Bnei Akiva

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Bnei Akiva
בני עקיבא
Bnei akiva logo.jpg
Bnei Akiva emblem
Motto Torah ve'Avodah (Torah and Work)
Formation 1929
Type Jewish Youth Movement
Legal status Nonprofit organization
Purpose Educational
Headquarters Jerusalem, Israel
Location
Coordinates 31°46.892′N 35°12.988′E / 31.781533°N 35.216467°E / 31.781533; 35.216467
Region served
Worldwide
Membership
Youth
Parent organization
Hapoel HaMizrachi
Staff
25 (2016)
Website www.worldbneiakiva.org
Remarks named after Rabbi Akiva

Bnei Akiva (Hebrew: בני עקיבא‎, lit: Children of Akiva) is the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with over 125,000 members in 42 countries. It was established in 1929 in Mandatory Palestine.[1]

History[edit]

Bnei Akiva was established as the youth wing of the Mizrachi movement.[2] The axiom of Bnei Akiva is Torah v’Avodah,[3] a phrase coined by Rav Shmuel Chaim Landau (Shachal). Bnei Akiva first came into existence in the late 1920s, following World War I. Concurrent with the establishment of the movement in pre-independence Israel, organizations of religious youth operated in the Diaspora. Some of them adopted the name Bnei Akiva and others had appellations such as Hashomer Hadati.[2] Twenty-five years later (1958), the Israeli and Diaspora groups merged and the Mazkirut Olamit (World Secretariat) of Bnei Akiva was formed.

Ideology[edit]

World Bnei Akiva logo

Bnei Akiva's twin ideals of Torah and Avodah loosely translate to religious commitment/study and work on the land of Israel. The movement has an anthem called Yad Ahim.[4] As a pioneering Zionist youth movement, Bnei Akiva believes that it is a central commandment of Judaism to emigrate to the land of Israel--"make Aliya"—and maintains that the future of the Jewish people is tied to the state of Israel.[5] Bnei Akiva feels that Jewish youth in the Diaspora should be educated to realize that the State of Israel needs them, and that they, in turn, need it. In the early years of pioneering, Avodah was understood as meaning agricultural work, as reflected in the symbolism on the "Semel" (see below, #The Emblem). In more recent years, there has driven a shift in ideology towards a broader definition of working for the development of the country. (See Avodah article).

Similarly, the original socialist aims of Bnei Akiva are also taking more of a back-seat. Up to the 1980s many Bnei Akiva members joined religious Kibbutzim in Garinim (groups). They were either groups based on army service together Nahal or they were groups that came on Aliya (emigrated) to Israel together. Since the 1990s, a wider view of how to contribute to Israeli life has become accepted. Bnei Akiva members now typically settle in development towns, settlements etc. They are active in all areas of Israeli life including security, hi-tech, education, academia etc.

Bnei Akiva's objectives are to educate Jewish youth with values of Torah Va'Avodah (Torah and work), to provide stimulating experiential and informal opportunities for encountering Judaism, and to encourage Jewish continuity and leadership, e.g. members are encouraged to spend a year in Israel on organised learning and touring programs to broaden their knowledge of Israel and developing their leadership skills.

The term "Bnei Akiva" and its ideology relates directly to the story of Rabbi Akiva. At the age of 40 years, after growing up tending flock, he changed his ways and decided that he needed to find out the essence of the Jewish faith. He reasoned that just as something as soft as water can penetrate a solid rock and cause it to erode, so too can the Torah penetrate into himself. Chanichim (lit. students) strive to emulate Rabbi Akiva and his qualities, namely his love of God, devotion to the Torah, respect for labor, love of Israel, and his fight for its independence.

Some members would like Bnei Akiva's slogan to be "Am Yisrael b'Eretz Yisrael al pi Torat Yisrael" - "The (Jewish) Nation of Israel living in the Land of Israel according to the Torah of Israel". This is the slogan of the original Mizrachi movement.

Organizational framework[edit]

In Israel, Bnei Akiva is affiliated with the Religious Kibbutz Movement and the National Religious Party. It is run by a National Secretariat (Hanhala Artzit). Outside Israel, local branches of Bnei Akiva are under the Bnei Akiva Olami (Worldwide) organization.

In every country, Bnei Akiva operates a network of Shabbat groups, summer camps, leadership seminars, Shabatonim, and other activities.

Symbols of Bnei Akiva[edit]

The Emblem[edit]

The Official Emblem of Bnei Akiva South Africa

The "Semel", Bnei Akiva's emblem, shows farming utensils and wheat sheaves symbolizing the agricultural perspective of the ideology, and two tablets of stone in the center symbolizing the Torah perspective. The two perspectives of Torah and Avoda are united together by the ribbon which says Bnei Akiva on it - symbolizing that the two aspects can only and must work hand in hand. The letters on the two tablets are the Hebrew letters 'Taf' and 'Ayin' standing for Torah veAvoda ("Torah and work") By work, Bnei Akiva means working in Israel. Helping and developing Israel, so Israel can be an example for all the other countries.[6]

The Anthem[edit]

The Bnei Akiva's anthem (himmnon in Hebrew), was composed by Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neriya (originally known as Chaver Minkin). He composed the anthem during the Chol Hamoed period of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, 1932, at a gathering of youth leaders in Kfar Saba.

Although the words and the melody have been changed to some extent, the anthem is sung on many Bnei Akiva occasions.

The anthem, Yad Achim, is sung in Hebrew.

Original Text Translation to English
יד אחים לכם שלוחה, הנוער החביב

על דגלנו כולכם, חנו מסביב

יזהיר לכם כוכב תורה

דרככם סוגה בעבודה

בלב אמיץ ובעזרת ה´, עלה נעלה!

קדימה בני-עקיבא, הידד במעלה!

מולדת זו, ארץ אבות, ארצנו הקדושה

מידי אביר-יעקב לנו מורשה

ראשינו בעמקי תורתה

כפינו ברגבי אדמתה

בלב אמיץ ובעזרת ה´, עלה נעלה!

קדימה בני-עקיבא, הידד במעלה!

A brotherly hand is stretched out to you, O beloved youth:

Gather yourselves around our flag.

The star of the Torah shall shine for you,

Your path shall be one of labour.

With a sturdy heart, with the help of God, we will go up,

Forward, Bnei Akiva, forward to the heights!

This homeland, the holy Land of our fathers,

our heritage from the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob.

Our minds are steeped in her Torah,

Our hands are immersed in her soil.

With a sturdy heart, with the help of God, we will go up,

Forward, Bnei Akiva, forward to the heights!

Mifkad[edit]

Bnei Akiva branches all over the world start or end their meetings with mifkad, a "chet", or rectangle missing one if its smaller sides, shaped assembly where announcements are made, members are counted, and the ideology is reaffirmed. With slight variations, the text of mifkad is the same all over the world, following a basic structure shown at [1].

Lexicon[edit]

Hebrew Transliteration Literal translation Description
שבט Shevet Tribe Age group. A Shevet receives its name at age 14 approximately. The name remains with that shevet forever.
סניף Snif Branch Local branch of the movement, usually holding activities on a weekly basis.
מדריך Madrich Guide Counsellor, group leader
חניך Chanich Pupil Member of the movement, before Gap year.
הכשרה Hachshara Preparation Gap year programme for high school graduates in Israel. There are various programmes but all mix elements of Torah study and other activities.
שליח Shaliach Emissary The World movement sends emissaries to the local branches. The idea is to teach Hebrew, encourage aliya and Judaism. Shlichim can be bachelors after army service or families.

Bnei Akiva around the world[edit]

Bnei Akiva Brazil[edit]

In Rio de Janeiro there are two branches one in Copacabana (Snif Metzadah) and one in Tijuca (Snif Beit Yafah). Bnei Akiva's presence in São Paulo started in the 50s. Now it has two branches, one in Jardins and one in Higienopolis. Bnei Akiva also have a snif in Belém. The activities of Bnei Akiva include Shabbatons, camp (each year there are two camps in São Paulo and two in Rio de Janeiro), many field trips, and commemorations of the Jewish holidays.

Bnei Akiva France[edit]

There are snifim in the most important cities like Paris, Lyon, Marseille or Strasbourg. Paris counts several snifim. Each year several mahanot are organized for the winter holidays and for the summer holidays. A shabat for is organized each year for every madrihim of the country. In France, the director of a snif is called a merakez.

Bnei Akiva Mexico[edit]

Bnei Akiva in Mexico was founded in 1948. It is located in Mexico City, there are three chapters and one main house, which is the center of activities. It counts around more than 100 active members in the movement and a large population of non active members, those who have grown too old for the Youth Groups, or those who have "made Aliyah" (moved to Israel). Bnei Akiva members are involved in community service such as participating in its institutions, studying in Jewish day schools, Hebrew schools and Yeshivot, and participating in Chessed activities (community service).[7]

Bnei Akiva Netherlands[edit]

In the Netherlands Bne Akiwa (the way it is transcribed in Dutch) started after the Holocaust-period. During the latter half of the 20th century its main yearly activities were: weekly pe'ulot on Shabbath in Amsterdam and on Sunday in other cities, summer- and wintercamps in the country, different European camps in the summer (Sayarim and Seminar Torani), Avoda summercamp in Israel, and participation in Hachshara year in Israel-programs; Shabbath Ha'irgun weekend; publication of the magazine Zeraim. Different from other countries the movement is led by a Board which consists of members in the age of 16–22 years, putting a rather big responsibility on young shoulders, while the Shaliach is the chairman. Many members went on aliya, while those who stay(ed) play(ed) significant roles in Jewish communal and non-Jewish life. [8]

Bnei Akiva South Africa[edit]

Bnei Akiva's presence in South Africa dates back to the 1920s. Today, it is one of the largest active Jewish youth movements in the country. It runs many shabbatonim as well as weekly activities at its various centres on the country. Bnei Akiva runs a month-long annual summer camp in the Western Cape, which is attended by over 1000 chanichim (campers) and madrichim (counselors). There is also a winter camp held in different locations each year, youth from all over South Africa attend this camp. The movement also runs many Israel programs - including MTA, Tafnit, Hadracha Tzeira, Kfar Haroeh and Bema'aleh - throughout the year.

Bnei Akiva Switzerland[edit]

Bnei Akiva Switzerland was founded in 1936. Numerous former Bnei Akiva Switzerland Chaverim came on Aliyah as a result of being in the youth movement. Today, Bnei Akiva Switzerland has more than 120 members in the two chapters (snifim), in Basel and Zurich. Geneva used to have its own chapter, but was closed by the parent organization in Israel because of a lack of interested members. Bnei Akiva is the biggest Jewish youth organization in Switzerland. Due to the lack of a Jewish high-school in Switzerland, Bnei Akiva fulfills an important role as a regular meeting place. It is a vital entity that allows high-school students, who do not see each other on a daily basis, to stay in contact with their Jewish friends. Every year there are two camps that take place, one in summer and one in winter. Additionally, the two oldest shvatim ("tribes") join the Sayarim summer-camp (a camp, which usually the oldest shevet of chapters all over Europe takes part in) on a biannual basis, followed by a four-week Israel trip the following year. A number of Shabbatonim take place throughout the year, such as the Yom Yerushalayim weekend. Currently they have Odeliya Sajtschik as shaliach.[9]

Bnei Akiva UK[edit]

Bnei Akiva in the UK was founded in 1936. Its beginnings were closely associated with Bachad and the Torah Va'Avodah movement, who all encouraged Aliyah. Arieh Handler was the main figure in the early growth of Bnei Akiva, as he brought over children from Nazi Europe on the Kindertransport and placed them in Bachad Hachshara (preparation) centres. These aimed to prepare the youth to work the Land of Israel on kibbutz by learning agricultural technicques. The first of these was at Gwrych Castle, which held the first ever gathering of Bnei Akiva UK in December 1940. After the local Marquis shut down the centre and expelled the Jewish immigrants, other Hachshara centres were set up in Bromsgrove, Buckinghamshire and the most famous, Thaxted, Essex.

Many Kibbutzim including Lavi and Bet Rimon were founded by members of BAUK. In modern times, Hachshara takes place in Israel and involves two schemes; Torani (the yeshiva and seminary track) and Lehava (giving participants a range of experiences in Israel). Bnei Akiva is the leading provider of gap years to Israel to 18-year-olds in the UK.

Today, Bnei Akiva is the largest Jewish youth movement in the country, with over 1000 members paying Mas Chaver (membership) each year. It is run by five full-time sabbatical workers who work in the London Bayit, the offices of Bnei Akiva UK. Bnei Akiva also brings over families of Shlichim (emissaries) from Israel, one serving as the Bnei Akiva Rabbinical couple and one serving the Northern communities. The Mazkirut and Shlichim together with the Nivcharim [elected representatives] who are elected by the movement's members each year form the Hanhalla [Governing body].

Bnei Akiva runs 28 svivot (branches) around the UK. They run activities on Shabbat afternoons as well as running Succah Crawls, Family Friday Nights and Shabbatot Ha'Irgun. This year, there are active Bnei Akiva groups in Barnet, Belmont, Birmingham, Borehamwood & Elstree, Brondesbury Park, Bushey, Cheadle, Chigwell, Edgware United, Edgware Yeshurun, Finchley, Golders Green, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Hendon, Kenton, Kingsbury, Leeds, Maida Vale, Mill Hill, Pinner, Radlett, Redbridge, Salford, Southgate, South Hampstead, South Woodford, Stamford Hill, Stanmore, Whitefield and Woodside Park. Previous Svivot which have now closed include Hale, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Bowdon. The svivot mostly operate in local synagogues but Bnei Akiva have two purpose-built buildings to house activities in London and Salford.

Bnei Akiva runs summer and winter camps (machanot) from school years 6-12. The winter camps include Aleph (Years Six & Seven), Ma'apilim (Year Eight), Haroeh (Year Nine), Gimmel (Year Ten) and Hadracha Course (Year Twelve). H-Course is a long-running leadership training camp which gives participants the skills to become the future leaders of the movement.

Summer camps include Aleph (Year Six), Aleph Chalutzi (Year Seven), Bet Base (Year Eight), Bet Chalutzi (Year Nine) and Gimmel (Year Ten). For Year 11, there is Israel Machane, a monthlong tour visiting sites in Israel. In 2011, Machane Cadur Regel (Football Camp) was initiated for years 3-5 in partnership with Arsenal Football Club. Bnei Akiva also runs the widely acclaimed Yachad programme, which caters for children with disabilities who want to be involved in camps.

In addition, there is a Beit Midrash Programme (BMP), that runs in conjunction with the other camps every summer. In recent years, Bnei Akiva has teamed up with Kaytana to run camps for Ethiopian children in Israel and also with Camp Simcha UK to run Keshet camp in London for children with serious illnesses. Over 1,000 people are involved in Bnei Akiva camps each year, making it the biggest provider of Jewish youth group camps in the UK.

Bnei Akiva UK actively supports projects in memory of Yoni Jesner who was heavily involved with the Glasgow branch of Bnei Akiva. He died from a critical head injury following a suicide bus bombing in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Bnei Akiva of the United States and Canada[edit]

Bnei Akiva of the United States and Canada (known before 1993 as Bnei Akiva of North America) was formed with the 1950 merger between Hashomer Hadati and Bnei Akiva. It has several levels of organization. At its most basic level, Bnei Akiva operates on a local level with glilim (cities), which often contain one or more snifim (branches) where youth groups are run on Shabbat. Most glilim are run by shlichim, (emissaries) from Israel, usually young couples. The first Bnei Akiva galil in America, technically belonging to Hashomer Hadati, was organized in Brooklyn by Meir Golombek in 1934, with additional glilim forming around young leaders throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. This was at a time when very little zionist education was available in the United States.

In 2000, in an attempt to help glilim that were without their own shlichim, Bnei Akiva of the United States and Canada formally added an additional regional infrastructure, with shlichim appointed to serve in a regional role and coordinate activities in several glilim. The first such regional shaliach, for the Midwest, was Ilan Frydman.

In additional to the galil-based organization of Bnei Akiva, a second focus of activities in Bnei Akiva of the US&C are the summer camps, known as Camp Moshava. The first Moshava, in Hightstown, NJ, was established in 1936, with a second one opening in Rolling Prairie, IN in 1938 and a third in Bronte, Ontario in 1946. In 1947 a fourth Moshava began operating in Saugos, CA. Camp Stone, the fifth Moshava, began operating as a Bnei Akiva camp in conjunction with Young Israel in 1969. Currently, the New York camp is located in Indian Orchard, PA, the Midwest Moshava moved to Wild Rose, WI, and the Canadian Moshava relocated to Ennismore, Ontario. The California Moshava currently operates out of Running Springs, CA, after a long hiatus following the 1985 sale of their Big Bear, CA campus. Since the late aughts, Bnei Akiva has also operated local day camps during the summer in New Jersey and Toronto. This followed the first attempt at such a program, in Atlanta in the early 1990s. Attendance at Bnei Akiva summer programs is typically larger than participation in glilim, though many chanichim and madrichim are active in both frameworks.

Additionally, there are several national programs that are run by Bnei Akiva of the US&C, most notably Mach Hach Baaretz, a six-week tour of Israel following 10th grade which attracts many participants who are not otherwise involved with Bnei Akiva. This program was started in 1972 by members in Los Angeles, and has grown to be one of the most successful and popular programs offered by Bnei Akiva of the United States and Canada. Another program, Machal, which is for graduates of 9th grade, was originally a national program but is now run out of each camp separately. Various national shabbatonim are run by the national office, including Kenes Manhigei Chevraya Bet (KMCB) which brings together some of the most promising young high school leaders for extra training.

Zvi Zobin is currently serving as Mazkir Artzi (National Director of Programming) of Bnei Akiva of the United States and Canada.

Bnei Akiva of Boston[edit]

Bnei Akiva Boston has two active Snifim: Sharon Bnei Akiva in Young Israel of Sharon, and Newton Bnei Akiva (NBA) as a joint program between Congregations Beth El-Atereth Israel and Shaarei Teillah. Bnei Akiva Boston recommenced activity in September 2007 after a decade-long hiatus. Today, Sharon Bnei Akiva operates its weekly activities on Shabbat afternoons for 2-8th grade children while NBA operates on Shabbat afternoons in the Fall/Spring and Motzei Shabbat in the winter.

Bnei Akiva of Chicago[edit]

Bnei Akiva of Chicago was established in 1935 is one of the largest glilim in the country. Chicago hosts several local and Regional shabbatonim each year. Galil Chicago has four snifim named Saad, Tirat Tzvi, Lakeview and Kfar Tzion. Chaverim from Chicago traditionally attend Camp Moshava, Wild Rose, WI, in the summers, and that Moshava is most associated with Galil Chicago. It is part of the Midwest Region.

Bnei Akiva of Cleveland[edit]

Bnei Akiva Cleveland currently has over 100 members, counting chanichim and madrichim. The city hosts a number of annual activities including a Purim Carnival and a Neshef production, as well as a number of community programs such as Musicians Towers (prayers led by Bnei Akiva in a nursing home for the major Jewish holidays). The current shlichim in Cleveland are Netanel and Odelia Afek, with two additional Bnot Sherut. Members of Bnei Akiva Cleveland typically attend Camp Stone in the summer, and that camp's headquarters is located in Cleveland. Galil Cleveland is part of the Midwest Region.

Bnei Akiva of Detroit[edit]

Bnei Akiva has been operating in Detroit since 1950. Bnei Akiva has three snifim that meet every Shabbat: at the Young Israel of Oak Park, at the Young Israel of Southfield and at Ohel Moed of Shomrey Emunah in West Bloomfield. Many members of Bnei Akiva of Detroit have moved to Israel, and one former shaliach, Otniel Schneller, previously served in the Knesset.The current shaliach is Yonatan Edrei, who lives in Oak Park, MI. Galil Detroit is in the Midwest Region, and campers are split between Camp Stone and Wild Rose, with a small number also going to Ennismore.

Bnei Akiva of Hamilton[edit]

Bnei Akiva of Hamilton is run by Mazkir Galil, Zev Wiesenthal.

Bnei Akiva of Los Angeles[edit]

Bnei Akiva Los Angeles was founded in 1946. It currently has four snifim, all named after famous religious kibbutzim: Snif Lavi (Tarzana), Snif Tirat Tzvi (North Hollywood), Snif Sa'ad (Hancock Park), and Snif Shluchot (Beverlywood). Every snif brings its own flavor to Bnei Akiva Los Angeles. For example, as the largest snif, Snif Shluchot has about 50 chanichim on a weekly basis and very dedicated Zionist families supporting it, and Snif Lavi boasts being the "Israeli Snif" with more than 3/4 of the Snif coming from Hebrew speaking homes.

Bnei Akiva of Montreal[edit]

Bnei Akiva of Montreal is divided into two branches, one called Beth Israel and the other called Baily. It also runs annual programs such as Purim celebrations and Shabbatons. It is led primarily by the students of Hebrew Academy and other schools as well. The current Shlicha in Montreal is Shira Tauber. Bnei Akiva Montreal runs weekly and monthly activities, educational training and Inter-city Shabbatonim.

Bnei Akiva of New York and New Jersey[edit]

Bnei Akiva of New York and New Jersey (BANY), the oldest galil in North America, has hundreds of members in 10 chapters across the region. In 1954, Rabbi Meir Kahane, became the mazkir (director) of Greater New York’s sixteen chapters.[10] BANY has weekly programs in New Jersey (in Teaneck, Fair Lawn, Englewood and Tenafly) and New York (on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Riverdale in the Bronx, Scarsdale in Westchester, and West Hempstead and North Woodmere in Long Island). BANY also runs Shabbatons and special events throughout the year for youth who are connected to Camp Moshava in Indian Orchard, Pennsylvania. Additional programs are run for college students, and largely focus on a commitment to live in the Land of Israel. [2]

Bnei Akiva of Philadelphia[edit]

Bnei Akiva of Philadelphia maintains three snifim: Northeast Philadelphia, Lower Merion and Cherry Hill, NJ. Galil Philadelphia prides itself on its dedicated and spirited core of madrichim. It is part of the Mid-Atlantic Region, and hosts a range of exciting activities and shabbatonim each year while receiving guidance from college-aged bogrim. While the Northeast branch has been in existence for decades, Snif Lower Merion began weekly Shabbat programming in September 2003 under the leadership of Chava Forman. In September 2012, Galil Philadelphia added a third snif in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Bnei Akiva of Pittsburgh[edit]

An active galil existed in Pittsburgh through the 1960s, when it became dormant. Activities resumed in 2005. Currently, Bnei Akiva of Pittsburgh operates weekly Snif out of the Shaare Torah synagogue. In addition, Bnei Akiva sponsors monthly social activities, like scavenger hunts, matza baking and trips to the movies. There is a special leadership program for 9th graders called Manhigut, which helps prepare them to be madrichim.[11] It is a member of the Bnei Akiva Midwest region.

Bnei Akiva of St. Louis[edit]

Bnei Akiva St. Louis was founded in 2008. It has one snif.

Bnei Akiva of Toronto[edit]

Bnei Akiva of Toronto was started in 1935, and maintains a strong presence in the city. Bnei Akiva of Toronto is known for being the biggest galil in the world outside of Israel. There are four snifim (BAYT, Or Chaim, Shaarei Shamayim and Kehilla Centre) with over 100 children attending on shabbat afternoon, as well as programming for grades 2-12 and university students (Bogrim) throughout the year. There is also the Bnei Akiva run camp Moshava Ennismore just outside Toronto, along with a day camp, Moshava Ba'ir Toronto, run in the city. Toronto houses the only Bnei Akiva Yeshiva outside Israel, Yeshivat Or Chaim with Ulpanat Orot, forms Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto. Currently, Jonny Lipczer is the shaliach and Ariel Shields is the Merakez of Bnei Akiva of Toronto. Bnei Akiva Toronto is a member of the Midwest Region.

Other Glilim[edit]

Additional cities with active Bnei Akiva chapters include Atlanta, Baltimore, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Hollywood, FL, Houston, Potomac, Silver Spring and Washington. In the past there have been several other chapters, including Boca Raton, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Gap Year Programming[edit]

For the 2014-2015 year, Bnei Akiva of the US and Canada launched a seminary and a yeshiva program in Israel by the names of Midreshet Torah V'Avodah and Yeshivat Torah V'Avodah. In the words of the programs' website, www.tvaisrael.org, "Along with several months of focused in-depth Torah study in an Israeli yeshiva or midrasha setting, TVA will open you up to Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael through targeted internships, intense volunteering and service learning, living and working on Kibbutz, exploring pivotal issues facing the future of the Jewish people, rigorous spoken-Hebrew language training, and exciting tiyulim throughout the year. All of these experiences will be infused with rigorous Torah learning while living in apartments in the dynamic community of Katamon in Jerusalem."

In the past, Bnei Akiva operated several other Gap Year programs. Until the 1980s members of BAUS&C participated in Hachshara. In the early 1990s a program called Midrash Uma'aseh existed and drew many of the most involved members of Bnei Akiva. Since 1982, Bnei Akiva has offered a program called Tochnit Nissan for members studying in Israel during the month of Nissan. Traditionally, this program took place on a kibbutz, though other options are now offered.

Aliya[edit]

Bnei Akiva of the United States and Canada actively promotes aliya, but the way in which this occurs has changed over the years. Until the 1990s, chanichim were encouraged to make aliya in garinim, or small groups intended to bolster existing communities. These were almost always directed to a Kibbutz Hadati, and fierce debates took place as to whether any other form of aliya was a valid expression of the movement's ideals. Today the push for aliya is more general, with no specific communities or framework in mind. The focus is more on coming to Israel and contributing positively to society in any way.

Bnei Akiva New Zealand[edit]

Bnei Akiva is one of the main Jewish youth movements in New Zealand, with weekly meetings and activities in Auckland and Wellington and national bi-annual camps. Bnei Akiva NZ's goal: To educate Jewish youth with the values of Torah ve'Avodah - combining a deeply rooted association with Israel together with day-to-day life in accordance with traditional Jewish values. To provide stimulating experiential and informal opportunities for encountering Judaism. Bnei Akiva NZ ensures Jewish continuity and the future of the New Zealand Jewish community. Bnei Akiva New Zealand is a member of the Australasian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC).Website of Bnei Akiva New Zealand.

Bnei Akiva Australia[edit]

There are currently four snifim in Australia; one in Perth, one in Melbourne, and two in Sydney (in both Bondi and Maroubra). The Melbourne snif is the largest in Bnei Akiva Olami.

Tochniot are held on Saturday afternoons, and bi-annual camps are run for each state. Other initiatives include weekly learning, group volunteer days, and regular minyanim. Bnei Akiva Melbourne runs an annual "Amazing Race" styled event.

Bnei Akiva Sydney celebrated its 50th anniversary on November 7th 1999, at the Hakoah Club. The event was well received by madrichim, chanichim, and bogrim.

There is a federal summer camp held in December attended by senior chanichim from all snifim in Australia and New Zealand.

Bnei Akiva Australia is a member of the Australasian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • [3]
  • [4] - Yeshivot Bnei Akiva - In Israel (Hebrew)
  • [5] - American Friends of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva
  • [6]- Bnei Akiva UK (Bnei Akiva of Great Britain and Ireland)

External links[edit]