High Holy Days Appeal

You can also donate by cheque made out to 'Sinai Leeds' and please indicate in a note that it is for the High Holy Day Appeal.

The Movement for Reform Judaism and RSY-Netzer are proud to have been recognised on a national level for our unique extremely high levels of wellbeing and mental health support for youth and communities.

Every year we positively impact hundreds of young people’s lives through transformative experiences which strengthen and develop their Jewish identity and relationship with Israel. Inclusivity is at the core of everything we do, and we ensure that every young person on an RSY-Netzer or Reform Judaism event is treated as an individual and made to feel safe and happy, and that their specific needs are taken into account.

Even before the pandemic, the number of participants and leaders on our residential events who needed additional wellbeing support increased every year. Research by Young Minds has found 80% of young people feel their mental health has deteriorated over the pandemic.  Demand for wellbeing support for young adults and students in our communities is also at an all-time high. We expect this trend to continue following the unprecedented impact of the last year. In order to respond appropriately to this demand, we now require significant additional investment in order to safeguard the needs of all of our young people.

Lucy's Story

The rates of mental health problems amongst young people have risen sharply since Covid hit.  We have seen this in RSY-Netzer.  Lucy* is 14.  She came on Shemesh and, unknown to her parents, was struggling with her relationship with food.  The Wellbeing Officer supported her on camp and helped her talk to her parents about what she was experiencing.  Once home, she was diagnosed with an eating disorder and she got professional support.  The following summer she returned to camp with a care plan developed with our wellbeing team, to ensure that she remains well and continues her recovery.  Many of her madrichimot (leaders) had participated in training around eating disorders and food culture on camp, reflecting on creative ways to manage meal times.  Lucy had a great summer with her friends, and thanks to the support of the Wellbeing Officer, was able to fully participate.

*Name has been changed

With our community’s help, we can support even more young people like Lucy to have life-changing Reform Jewish experiences.

How your support can help

We would allocate your contributions towards supporting the wellbeing of our young people, helping us provide a high standard of care to even more children and young adults in our national Reform Jewish community. Here are some examples of how your funds could help change our young people’s lives:

  • £30 would help us provide a place to train one new Student Mental Health First Aider on an accredited course, helping them support their peers at university with their mental health and know what to do in a crisis;
  • £75 would support our young people in RSY-Netzer to create internal resources on wellbeing, expanding on our growing library of resources created by our madrichimot (leaders);
  • £150 would pay for a day of having a trained welfare support worker at our residential camps to provide urgent mental health support to participants;
  • £1,000 would cover the cost of providing a trained professional welfare support worker for an entire week long residential camp, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for our participants;

 Please consider investing in this crucial work as part of our community’s High Holy Day giving.