כיצד הקהילה היהודית רואה את השליחים? לינטון טראביס, חבר הקהילה ביוהנסבורג שיתף אותנו בנושא.
Jewish communities all over the world have an inherent connection to Israel, not just from the roots of our Judaism, but also from our Zionist beliefs. This connection is maintained through visits to the Holy Land by a number of individuals, but what really gets Israel into our hearts and homes, our conscience and activities is the ability to get a bit of Israel in South Africa.
That ‘bit’ of Israel is often represented by the Shlichim who come voluntarily to share their knowledge, experience, faith and beliefs. Through communal integration, our Shlichim become part of our communities, part of our families, and continue to do so, even when they return to their homes.
Our youth grow up in a world that changes on a daily basis, but the one constant is the role of Netzer in our community. The Youth Organisation is integral to our community, to strengthen the bonds of our children, to educate them on the Progressive values and ideals, to create a kinship with Israel and to practice Tikkun Olam. This is probably the most important role that the Shaliach plays – they are educators, leaders and representatives of both Israel and our movement.
I believe that the Shaliach is a special kind of person – you have to be in order to leave the familiar place you call home, and adopt a new home – and the experience of volunteering undoubtedly brings about personal growth, enables the Shaliach to experience a different country, its culture and lifestyle.
The first hand intimate knowledge a Shaliach has of Israel is invaluable to us in the Diaspora – the information we receive is sometimes biased, often does not deal with the real issues, and leaves one questioning what the truth is. The Shaliach makes it real, they talk to us in layman’s terms, and they interpret the nuances, the subtleties and the realities.
Netzer South Africa has experienced tremendous growth over the past years, and this is attributable to the work that our local leaders and our Shlichim have undertaken. They have made it a point to be visible, to be active, to participate, to debate, to represent our interests, to be the voice of reason, to fight for the right causes, but more importantly, they have made it their mission to engage with our youth, and to give them a place to grow, and achieve their highest goals.
Without a doubt, we have had some incredible people who seized the opportunity to volunteer, they came out to South Africa, and they have made a difference.
The South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) marks its 80th anniversary in June 2012, and the theme is Infinite Progress. Our Shlichim have been part of that progress, and have contributed to the success of our movement, and the growth of our children.
לינטון טראביס הוא ה"סופרוויזר", האחראי בקהילה על השליח הן מבחינה מקצועית והן מבחינה אישית. לינטון הוא חבר הקהילה הרפורמית ביוהנסבורג ובתוקף תפקידו אחראי על נתנאל גוזלן, שליח נצ"ר למקום.