Ministry of Education

Religious students in Israel are less proficient in English than their Secular peers

English week at Ulpanat Bnei Akiva Neria
A recently released study of the educational systems in Israel revealed that religious-Zionist high school graduates in Israel were less prepared for university-level English than their secular peers.

The study, conducted by Ariel Finkelstein for the 'Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah' religious-Zionist movement, was based on a sampling of psychometric exams for college entrance from the years 2000 to 2012. The findings were conclusive: religious students consistently scored 11 and 15 points below secular students in English proficiency, while on par or better than their secular peers in every other subject.

YBA Educational Network
Director General Elchanan Glatt
"To some extent this is understandable, given the extra hours and emphasis on Jewish Studies in religious schools that doesn't exist in secular schools," said Elchanan Glatt, the Director General of the Yeshivot Bnei Akiva Educational Network in Israel, "still, these findings are worrisome for religious Zionist educators. Perhaps in the past some elements in the religious Zionist public saw the study of foreign languages as unimportant. But that worldview is no longer relevant. Today it is clear to everyone that speaking a foreign language fluently, especially English, is an essential part of a high-quality education."

Glatt pointed to two graduates of YBA high schools as personal examples: Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipy Hotovely and Minister of Education Naftali Bennett. "Today's generation sees YBA graduates in the Knesset, and eloquently presenting Israel's case in English in the international media, and they understand the importance of English. They know that English is the international language in computer sciences, medicine, physics and every other scientific field, including the social sciences such as sociology or history."

Glatt stressed that the YBA educational network was taking the findings seriously and working to close the gaps in English proficiency. YBA created a new position for a network-wide English Instruction Supervisor to advise schools on how they can improve. In-service training programs are being planned for English teachers, and measurable benchmark goals are being set for each school. "The process should take two years to fully implement before we will be able to see quantifiable results," he said. "The improvement won't come at the expense of our Jewish Studies program. We have enough hours for English lessons, we just have to invest in making those hours as effective and productive as possible."

How Israeli students learn to love the Land of Israel

Rahavam 'Gandi' Ze'evi
Two students from Ulpanat Bnei Akiva Even Shmuel received the 2015 Ministry of Education Ze’evi Award for Excellence in Land of Israel Studies. The prize is named after Israeli war hero and MK, Rahavam Ze'evi ("Gandi"), who was assassinated by a terrorist in 2001. Ze'evi was known for his patriotism, deep love for the Land of Israel and strongly nationalistic political views.

Hila Itam and Herut Yered submitted a research paper exploring the reasons why the Jordanian Legion’s officers allowed their soldiers to participate in the massacre of Jewish residents and Hagana fighters following the surrender of Kfar Etzion on the eve of Israel’s independence in 1948.

'Gandi' with troops during 1956 Sinai Campaign
Hila explained that she chose the subject because her great grandmother served in the Hagana with Rahavam Ze'evi, and at that time she was the radio operator in Jerusalem who received the final message – “the queen has fallen” – from the fighters defending Kfar Etzion till their last bullet was spent.

UBA Even Shmuel was established by the Shafir Regional Council in 1979 as a residential high school to serve girls from the religious moshavim (agricultural settlements) in the northern Negev region. Today the school serves 420 students in grades 7-12, and attracts students from all over Israel due to the many awards it has earned over the years for academic excellence.

YBA Givat Shmuel ranked among the top schools in Israel

YBA Givat Shmuel Beit Midrash
YBA Givat Shmuel was ranked among the top high schools in Israel, with a 97% matriculation rate and a 95% induction rate for IDF service.
Rabbi Shraga Fruchter

The Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Shraga Fruchter, himself a graduate of YBA Pirchei Aharon near Haifa, attributes the success to love: “When a boy comes to our school and sees how important he is to his teachers, and how the entire staff does everything it can to help him achieve success, it gives him the drive to apply himself with all his abilities.”

When YBA Givat Shmuel was founded in 1972 as a middle school, it was intended to serve as a "feeder school" for boys in the central part of Israel to the 16 residential high schools in the YBA network at that time spread out in rural settlements throughout Israel.

However, in 1978, following requests from the parent association, it was decided to expand the school into - the network's first non-residential comprehensive yeshiva high school. Today, the school serves over 750 students, half of whom from Givat Shmuel and  the other half from other cities in the Dan (greater Tel Aviv) urban district. The school offers a residential option for students who live too far to travel by bus each day to the school.

2 UBA Segula seniors earn Advanced Placement B.A. degrees

Two twelfth-grade students from UBA Segula, Tzofia Ronen and Moriah Ben-Sassoon, earned B.A. degrees in Computer Sciences from the University of Haifa while still in the twelfth grade through the university’s Etgar Program, which offers highly motivated and achievement oriented high school students extracurricular advanced placement courses leading to college degrees.

Ruchama Hazut, the ulpana’s principal, said, “It inspires pride and admiration to see our students achieve so much academically, while maintaining their humility, good nature and religious beliefs.”

UBA Segula in Kiryat Motzkin was founded in 1965 as the YBA network's third ulpana high school for girls. Today the school serves over 525 students from the Haifa region and entire northern half of Israel.

View video of UBA Segula's 2014 'March of the Living' Tour of Poland

Six YBA students win academic scholarships

The Neve Sha’anan College in Haifa granted full academic scholarships toward earning a B.A. degree to six girls in the YBA network: Noa Attias, Sapir Amar and Sapir Simchi from UBA Or Akiva, and Chen Cohen, Tehila Maman and Tiferet Shimeon from UBA Meron.
Tehila Maman
Tiferet Shimeon
Chen Cohen













“We pride ourselves with giving each and every girl the attention and support she needs in order to bring out her full potential for excellence, with openness, dialogue and love,” said the Rosh Ulpana of UBA Or Akiva, Mrs. Bilha Bussi, in congratulating her students for their accomplishments.

UBA Meron was established in 1975 and serves over 315 students from the towns and settlements in the Galilee, while UBA Or Akiva was established 25 years later, in 2000, and serves today 111 students for the town of Or Akiva and the surrounding area.
 
View video of 2014 Elul activities at UBA Meron
 

15 YBA schools included among the top schools in Israel

The Ministry of Education released last week its list of top ranking high schools in Israel. This is the third time that the ministry has used a ranking system featuring a variety of parameters to determine which schools are the leading "value-laden" schools in the country, rather than basing school ranking solely the percent of students matriculating for admittance to institutions of higher education. According to the ministry's ranking system, 15 of the top 261 high schools (6%) belong to the Yeshivot Bnei Akiva educational network in Israel.

YBA Director General,
Elchanan Glatt
 Elchanan Glatt, Director General of YBA, said in response to the publication of the new ranking, "We are proud of our faculty members, who invest in each and every student. These rankings show that education toward Torah values and excellence go hand in hand. We will continue in this path of value-laden education, because we are convinced that it is the right way."

The teachers in the top 261 schools were rewarded with salary bonuses raging from $750 to $2,000 based on their school's relative position on the list. 
 
The relative weighting of the various measures were adjusted this year, after critics of the new ranking system last year claimed that the weighting favored schools in the religious Zionist sector. Even after the adjustments, however, about 40% of the top 261 schools this year were from religious Zionist educational networks.


The ranking system measures applied to over a thousand high schools in Israel included:

  • individual instruction plans according to each student's abilities and disabilities
  • consistency of ongoing faculty involvement in the implementation of instruction plans
  • level of faculty in-service training for ongoing professional advancement
  • inclusion of special needs students in school framework and extent of mainstreaming
  • faculty interventions to reduce student drop-out rate
  • percentage of graduates serving in IDF and National Service
  • involvement of students in voluntary community service projects (Tikun Olam)
  • percentage of graduates achieving full matriculation certificates and average scores
  • level of studies offered in Humanities, Mathematics and the exact Sciences
  • maintaining a matriculation examination process free of irregularities
  • rate of improvement in all parameters over previous year's scores
The YBA (yeshiva) and UBA (ulpana) high schools making the top schools list are:
  1. YBA Kinor David, Ateret .........................(joined YBA in 2010; 120 students)
  2. YBA Beit Shmuel, Hadera ........................(established in 1962; 210 students)
  3. YBA Pirchei Aharon, Kiryat Shmuel .......(established in 1961; 317 students)
  4. YBA Lapid Torat Nachum, Modiin .........(established in 1998; 823 students)
  5. YBA Ra'anana, Ra'anana ..........................(established in 1960; 308 students)
  6. YBA Sussya, Sussya ..................................(established in 1998; 158 students)
  7. YBA Aderet, Bat Yam ...............................(established in 1970; 274 students)
  8. UBA Neot Avraham, Arad ........................(established in 1968; 163 students)
  9. UBA Orot Modiin, Modiin ........................(established in 1998; 713 students)
  10. UBA Segula, Kiryat Motzkin ......................(established in 1965; 529 students)
  11. UBA Neve Ruchama, Jerusalem ................(joined YBA in 2008; 288 students)
  12. UBA Or Akiva, Or Akiva ...........................(established in 2000, 111 students)
  13. UBA Reut, Petach Tikvah ...........................(joined YBA in 1984, 353 students)
  14. UBA Neria, Neria ........................................(established in 2004; 279 students)
  15. UBA Tzfira, Zafaria ....................................(established in 1967; 626 students)
  16. UBA Ramat Karniel, Kfar Pines ................(established in 1960; 458 students)
 

BACK TO THE BEIT MIDRASH

YBA has found the secret to instilling a love of learning Torah in the hearts of their students: a return to the classical formula of Hevruta study in the Beit Midrash

By Moshe Glanz, ARUTZ SHEVA NEWS (translation)

YBA yeshiva high school students in the Beit Midrash
In the ongoing discussions over the past several years about how to make Gemara (Talmud) study more popular among yeshiva high school students, the YBA educational network began developing two years ago a new method of teaching Talmud, which has gained momentum in the past year. This year the method was applied in 16 different Bnei Akiva yeshiva high schools throughout the country, and the network plans on expanding the system to more schools next year. The goal is to double the number of participating students from 800 to 1,500, with the assistance of the Religious Education Department of the Ministry of Education.

Not like Math and English

On of the initiators of the change was Rabbi Meir Toiber, Rosh Yeshiva of YBA Netiv Meir in Jerusalem. In an interview with B’sheva, Rabbi Toiber explained that the decision for the change was made after a gradual decline in the total number of hours dedicated to Gemara study in yeshiva high schools over the past 15 years for various reasons. As a result, the Beit Midrash (study hall) was hardly being used for the purpose of independent learning. "We realized that in order to instill the love of Torah in our students we would need to turn the situation around 180 degrees."

What was the method of study before the change?

"The students perceived the Morning Seder (study session) in the Beit Midrash as preparation time for the class in Talmud that followed, in which the teacher would cover everything they needed to know anyway. This created a feeling that Talmud was just like any other subject. We finally came to the conclusion that the reason why our students were lacking motivation to study Talmud," he says. "was that they felt the same, whether studying for a Talmud lesson, a math lesson or an English lesson. But if we look deeply into the concept of Torah study, we understand that the Talmudic competence is acquired not only from hearing a lecture, but through struggling to understand a passage in the text through the give-and-take of independent study with a hevruta (study partner)."

The Talmud consists of the Mishna, Gemara and commentaries
Rabbi Yehuda Felix, who until six months ago, was the head of Education Department at Yeshivot Bnei Akiva educational network, properly understood the need to change the equation. , and together with Rabbi Toiber and the financial backing of YBA benefactor, Mr. Benjamin Landy, it was decided to change the Morning Seder both literally and figuratively. "This is a significant change;" Rabbi Toiber states. "it is not just about learning in an hour and a half. We moved the Talmud lesson to before the Morning Seder so that everything learned in the classroom becomes preparation for the Seder session itself, where students sit with their study partners and actively acquire the skills for learning Talmud." According to Rabbi Toiber, this self-instruction experience leads to a love of Torah because it provides the natural connection to the Torah that was so lacking before.

The results were not long in coming. A few months after some of the yeshiva high schools decided to adopt and began implementing the system, the initiators realized that they had caught a wave. "I had students tell me happily: ‘Before Talmud was just another subject for me; now I understand that what I am doing is learning to learn Torah.’” That proves to me that this is a big change," Rabbi Toiber says enthusiastically.  "Just recently, I went into the Beit Midrash of one of our yeshiva high schools to look for a certain teacher, and I saw dozens of boys sitting and learning with their hevruta partners. I looked to my right and to my left and couldn’t find their rabbi. When I approached the students and asked them where he was, they replied: ‘He is in reserve duty [in the IDF].’"

Rabbi Toiber could not resist and asked: “So why are you sitting and learning in the Beit Midrash instead of playing ball outside?” The students did not understand the question. "It's an amazing thing," he continues smiling. "This shows that the change worked. The students understood that they acquired Torah by sitting and learning with their hevruta. This should not to be taken as a given – these are fruits that we had not seen before. At the end of the year we visited all the Yeshivot and met with students, teachers and yeshiva heads. They filled out feedback sheets, and we discovered a huge surge in love of learning Torah. All the measures of attention, attachment and motivation were well above anything we had ever seen before."

Does not contradict matriculation

It is no secret that in Bnei Akiva yeshiva high schools there is tension between the desire to study Torah and the connection to the real world. But according to Rabbi Toiber, the struggle between different forces only proves that Torah study must receive greater expression. "Over the years the students have come to expect and demand high achievement levels in both general and Judaic studies matriculation scores. This “wanting it all” demands that we provide enrichment in both directions," he explains. "Ultimately, the ideal of the yeshiva is that Torah should influence every aspect of life - everything," he says. "Our concept is: be a military man, be a lawyer, be a farmer, merchant or be anything you want; but on one condition: that you stay connected to the Torah. The connection to Torah must not be just intellectual; it must be a spiritual link. It is clear to me that students should learn for matriculation tests, but all subjects must be wrapped up in the connection to Torah."

Following the success of the initiative, YBA wants to expand to an even higher level. "We want to eventually include another measure of success – we hope to have our students writing term papers on the Talmudic issues they dealt with during the year."

When learning Torah becomes achievement oriented, don’t you lose something of the value of learning Torah for its own sake?

"First of all, that’s a great question. And you’re right, that is a difficult challenge," says Rabbi Toiber. "But it is important to emphasize that we are not talking here about just a positive learning experience." According to him, the bottom line must be that the students master in depth the Talmud they were studying during the year. "When we ask the students what is the conclusion of a Talmudic passage they learned, they need to know the answer, and not just that they enjoyed studying it. That’s not how you raise Talmidei Chachamim. We need to work simultaneously on both aspects, so that on the one hand they will learn the proper tools of Torah study with their hevruta that will serve them later in life, and on the other hand to professionally measure their scholastic achievement."

How do you intend to move the process forward in the years ahead?


"We are moving forward in two ways: first by training our Talmud teachers to use this method effectively. We are already doing this and we will do even more next year. Secondly, this year we included 16 Bnei Akiva yeshiva high schools, and by expanding next year to 22 schools, the number of students participating in the initiative will double. Thus, gradually we believe, we will succeed in bringing back the sounds of Talmud study to all the yeshiva high schools in the Bnei Akiva network." Rabbi Toiber explains, "Our goal is to increase Torah and glorify it."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett to students: "The key to success in any profession you choose is to deal with the future.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett Goes Back to School

bennett school
Naftali Bennett is the new Minister of Education, and as such, has decided to do some field work. On Thursday morning, he left his office and went to visit an actual classroom with real students at the Carol School in Petach Tikva. But he wasn’t a passive spectator. He rolled up his sleeves and actually taught a math class to 6th graders, which was titled ‘The Importance of Numbers in the Environment in Which We Live’.Walla News was there and gave the minister top grades.
As part of the lesson, Bennett, who made his personal fortune in high-tech, taught them how a smartphone works. The purpose of the lesson was to show them that math is not just numbers, but could be “the next Iron Dome for Israel”.
The school was chosen at random but the lesson was not. Bennett has declared one of his objectives to be the improvement of the study of mathematics in Israel, something which has been waning in recent years, a situation he refers to as a ‘strategic danger’.
He was received by the students with a choir singing Israeli songs and introduced himself as “the math teacher for the day, called Naftali”.
He opened the lesson by asking the students what machine they would like to build, and received a number of responses, including a time machine and a glider.  He asked them, “What is common to all inventions?”
The students answered, “Imagination, technology, computers.”
“Have you ever taken a picture and sent it by WhatsApp or iPhone?” Bennett asked, adding: “Today we will learn how an image moves from device to device.” After a little exercise Bennett explained to students pixels, megapixels, and other concepts involved in the process.”
After the tour, Bennett said to the students, “The success of your generation will determine the mathematics of Israel’s success. Our challenge is to make you love the profession of science and mathematics, and to understand that the key to success in any profession you choose is to deal with the future.”

UBA Neve Ruchama founder, Cissie Chalkowsky, to receive "Yakir Jerusalem" Award

Ulpanat Neve Ruchama founder,
Cissie Chalkowsky
On Yom Yerushalayim next week, Mayor Nir Barkat will award the Jerusalem Municipality's annual Yakir Yerushalayim Prize to Mrs. Cecilia (Cissie) Chalkowsky (78). As a veteran educator in Jerusalem, Cissie has brought many educational innovations and initiatives to the city, most prominently, the girls' high school, Ulpanat Neve Ruhama, which introduced new teaching methods for learning disabilities into Israeli education world.

Cissie was born in Chicago, Illinois and from the age of 15 was active in the religious Zionist Bnei Akiva youth movement. She immigrated to Israel in 1958 and studied sociology and education at the Hebrew University, and worked as the original dorm counselor at the first Ulpanat Bnei Akiva in Kfar Pines.

After graduating she established the religious studies track at the Beer Sheva Comprehensive High School, and later became the first dormitory director at Ulpanat "Horev" in Jerusalem. In 1983 she founded Ulpanat Neve Ruhama in Jerusalem, which became the address for teen girls who suffered from severe learning disabilities. Cissie ran the school until her retirement in 2011, and over the years the school earned the nickname "Ulpanat Cissie."

In 2008, in preparation for her retirement, Cissie asked the YBA educational network to take over the educational and financial management of the school, to assure that her life's work would continue to thrive. Today, UBA Neve Ruchama serves 266 girls in grades 7-12 from Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Since retiring Cissie has engaged in voluntary educational activities in the various sectors.


2 YBA teachers cited among the top 50 teachers in Israel

AFYBA is proud to announce that two YBA educators, Leah Segal and Zvi Perla, have been cited by the Ministry of Education as being among the top 50 teachers in Israel. Congratulations Leah and Zvi! We salute you for the great job you are doing TRAINING ISRAEL'S FUTURE.

Leah Segal
Leah Segal is a math teacher at YBA Kiryat Herzog, Bnei Brak. The school was founded in 1971 as the YBA network's first non-residential yeshiva high school to serve boys in the greater Tel Aviv metropolis who wished to benefit from the quality Torah and general education of YBA schools without having to live in a residential dormitory setting. The school serves over 600 students in grades 7-12 today, and has won many citations for excellence.
Zvi Perla


Zvi Perla is the 7th grade homeroom teacher at YBA Mateh Binyamin, Beit El. The school was established in 2004 to serve boys in the settlements of the Binyamin Regional Council, north of Jerusalem. The school serves 370 students in grades 7-12, and offers a residential option to students starting in the 9th grade.


Nine YBA Alumni Elected to the 20th Knesset

YBA schools have been training leaders for Israeli society for the past 75 years, including a long list of former Members of Knesset, Israel's parliament.

AFYBA proudly congratulates the nine YBA graduates who were recently elected to serve as Members of the 20th Israeli Knesset. They are:

 MK Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), YBA Yavne, Haifa
Maj. (Res.) Naftali Bennett (42) was elected to the 19th Knesset as the head of the Habayit Hayehudi party. A former successful high tech entrepreneur, he served as the Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister's office, and as CEO of the Yesha Council, where he led the struggle against the constructions freeze in Yesha settlements. He served as the Economic Minister in he 19th Knesset.


MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi), YBA Netiv Meir, Jerusalem
Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (60) is a captain in the IDF reserves and holds a Masters degree from the Hebrew University’s School of Public Policy Managers Program. In 1989, he was appointed as director of the Rabbinical Courts, where he led a revolution in the administration and organization of the entire Rabbinical Court system; he fought on behalf of women's rights and to make the divorce process more efficient and championed the introduction of female advocates (To’enet Rabanit) into the Rabbinical Court System. He served as Deputy Minister for Religious Services in the 19th Knesset.


MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi), YBA Nachlat Yitzchak, Nechalim
Nissan Slomiansky (68) previously served as an MK from the National Religious Party (NRP) from the 14th through the 17th Knesset, and in 2011 was appointed Vice President of the Lander Institute. He was the first secretary-general of the Gush Emunim settlement movement and founded the settlement Elkana, serving as its mayor for 21 years. He served as the Chairman of the Knesset Allocations Committee in the 19th Knesset.




MK Maj. Gen. (Res.) Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi), YBA Kfar Haroeh, Kfar Haroeh
Moti Yogev (59) served as the commander of the "Malgan" commando unit of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade and holds a Master's degree in political science from Haifa University. He formerly served as the Secretary General of the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement in Israel, CEO of the Old City Jewish Quarter Development Authority and most recently, Deputy Mayor of the Binyamin Regional Council.


MK Gilad Erdan (Likud), YBA Netiv Meir, Jerusalem
Gilad Erdan (45) attained the rank of Captain during his military service in the IDF and holds a degree in Law from Bar-Ilan University. Becoming involved in politics, Erdan worked as an advisor to Prime Ministers Binyamin Netanyahu, and Ariel Sharon. He was first elected to the Knesset in 2003 and served in the 19th Knesset  as Minister of Internal Affairs. He formerly held the posts of Minister of Environmental ProtectionMinister of Communications and Home Front Defense Minister.


MK Yisrael Katz, YBA Or Etzion, Merkaz Shapira
Yisrael Katz (59) earned a BA and MA at the Hebrew University. He first entered the Knesset in November 1998 as a replacement for Ehud Olmert. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture in 2003 and has served as Israel's Minister of Transportation since 2009, leading the vast infrastructure improvements in Israel's intercity highway and railroad systems.


MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), YBA Ulpanat Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv
Tzipi Hotovely (37) completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Bar-Ilan University. In 2006, she joined the panel of the political discussion program Moetzet HaHahamim (Council of the Wise), where she represented the right-wing on the panel, and started writing opinion pieces for the Maariv newspaper. When first elected at the age of 30 in 2009, she was the Knesset's youngest member. She serves as the head of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and in the 19th Knesset served as Deputy MInister of Transportation.


MK Yaron Mazuz (Likud), YBA Pirchei Aharon, Kiryat Shmuel
Yaron Mazuz (53) has been active in the Likud party for 25 years and a social activist for underprivileged populations in the Haifa, Krayot, Acre and Nahariya area. Mazuz was elected to Kiryat Bialik City Council in 2008, and served as the city's Deputy Mayor.


MK Rabbi Shai Piron (Yesh Atid), YBA Aderet, Bat Yam
Raised in a non-observant family, Rabbi Shai Piron (56) chose to enroll in YBA Aderet for high school and has gone on to become a leading rabbi and educator. In 1995 he became the head of UBA Yeshurun in Petach Tikvah, and under his leadership the school won every educational award possible. He co-founded and serves as a Rosh Yeshiva at the Hesder yeshiva in Petach Tikvah, and helped to establish the "Tzohar" rabbinic society which runs numerous projects to foster harmony between the religious and secular. He served as the rabbi of Oranit and the CEO of "Hakol L'Chinuch," an organization that works to improve state education until entering the 19th Knesset, where he served as Minister of Education.


YBA Hashomron ranked No. 1 in Land of Israel Studies


YBA Hashomron campus in Karnei Shomron
YBA Hashomron in Karnei Shomron was awarded the Ministry of Education's 2015 Zeevi Prize for Excellence in Land of Israel Studies. The award is named for Rehavam Zeevi, a former general in the IDF, MK and Minister, and an avid enthusiast of Land of Israel studies. Zeevi was assassinated in 2001 by terrorists in Jerusalem.

Prof. Simcha Goldin, whose son, Lt. Hadar Goldin, fell in battle during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony that took placed at the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.

YBA Hashomron was founded over 30 years ago and now serves over 500 boys in grades 7 through 12 from Karnei Shomron and the other settlements in the area. The school has both residential and non-residential tracks, with the residential track utilizing the extra hours in the evening to put a greater emphasis on Talmud study. The school is very popular because of its warm and family-like atmosphere, and because of the many study options it offers its students. 84% of the graduates on average earn full matriculation certificates, and 90% enroll in Hesder Yeshivot or Mechina Programs before enlisting in the IDF.

YBA Givat Shmuel wins prize and praise

We are excited to announce that our YBA yeshiva in Givat Shmuel (near Bar Ilan University) was recently awarded the Ministry of Education’s Citation for Excellence for 2014-15.

From left: YBA Givat Shmuel Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Shraga Freuchter,
 Givat Shmuel Mayor Yossi Brodney and Deputy Minister Avi Wortzman
“We are very lucky to have such a fine school as YBA Givat Shmuel in our city,” said Givat Shmuel’s mayor, Yossi Brodney, at a ceremony in city hall recognizing the school. 

Mayor Brodney also had words of praise for the school’s Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Shraga Freuchter. “Rabbi Freuchter is one of a kind,” he said, “he instills in his students the values of Zionism and Humanism, love of the Land and love of all Mankind. He simply does incredible work that brings the city much honor and pride.”

YBA Givat Shmuel was originally established in 1976 as a three-year junior high school meant to be a feeder school for students to YBA residential yeshiva high schools around the country. It eventually transitioned into a full six-year junior and senior yeshiva high school in its own right. 

Approximately 100 of the school’s 600 students reside in the dormitory, while the others are bussed daily to and from the yeshiva from cities in the Greater Tel Aviv region. The Yeshiva is renowned for its warm, supportive atmosphere, and the school's scholastic achievements are among the highest in the country.

YBA Givat Shmuel
Beit Midrash Building
Deputy Minister of Education, MK Avi Wortzman credited Rabbi Freuchter for the school’s award: “You are one of the most outstanding educators in Israel; a model to be emulated. You have built an exemplary institution; a trailblazing yeshiva. You and your superb faculty believe in your students, and that is what leads them to grow, flourish and succeed. YBA Givat Shmuel is a leader in volunteerism, ethical values, Torah scholarship, good citizenship, and of course, also high matriculation scores.”


We are grateful to the Ministry of Education and the mayor of Givat Shmuel for expressing what we know to be true: our YBA schools are Training Israel’s Future.™

MInistry of Education recognizes YBA Givat Shmuel for academic excellence

YBA Givat Shmuel was recently awarded the Ministry of Education’s prize for Academic Excellence in the religious sector for 2014-5. The prize recognizes schools that have a steady track record of scholastic improvement in the past decade.

Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Shraga Fruechter (right)
with YBA Givat Shmuel Robotics Club
The school’s Robotics Club is an example of this improvement. In the past three years it has won 1st prize and 3rd prize in the Ministry of Education’s national competition, co-sponsored by the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Furthermore, 94% to 98% of the school’s graduates achieved full matriculation for entrance to university in the past five years consecutively.

“The yeshiva’s crowning glory is that we produce ‘Bnei Torah’," said Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Shraga Fruechter. "We try to build their character with Torah values while at the same time helping them to achieve excellence in the sciences and other disciplines.”

The mayor of Givat Shmuel, Yossi Barudniadded, “The municipality has worked closely with the yeshiva in recent years to help the school serve the sons of our town and achieve its mission: to train a new generation of leaders, who love the Torah, their nation and their land.”

Yeshivot Bnei Akiva: Training Israel’s Future.TM

UBA Pisgat Zev, Jerusalem wins Integration Award

Rosh Ulpana, Rabbi Rafi Kuperstock,
receiving the award
The Ministry of Education awarded UBA Pisgat Zev its annual citation for excellence in social integration. The award recognizes schools that serve students from a wide spectrum of socioeconomic and ethnic populations, yet provide each and every student with all the support he or she needs to succeed academically.

The ulpana is located in Pisgat Zev, a working class neighborhood in Jerusalem. While 50% of the school’s 420 students receive tuition reductions due to financial hardship, 96% of its graduates earn full matriculation for entry into colleges and universities – the threshold to gainful employment and a more secure financial future.

“We accept girls who in the beginning of seventh grade don’t believe in themselves,” explains Rabbi Rafi Kuperstock, Rosh Ulpanat Pisgat Zev, “We guide their progress and development so that they eventually become highly motivated to succeed. They expand their horizons and invest much effort in their community volunteer activities, as well as their studies.”

UBA Pisgat Zev wins Ministry of Education Integration Award


The Ministry of Education awarded UBA Pisgat Zev its annual citation for excellence in social integration. The award recognizes schools that serve students from a wide spectrum of socioeconomic and ethnic populations, yet provide each and every student with all the support he or she needs to succeed academically.

The ulpana is located in Pisgat Zev, a working class neighborhood in Jerusalem. While 50% of the school’s 420 students receive tuition reductions due to financial hardship, 96% of its graduates earn full matriculation for entry into colleges and universities – the threshold to gainful employment and a more secure financial future.


“We accept girls who in the beginning of seventh grade don’t believe in themselves,” explained the Rosh Ulpana, Rabbi Rafi Kuperstock, “We guide their progress and development so that they eventually become highly motivated to succeed. They expand their horizons and invest much effort in their community volunteer activities, as well as their studies.”

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.


YBA Aderet, Bat Yam rededicates its renovated Beit Midrash



On Thursday, October 31, the students and faculty of YBA Aderet in Bat Yam celebrated the re-dedication of the school's Beit Midrash, named for Mr. Dov and Mrs. Bracha Deutsch, who were among the founders of the yeshiva 30 years ago..

YBA Aderet Beit Midrash Building, Bat Yam
Donor family representative, Gili Deutsch
cutting ribbon to Beit Midrash
Former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Bakshi-Doron
reciting prayer for affiving the mezuza


Below: Minister of Education, Rabbi Shay Peron, himself a graduate of YBA Aderet,
addresses the school's faculty and student body.

YBA Lapid Torat Nachum to host community-wide Tikun Leil Hoshana Rabba in Modiin


YBA Lapid Torat Nachum invited the entire population of Modiin to join them on Tuesday night, October 14, for a traditional all-night Torah learning marathon (Tikun) celebrating Hoshana Rabba - the last day of Sukkot before Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah.

The yeshiva lined up an allstar cast of Torah scholars to lecture during the all-night event, including (in order of appearance):

  • Rabbi Beni Nachtailer, Director General of the YBA Educational Network in Israel
  • Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan
  • MK Tzippy Hotovely, Deputy Minister of Transportation
  • Rabbi David Stav, Chief Rabbi of Shoham
  • Rabbi Shmuel Rosenblum, Rosh Yeshiva of YBA Lapid Torat Nachum, Modiin
  • MK Rabbi Shay Peron, Minister of Education
  • Rabbi David Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel
  • Rabbi Haim Drukman, Chairman of the YBA Educational Network in Israel
  • Rabbi Yaakov Meidan, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Hesder Har Etzion
  • Rabbi Dani Singles, Rosh Yeshiva of YBA Yeshivat Hesder Netzeret Elite
  • Mrs. Rachel Fraenkel
  • Rabbi Haim Baruch, Rosh Mechinat Atzmona
  • Rabbi Aryeh Handler, Rosh Yeshivat Hesder Ramla
  • Rabbi Elisha Vishlitski
  • Rabbi Yaakov Chikotai, Chief Rabbi of Modiin-Maccabim-Reut
  • Rabbi Eliyahu Alharir, Chief Rabbi of Modiin-Maccabim-Reut
  • Rabbi Asher Corsia, Rosh Ulpanat Bnei Akiva Oror Modiin