over. They have not served their punishment and victims of terror will feel justice has not been done. I lost my Great Aunt and cousin in a suicide bombing 15 years ago in Dizzengoff Street on Tel Aviv. It is hard for me to look her children in the eyes and explain why the perpatrators of such an attack should be freed in order for the return of a kidnapped soldier. This is why I cannot celebrate, not from a personal point of view, but I do not want to be insensitive to those who have lost loved ones in terror attacks.

In Israel I have always learnt that there are always two sides to every complex issue and often there is not a right or wrong decision and often each party with a different opinion has legitimate concerns. This has taught me to take a step back, look and observe when viewing political issues here in this country.

It is absolutely heart-warming to see Gilad being released. It shows how the Israeli government is willing to take risks and is willing to make painful compromises.

One small thing also. I have been so inspired by the Shalit’s family perseverance. There belief to bring their son home has never stopped.

One-day they will say to Gilad, we went to London, we marched for you in the streets of London and Jewish teenagers came out in their dozens. FZY should be proud for showing continous support to the Shalit family over the past 5 years and should be proud in participating (even a small part) in getting our boy back home.

Faces for Freedom


Emma Stone - FZY Bogeret

Welcome Home Gilad

Join FZY and the Board of Deputies in welcoming Gilad Home

All you need to do is click here: Faces for Freedom

Then take a photograph, upload it and then Tweet it @FZY, @FacesforGilad and @BoardofDeputies

Thank you for your support, both now and over the last five years,

The FZY Team

FZY Year Course – At the Gilad Shalit tent: history in the making

By Jason Roston, FZY Year Course Madrich

History was never my favourite subject. When my teachers used to say enthusiastically “history happens around us all the time” I never really understood what they meant.

History happens? History is history, it’s in the past, how can it happen in the present? At least that is what I used to think until this week, when for the first time in my life I was fortunate enough to witness a truly historic moment.

The news came that after 1934 days in captivity, the release of Gilad Shalit was not only realistically back on the table, but already signed by Benjamin Netanyahu. And I was there, with his friends and supporters, as the news fed through.

The entire night had been unique even before hearing the news about Gilad. As part of the FZY Year Course program, for which I am a leader, speakers on a range of issues, from Judaism to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and from left-wing activists to right-wing settlers, are invited in to the campus at Beit Ar-El in Jerusalem.

Tonight’s speaker was the mother of one of our own FZYniks, Yael Gladstone. Marsha, came to talk to us about her son who unfortunately was one of the victims of a bus bomb terrorist attack in Tel Aviv nine-years-ago to the day.

We listened to her tell the inspiring story of how her son, Yoni, lived his life to the full each day, of the tragedy regarding his death and the controversy surrounding the immediate aftermath, when, after giving the okay for his organs to be donated, the family received a call from an Israeli reporter asking how they felt that his kidneys had been transplanted to a Palestinian girl.

Watching her talk, with her daughter – now nearly the same age of her son when he died- in the audience, was incredibly moving. Beyond this, it was inspiring to hear of Marsha’s courage in actively seeking to find the young girl whose life had been saved by her son’s kidneys.

Halfway through the talk I received a call from an excited colleague. She was practically singing down the phone to me with the news that Gilad Shalit was being released. The decision is final, she said. Deals have been drafted and signed by the government.

History was being written right there and then. She put the phone down and I returned to hear the end of Marsha’s story. At the end of the talk I had to somehow thank Marsha for giving such a touching and personal account and explain to the solemn faces in front of me that we had a chance to witness history in the making. If only my old school teachers could have been there to hear me say that.

We headed straight to the Shalit tent to show support and to be a part of history. The atmosphere was intense, lively and most of all it was joyous. Despite the Shalit family not wanting to celebrate until they have Gilad back in their arms, we couldn’t help hide our excitement and conceal our joy.

It seemed quite fitting that here in Jerusalem, a historic city full of controversy, situated in the centre of a world stricken with pain, suffering and heartbreak, that dancing hugging and singing erupted all around, filling the streets nearby.

FZY Year Coursers at the Gilad Tent

FZY and YJ Year Coursers at the Shalit Tent on BBC News

I’m sure the debates surrounding his release will continue into the days that follow but now the Shalit family’s dream, after five long years of waiting, and convincing the world that their son deserved to be returned home, may indeed come true.

In years to come when people are talking about Gilad Shalit, if someone turns to me and asks “So where were you when Gilad was released?” I’ll reply “with his family”.

First published as a Jewish Chronicle blog.

A Succot Message

Last night was one that many of us will remember for a long time. After over five years in captivity, it seems that Gilad Shalit will finally be able to return home to his family and to his country. In the early hours of yesterday evening a deal was finally struck with Hamas to exchange over 1000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad. As news of the deal became more concrete and public Facebook and Twitter became crowded with messages of hope, joy, concern and love. It was a truly humbling experience to see how much this young man – someone who none of us have ever met, yet all of us feel we know – has come to mean to us all.

Gilad Shalit was taken captive by Hamas operatives on July 25th 2006, during a raid into Israel from the Gaza Strip. At the time, he was only nineteen years old. Since this date campaigners around the world have been tirelessly fighting for his return.

At FZY, we have wholeheartedly embraced Gilad’s cause, along with that of the other Missing In Action soldiers, from the beginning. They have never been far from our thoughts and hopes, and we have made it our mission to educate both our own membership and the wider world about them, raising awareness in the hope that the world would sit up, take notice, and do whatever necessary to bring them home.

Our support for this campaign has been unstinting as we feel there is no better example of our aim of Magen (Defence of Jewish Rights), our commitment to mutual Jewish responsibility, and our belief in ‘Am Yisrael as Am Echad’ (The Jewish People as One People). Seeing the messages of solidarity with Gilad throughout his captivity, and the sheer joy at the thought that he may soon come home, it becomes clear that Jewish peoplehood is not just a vague concept, but something very real and tangible.

FZY’s support for Gilad has been seen in numerous ways. We have sold wristbands and badges to raise awareness; we have stood outside Downing Street for a week-long vigil; we have been at the forefront of a march in solidarity; we have performed a five minute freeze in Central Jerusalem; we have ended every FZY event with a prayer for the MIAs. Through the entire five years, we have never forgotten Gilad.

Last night, our Year-Coursers made their way to the Shalit tent to celebrate with his family and were proud to dance, sing, and embrace in the streets along with his family and thousands of other Israelis, knowing that he has been always in our hearts.

FZY Year-Coursers at the Gilad Shalit tent in Jerusalem

As we enter the festival of Succot tonight, a time commemorating the Israelites journey through the desert from exile to the Promised Land, we can only hope that Gilad will be able to leave his exile, and return home. Succot is also known as ‘Zman Simchateinu’ (the time of our rejoicing). In these days, as we wait in anticipation for the final result of five years of campaigning, we hope that this name rings true.

Chag Sameach

Movement Team in Israel

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.

Gili, Elliot, Broude, Daniel, Sasha and Josh at YC Opening Tekkes

 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.

Party in the Park – Tour Reunion 2011

Party in the Park PosterOn 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!

Tour 10 chanichim

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

Life After Tour…

FZY Israel Tour is NOT the end of your FZY Journey.

There are three exciting tracks to get involved in!
So check out what’s in store for YOU upon your return…

Read more →

Page 1 of 41234»