NOAM Barcelona Camp
Noam Barcelona Camp marked point where the Spanish youth group officially made the transition between the Reform Movement’s Netzer youth group to NOAM Olami, the youth movement of the Masorti Movement. During the ten days of camp, the group changed their name and identity and of course, received new NOAM shirts as well. To ease the transition, NOAM Olami send two Spanish-speaking shlichim to be on hand for the entire ten days in order to be the face of NOAM for the community. The shlichim, Melania and Alon worked with NOAM Barcelona around the clock to cement personal connections and create a feeling of being embraced by a new community, as opposed to an organizational takeover. In addition to the personal connections, the shlichim also held daily activities with all age groups focusing on Masorti values and viewing Israel through a Masorti lens.
Changing identity in a youth group is no small matter, but NOAM Olami director Reut Yahav arrived to find camp was running smoothly and attitudes were positive. There was an overall feeling among the campers and the staff that NOAM Olami cared about them they appreciated the fact that staff from the international movement attended their camp and was interested in what they were doing.
Reut had the chance to work with both the current staff and also with the course of next year’s leaders and to answer their questions about the Masorti Movement’s ideology, outlook and practice. One way that she approached these matters was by constructing a Masorti escape room whose clues were all rooted in NOAM Olami and the programs and projects that NOAM has to offer. Participants learned about how NOAM Olami can be used as a resource, especially for a new community just joining the movement. After the escape room Reut engaged participants in an open conversation to voice any hesitations they had regarding the transition. Following the conversation participants understood more about the similarities and differences between Netzer and NOAM and also understood that the transition would be a process as opposed to a sudden change.
By the end of camp, most people felt comfortable with the new identity and are excited to be part of NOAM’s global programs. The staff decided how they can continue to work with the Reut year-long to continue the process that began at camp.