19th March 2015

From Joel S, Sarah L and Molly H


Hello parents and friends.

This week on Machon was spent getting back into the swing of day to day life following our chalutzim (pioneers) tiyul! However before the work started again, the weekend was to be enjoyed.

Friday was spent chilling at Machon, watching films, relaxing and catching up on sleep. Some people decided to spend the weekend at the almost empty Etgar flat (who had gone on a trip to Tzfat) and make use of the free beds.

Saturday greeted us with sunshine. Myself, Tal Jonny and a few others took it upon ourselves to go for a walk in the old city – with the intention of going along the old city walls, sadly that’s  a no no as we found out the entrance was inside the Jaffa gate, the ‘forbidden forest’ of the old city. Furthermore it costs 16 sheks (£2.50), so no thanks.

Later in the evening, about 25 members of machon came down to the promenade overlooking Jerusalem for a last minute BBQ.

Sunday brought round the new week of lessons,  fun fun fun!

Monday was interesting, as well as Yom Tnua (movement day) in which we got to see all off the Etgarnicks, the debates surrounding the Israeli elections heated up. Following zorba discussions and an excellent Kef Puela written by Jonny and Joe, it was time for LIVERPOOL vs SWANSEA!!!!!! We won. On a side note, Joe, Esther and Myself had a very interesting discussion win a self proclaimed right wing voter in a bar, who had recently made Aliyah. Several weeks of Machon education aided our argument and eventually I think she realized that she was wrong. Ha.

Tuesday was the big day! With a half day at Machon, we were set challenges in Jerusalem linked to the elections. I think pictures might be better here, so if you wish to see what Machoniks got up to, search the hashtag #machonelections on Instagram. More importantly, to Dawn at least, Tuesday was St Patrick’s day! With clover leaf painted faces and dodgy accents the majority of the group heading out into Jerusalem centre for watered down beer and poor table service.

Wednesday. Was. A. Bad. Day. The day of reckoning some might say. On a personal note, Wednesday started poorly, Bibi’s party Likud achieved an unexpected and impressive 30 seats meaning they are forming the new government. The real tragedy happened last night. After days of anticipation, waiting and tension. Netzer North Lined up against Hashomer (mainly Italians) in the Machon World Cup. Let’s just say, ignoring the diving, pushing, flailing legs, high elbows and the regular substitions which broke up play. Hashomer showed us how to play, beating us comfortably 10-0.

And…..that was the last week.

Joel Stokes

My bed


Signing off



This past week has been amazing on etgar. This past Thursday during our class of history of Israel, we had a wonderful substitute teacher who did a good job at showing us dome of the rock and other holy sites in the old city of Jerusalem. It was a tour that not many people do so it was marvelous to see the dome of the rock up close and to see all of the beautiful colors that it has. This weekend some of us stayed and hung out with the machonics but most of us went to tzafat, a city in the north, which was where Kabala was originally fun. It was a great way for our group to bond as it was our first organized etgar weekend.

We all joined back up on Sunday morning to start our week with classes. We had the lovely Mark Lazar followed by our first volunteering. Some of us are volunteering at a psychiatric hospital, some at an open house for lgbtq people in Israel, and some with kids.

On Monday we had classes is the morning as usual then followed by movement day with machon. Movement day is always fun as it is an organized time to see all of netzer.

Tuesday we had a free day for elections! Although the elections didn’t go as most of us had hoped, we spent the day with our lovely Irish friend, Dawn, as we celebrated st. Patricks day. It is only once in a while where you see your friend paint herself green and jig so it was amazing.

That brings us to Wednesday. On Wednesdays we have class on the morning, then a huge gap to clean up the flat and to buy food, then some more classes. Wednesdays are great because 17 people can get messy at times so a good cleanup is always needed.

We are all looking forward to our trip on Sunday to the south so stay tuned for what has to come, adios!