HDUK Deepens Community during Wartime

By a group of HDUK Bogrimot

On the morning of the 7th we received news alerts informing us of the events in Israel from the comforts of our own homes in England. However, holding movement values and a close connection to Israel through this, we were anxious and worried about everyone affected by the events in Israel and Gaza and what this means for the future of the country. Although we are not physically affected by the conflict, an aftermath of rising antisemitism was becoming an increasing aspect of Diaspora lives. For most of us who are not surrounded by Jewish people, Habonim was a space that we knew would provide outlets for expression and exploration of the way we were feeling. 

Over the following few days, a virtual community was drawn on. Zoom meetings commenced with initial spaces for processing with our bogrimot body and movement members in Israel. The UK community shared their concerns surrounding loved ones in Israel and asked whether the damage was irreparable and how to navigate the privilege of being physically removed from the events, while movement members in Israel expressed their concerns for us in the Diaspora. Through sharing such feelings and thoughts, the bogrimot found it possible to relate to one another and find support in this shared sentiment.

As well as this, our vaad Israel and mazkirut produced a peula providing chinuch and sichot for the bogrimot and muchanimot. This included a PowerPoint giving a detailed timeline of the events from the 7th of October onwards, a space to share feelings about being outside of a Habo space during this time, and an outlet to ask questions. it. Important and tough conversations were able to take place in a classic Habo style, as well as the sentiment of community support running strongly throughout. This meeting also ended with how we can bring these conversations to chanichimot, so we split into our tzvatim and wrote our own aims for future peulot we’ll run for the different shchavot of chanichim in the movement.

The following weeks have included online content and peulot for madrichimot and chanichimot, with the same aims of providing a space to process. In addition, personal and individual sichot amongst madrichimot and between madrichimot and chanichimot have rippled through the movement, and will continue to do so. These sichot provide a space to express our emotions and concerns freely, knowing the movement is there to support one another in a time when it is needed the most. 

Whilst the situation remains uncertain, it is reassuring to know that we can always engage in conversation with likeminded people within the movement.