Twenty members of TaMaR Olami, the international Progressive Zionist movement for young adults, held their 15th annual conference in Israel from March 1–6, 2012. The delegates came from 14 countries: U.K, Australia, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, France, Costa Rica, South Africa, Hungary, Belarus, Latvia, Israel and the U.S.Tamar group

Participants in Tel Aviv

TaMaR Olami is a framework for Progressive Jewish young adults, enabling them to connect in different ways: spending holidays together, Shabbat, or a weekend seminar discussing the Movement’s ideology or current events in Israel. The annual conference held in Israel brings these young adults together where they discuss important issues in the Progressive world, learn about ways they can each be active in the Movement, hear about what is happening around the world, and look for the best ways to make TaMaR a real viable framework. This year the seminar’s theme was “Repair the world. Repair the earth” and focused on Tikun Olam from a social and ecological perspective. According to TaMaR coordinator Yuval Nemirovsky, “the main goal was to show the participants the connection between social justice and ecology, showing different angles from relevant issues in Israel like the water, the Beduin population, the Kibbutz, the big cities and cooperation between Israel, The Palestinian Authority and Jordan.”

In the desert Checking out the desert

The conference was a “roaming” conference, with delegates moving from Jerusalem (Beit Shmuel), to Kibbutz Lotan – one of the Arava kibbutzim affiliated with the Israeli Progressive movement, a Beduin town, Mitzpe Ramon, Eilat, and Jaffa. Along the way they visited important historical and Zionist sites, and engaged in meaningful discussions about Israel and Zionism, Progressive Judaism, ecology and desert life, and Tikun Olam. Kibbutz Lotan – a recognized global leader in Jewish environmental education, nature conservation, green technology development and sustainable community development – hosted the delegates for a meaningful and spiritual Kabbalat Shabbat service.

Of the many discussions held during the conference, one of the most touching was that of the delegate from Hungary who spoke about the problems and issues that Progressive Judaism is having there. The other delegates unanimously decided to combine forces and see what can be done to help the situation in Hungary.

“We are proud of our young adults, and proud of their achievements throughout the year. This framework enables them to connect with other branches around the world and inspire and be inspired by others,” says Netzer and TaMaR director Maoz Haviv.


Bedouin tent In a Bedouin tent