Growing across the country

New groups established in regional areas

This year the organisation has 13 outreaches planned in eight different.

Hobart's Habo group.
Hobart's Habo group.

Since 2019, Habonim Dror’s youth outreach program, Ken Ha’Shemesh Ha’Olah (KSO), has grown and gained structure in Australia.

Two years later it canvassed new communities and ran programs and activities on Zoom for kids who had been plagued by bushfires and floods in regional Australia.

In 2023, KSO ran 10 outreach events for over 100 Jewish kids around the country and even saw some of them in state and federal Habo camps throughout the year.

This year the organisation has 13 outreaches planned in eight different communities including Byron Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Hobart, Bellingen, Newcastle, Canberra, Geelong and Adelaide.

Some of its members now help run the outreaches for the younger kids, gaining unique leadership skills in the process.

Habo now has over 150 Australian members who run regular events that continue their educational processes and maintain their connections with HDOZ (Habonim Dror Australia).

Finally, the first KSO group boarded the plane for Israel at the start of 2024 and joined their year group on Habo’s shnat program – a year dedicated to learning about Jewish history, Habo’s values and what the youth movement’s future looks like.

Habo group in Byron Bay.

“In achieving all of this, we have seen our members become passionate, young Jewish leaders in their community, who are proud of their Jewish identities and feel connected to other young, Australian Jewry,” KSO community liaison Roie Bargil said. Alongside its successes, KSO has faced many challenges in its short existence.

It has been difficult to reach new communities as well as grow their existing ones while not physically present in the communities to do so.

Additionally, KSO is constantly running on a tight budget. This has proved difficult, and its main expenses are flights for its leaders from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, hiring venues and paying for accommodation.

This has also proved challenging when organising a team to run each outreach.

Lastly, a constant challenge that the KSO leadership body faces, is how can they replicate a positive Habo experience for these young Jews, like the one that is provided to so many other kids attending weekly activities and camps in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

“However, at the same time, we acknowledge that our members in more rural communities have different needs to those in the metropolitan areas and thus, it is our responsibility to cater to those needs,” Bargil added.

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