Sign up to Shnat 2021
Not long before shnat [name] takes off! Make sure you contact our Rakaz Shnat (Coordinator of Shnat and Israel programs) here and find out more!
What is Betar Shnat?
The Betar Shnat program is a 9 month post-high-school Israel program starting in February that focusses on exploring and finding a connection to Israel, learning about independence, and learning about Hadracha (leadership skills) required to become an equipped leader in Betar.
The program includes (subject to change):
- Volunteering and living independently in Kibbutz Kineret
- Machon leadership course
- A week-long Poland trip
- Marva, a 2-month long basic training run by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) or an alternative program depending on your interest (such as Magen David Adom)
- Independent living in Tel Aviv
- Seminars on a variety of topics
Through these activities the participant will gain an understanding about the complexities that Israel faces, confidence in their identity, an ability to advocate for their beliefs, and will meet people from different backgrounds, both around the world and within Australia. It is a very special time that will help you grow, make lifelong friendships, and prepare you for university or whatever path you decide to take. The program costs approx. $18 000 USD which covers all aspects such as courses, accommodation and food with generous subsidies available to help make this dream come true. There will also be free weekends in which the participant can explore Israel in their own way or visit family and friends.
Upon return to Australia, Bogrim (graduates of the movement) are responsible for the running of the movement. They are given the opportunity to carry on what they have learnt and give back some of what they have been given. As a Boger they learn invaluable life lessons and gain experience and responsibility by being at the forefront of their local community that can be found in no other forum.
The Shnat year in more detail
The volunteering section of the program will be run for 1-2 months. The shnatties will be living together in an apartment, and have much more control over their daily lives. During the day they will be expected to be at volunteering, and at night creating their own fun. They will be given a weekly budget per person which is generally put together to buy groceries for the week. They will be cooking and cleaning for themselves and have a chance to enhance their reputation as chefs. The volunteering may change per person, or it may be group work. Previous years have done soup kitchen work, teaching children, working in old age homes, farming, working on day camps and even working at a vet. If there is a particular place where a child wants to volunteer, such as an animal shelter, old age home, teaching program, we will make an effort to accommodate them.
Machon is an educational experience that creates leaders within the community by focussing on learning about Israel, Judaism and leadership through academic education, active learning and experiencing Israel. It lasts 3 months and is held in Jerusalem. Machon provides a chance to explore Betar’s ideology and find out about other youth movements. The campus accommodates students their age from all around the world, including England, South Africa, New Zealand, South America and more. Teachers provide a wide range of stimulating and informative classes that will push the participants to get as much out of this element of the program as they can. Tiyulim (trips) around the country are also included in which the participants are presented with what is happening in practice and how their studies reflect real life in Israel. A week in Uganda is also included which applies the skills acquired throughout the course.
Marva is a nine week program designed to give the participants a taste of life in the Israeli Army. The participants live on an army base in Sde Boker, wear army uniforms and follow a basic training program run by Israeli soldiers. The course includes lessons in Israeli geography, history, discipline, physical training, navigation and tiyulim, and is run in Hebrew (participants are advised to capitalize on the Hebrew classes provided during the year). Marva offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into the Israeli Defense Force. It is an intensive physical and educational experience that offers great rewards and self satisfaction, as well as a deeper understanding of Israeli society.
Betar Olami will run Seminars for the Shnat participants throughout the program. These seminars are a chance for shnatties to explore Israel in a Betar context. There will be a vast range of seminars, which will provide participants with the opportunity to take in the rich heritage of the Jewish people. Seminars will be run in a variety of places (North, Negev, Judea and Samaria) and cover different topics such as Hadracha, Hasbara (advocating), and other skills that are useful as a Betar Boger (graduate) and generally in life. During the seminars, the Shnatties will be living together, with a Madrich. Seminars may run from one or two days, to a whole week or more.
Throughout the year participants will have two major blocks of chofesh (Pesach and Sukkot), as well as free weekends (which are usually Thursday night through to Saturday night). It is during these times that Shnatties may visit family in Israel, friends or have their family come from Australia. It is up to the participants to find their own accommodation, food, transport etc. during these times, however, in the event that a Shnat participant is unable to organize these things for him/herself, Betar Olami will provide assistance.