Netzer Mitzvah Day at Westpark Cemetery

Inspired by the idea of the Torah portion, Terumah, that an offering which comes from the heart is creating and sustaining a Jewish community infrastructure, Netzer South Africa organized, in co-junction with the progressive synagogues Bet David, Sandton, and Beit Emanuel, Johannesburg, a cemetery clean up at the Johannesburg’s Jewish Westpark Cemetery.

The Netzer Mitzvah day was held last Sunday for the first time. “The idea of the day is to connect the learning about Mitzvot with a concrete action”, explained Rabbi Adrian Michael Schell from Bet David, “and we wanted to give an example that giving doesn’t require a lot of money or materials. Time is one of the most precious things we can offer, and by which we can change more in this world than many of us can imagine.”

Steven Adler, President of the Chevrah Kadisha, who welcomed the group at the cemetery, thanked Netzer and the children for this wonderful idea and their dedication. At the Wall of Remembrance, Simon Hochschild gave a short introduction to the place, before the youth learned, in a Peula (learning session), more about the origin of Mitzvot and the idea of Tikkun Olam. As part of the program, all participants cleaned the memorial plaques and the area around of the Wall of Remembrance. Rabbi Margolis (Bet David), Rabbi Shaked (Beit Emanuel) and Rabbi Schell (Bet David) were moved by the engagement of all the participants and the Netzer Madrichim, and the contribution the youth movement is making to the Jewish community in Johannesburg.