Elkana

YBA dedicates 5 new school buildings in Yehuda and Shomron - Israel's Heartland

Elchanan Glatt addressing crowd at
YBA Ma'arav Shomron
The Yeshivot Bnei Akiva educational network is not willing to even think about a building freeze in Judea and Samaria. In fact, the YBA schools in Yehuda and Shomron are undergoing a construction boom like YBA hasn't known for many years.

Last week, over 3,000 people joined YBA in Elkana to dedicate a new campus for the YBA Ma'arav Shomron boy's yeshiva high school.  The event was attended by the mayor of Elkana, Asaf Mintzer, and featured a love performance by singer Avraham Fried.
This week, the opening week of the  5776 school year, featured many other dedication ceremonies:


The new campus of YBA Orot Yehuda in Efrat was dedicated on Sunday, with videotaped greetings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky. On hand were the mayor of Efrat, Oded Ravivi, and the General Director of the YBA Educational Network, Elchanan Glatt, who couldn't contain his excitement as he spoke in front of the thousands of well wishers in attendance.
At the same time, in the presence of the Minister Uri Ariel and YBA officials, a new dormitory facility was being dedicated at the UBA Shirat Hayam Ulpana High School of the Arts for girls in Neve Tzuf.
Meanwhile, the YBA Sussya Yeshiva High School for Environmental Studies was not satisfied with dedicating a new dormitory last week, so it broke ground immediately afterward for the construction of an additional dormitory building there.
Finally, later in the week YBA Mateh Binyamin in Beit El also dedicated a new dormitory building for its many students in the residential track.
Elchanan Glatt: "Yeshivot Bnei Akiva has taken off on a period of unprecedented growth, expansion and excellence. We are proud of our educational path, and proud to be part of the continuing settlement movement throughout the entire Land of Israel."
Yossi Dagan, the mayor of the Shomron Regional Council welcomed the building boom and said: "Naturally, the communal and spiritual atmosphere in the Shomron is conducive for educating students toward Jewish values and connection to the Land of Israel. We congratulate YBA on this building boom, and wish all the schools much success in training our children toward excellence and Jewish values."

There are 74 educational institutions in the YBA network in Israel, including 15 in Yehuda and Shomron ensuring high quality education in Israel's heartland.

CLICK HERE to view an interactive map of YBA schools in Israel.

Yeshivot Bnei Akiva: Training Israel's Future.

YBA announces $7.5 million capital campaign for 2015

The YBA Educational Network in Israel and AFYBA are ready to embark on a capital campaign totaling $7,500,000 during 2015 to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Bnei Akiva high school yeshiva - YBA Kfar Haroeh.

Future campus of YBA Orot Yehuda, Efrat
YBA Kfar Haroeh was established by Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neria zt"l, and Rabbi Avraham Zuckerman zt"l in the winter and spring of 1939-40, with only a handful of students. But the message of Torah Ve'Avoda that went forth from that pioneering school has spread far and wide, and the number of YBA schools has grown exponentially over the past 75 years to become Israel's leading educational network.

Rabbi Neria is generally credited with leading the Bnei Akiva "kipa sruga (knitted skullcap) revolution" that has transformed Israeli society over the decades, and his vision of Bnei Akiva yeshiva and ulpana high schools throughout Israel has largely been fulfilled. Today YBA serves 24,000 students in 74 schools from the Golan Heights to Eilat, and everywhere in between.

Future campus of YBA Ma'arav Hashomron, Elkana
To mark the 75th year since the founding of its first yeshiva high school, YBA intends to raise $7.5 million dollars during 2015 for capital projects throughout the network.

The first priority is to fund the construction of 3 new high school campuses serving the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria (Yesha). Ministry of Education funding is available only for the construction of classroom buildings. The construction of all the other components that turn a regular high school into a yeshiva or ulpana high school - Beit Midrash, dining hall, dormitory and gymnasium - must be financed by local and international fundraising.

Future campus of YBA Kinor David, Ateret
The capital campaign's secondary priority is the renovation and upgrading of dormitories, science labs and computer labs in YBA's veteran schools, Dedication opportunities for major gifts are many and varied.

For more information on dedication opportunities, contact Menachem Bar-Shalom at the AFYBA office.


IDF Military Intelligence turns to YBA for Cyber Security Unit recruits

In today's Internet dominated world, Cyber Security has become the IDF's highest priority. The IDF Signal Corps Unit 8-200, which is charged with the task of Military Intelligence, has grown to become the  the largest unit in the army, and is given first priority (above all combat units) in choosing the most appropriate inductees,

In its continuing efforts to expand the pool of potential manpower for the highly specialized Cyber Security unit within Unit 8-200, the Defense Ministry has turned to YBA to launch yet another pilot project - this time in conjunction with six YBA network ulpanot (girl's high schools) and the Bat Ami National Service Organization (Sherut Leumi).

The program will be administered by the Israel Center for Excellence in Science and Cyber Technology. Eldad Cohen, the center's director explains: "The participating students will undergo two years of special training designed to meet the needs of the Military Intelligence during the 11th and 12th grades. Those girls who successfully complete the program will be placed in operational positions in Unit 8-200 in the framework of Sherut Leumi, instead of as IDF inductees.

General Director of YBA, Rabbi Beni Nachtailer, added: "This program will allow religious girls the oportunity to serve the state in a very significant and challenging volunteer capacity within the defense establishment following graduation."

The participating YBA network ulpanot  include: Amana, Kfar Saba; Yeshurun, Petach Tikvah; Orot Modiin, Modiin; Tzfira, Tzafariya, Chen Bamidbar, Beer Sheva; and Hashomron, Elkana.

YBA welcomes Rabbi Yona Goodman as its new Director of Education

Rabbi Yona Goodman was born in the United States and made Aliyah as a teenager. Until his appointment as the YBA Director of Education he served as the Director of the "Institute for Contemporary Faith Education" at the YBA-affiliated Orot College of education in Elkana.

Goodman studied in the YBA-affiliated Yeshivat Hagolan, in the Golan Heights and served in the Israeli army as a tank commander. He is a former director general of the national Bnei Akiva youth movement in Israel. 
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In the last 15 years he has taught at the Orot College of Education: Tanach, Jewish education, and Informal Jewish education. Rabbi Goodman gives courses for the Israeli board of education to high school principals, high school supervisors and others about ways to enhance Jewish values in the lives of our children. 

In the last decade he has participated in many different national committees that checked or developed programs or policies in the Israeli school system. Among them: a committee that restructured the teacher training programs for religious teachers, a committee that wrote a four year plan for teaching Jewish philosophy (Machshevet Yisrael), a committee that checked the unique needs of education for girls, and a committee that proposed a broad program to make Jewish education more relevant to Israeli youth. He is a senior staff member in Mahut, which is a national center that specializes in helping schools or communities immediately after terror attacks. 

Goodman has a Masters degree in Jewish education and is now writing his doctorate dissertation at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He specializes in guiding teachers and parents whose teenage children have begun to deviate from the Jewish way of life. Goodman has initiated and participated in developing various national and regional programs for such youth. For the last eight years, he has broadcast a five-minute weekly spot on the subject of education on Israeli National Radio. 

In the last year he has also been broadcasting a weekly short video on Jewish parenting on Arutz Meir internet TV. He is a member of the board of directors of the international movement of Religious Zionist Kollels (Torah MiTzion).

In the last 15 years he has spoken at conferences for Jewish school directors and teachers in the United States, Canada, South Africa, England, Russia, Sweden, Holland, Norway and Israel. 

Robert Sidi visits Shomron region YBA schools

Newly installed AFYBA Board Member, Robert Sidi, Esq., an immigration lawyer from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, spent a day during his recent trip to Israel on an orientation tour of YBA network schools. He was accompanied by Oz Ben-Shmuel, AFYBA's Director of Public Relations (and blogger of this YBA News Blog).
Robert Sidi and Rabbi Eli Eizman with YBA Ma'arav Shomron
new campus construction site in background
Robert toured five YBA high schools and one college in the Shomron region, The day began in Elkana, where Robert toured the Orot Israel College of Education campus, Ulpanat Hashomron and Yeshivat Ma'arav Shomron. The Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Eli Eizman took Robert on a tour of Elkana, including the site of his new yeshiva campus, now under construction.

Robert Sidi with Shuki Seth (L) and Rabbi Motti Hershkopf
at the newly opened UBA Shirat Hayam building
The tour continued to Ateret, the site of the YBA network's unique musical yeshiva, Yeshivat Kinor David, where Robert lunched with the school's Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Motti Hershkopf, and director, Shuki Seth. He viewed the school's promotional video and sat in on an impromptu jam session with on of the school's bands.

From there Robert continued to the YBA network's newest school, Ulpanat Shirat Hayam at Neve Tzuf, just five kilometers down the road. Shirat Hayam is a musical high school for girls modeled after the highly successful Kinor David for boys. The school opened in September with 80 girls in the ninth and tenth grades. All the students and faculty were exuberant with their new school facility, a totally remodeled British Mandate era police fortress.

The tour continued to the town of Neria to visit Ulpanat Neria and Hashmonaim to visit Yeshivat Ner Tamid, before concluding in Modiin, where the YBA nertwork has two more schools: Ulpanat Orot Modiin and Yeshivat Lapid Torat Nachum.