Kulanu Mishpacha: YBA Launches Pilot Exchange Program with Bnei Akiva Schools in Toronto

During Chanukah, a group of 10 students, from Yeshivat Bnei Akiva Or Hachaim and Ulpenat Bnei Akiva Orot in Toronto arrived in Israel for a new and unique program: The Canadian students spent a month immersed in Israeli society: studying in YBA schools in Modi'in, living with families of students and seeing the country in a unique manner. Rav Shlomo Kimche, YBA's Vice Chairman for Public Affairs and founding Rosh Yeshiva of Orot Yehuda in Efrat, who organized the program, noted that it was entitled "Kulanu Mishpacha" [We are Family], referring both to the international community of Bnei Akiva schools, as well as to the families in Modi'in who opened their homes- and their hearts-to the Canadian students. In addition to studying in classes with their Israeli peers, students participated in Shabbatonim, Bnei Akiva youth-groups, bike riding and got to spend free time in Modi'in. 
Rav Kimche noted that some highlights included a visit to the home of Rav Chaim Druckman, studying with the students of Ohr Meophir, YBA's program for Ethiopian Leadership and, needless to say, the opportunity to spend free time at a mall where all of the stores are Kosher. 
This program was the first in what will be a series of similar programs, geared towards solidifying the relationship between YBA and the diaspora Jewish community, and giving students from North America an unforgettable experience, as Rav Kimche noted: "These are experiences that they hopefully will take with them and help them mold their Jewish Identity to become proud members of Klal Yisrael."