Rabbi Beni Nachtailer

Experiential learning vs classroom learning

Expulsion from Gush Katif, August 2005
Israeli tenth graders were only six years old in 2005, when Israel dismantled the Gush Katif block of settlements in the southern Gaza Strip. They never stepped foot in the Gush Katif region, and few have any recollection at all of the traumatic events surrounding that historic evacuation.

Last week, over 2,700 tenth grade students set out on the fourth annual YBA “Masa Kisufim” (Trek of Yearning) march, to learn about the rise and fall of Jewish settlement in that unique region on the Egyptian border, where greenhouse-based agriculture flourished and prospered for over 35 years. The students toured greenhouses similar to those that were left behind in the Gaza Strip, and heard personal stories from former Gush Katif residents about their lives there and the traumatic expulsion from their homes.

Masa Kisufim March, January 2015
The annual Masa Kisufim march joined two other well-established all-night hikes in YBA’s tradition: to the Galilee village of Beria during the eighth grade to learn about the early years of Zionist settlement in Eretz Yisrael; and to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion during the ninth grade, to learn about Israel’s War of Independence.

Rabbi Beni Nachtailer, Director General of the YBA Educational Network, explained that "the Idea is to teach our students about the history of settlement in Gush Katif in an experiential way - through an all-night hike in the western Negev, near to where those settlements were located. Knowledge gained through experiential learning is hard-wired in our memories, much more than through classroom learning.”

The YBA network regards experiential education activities to be just as valuable as formal classroom education in Training Israel’s Future.™

"For YBA, the Green Line doesn't exist," says Rabbi Beni Nachtailer at UBA Neria...

 Mateh Binyamin Mayor Avi Roeh, 
cutting the ribbon at UBA Neria
"For YBA, the Green Line doesn't exist." so said Rabbi Beni Nachtailer,Director General of the YBA Educational Network in Israel, at the dedication ceremony of new dormitory buildings at UBA Neria this month. "We are committed to opening schools wherever there is a need for quality religious Zionist education in the entire Land of Israel." 

That is the reason why the YBA network opened UBA Neria ten years ago in the Talmon block of settlements within the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. In total, 14 of the network's 74 schools are located in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The new dormitory buildings replace the aging caravans the school has used since its founding in 2004. The new buildings, while still temporary in nature, will provide a vastly improved quality of life for the school's 300 students until a permanent residential facility can be built.

Funding for the new structures was provided by the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. Mayor Avi Roeh was joined by other public officials in formally opening the new facility.

UBA Neria is named after Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neria, z”l, the founder of the first YBA yeshiva high school in 1940, and spiritual mentor of the ‘Kipa Seruga’ generation, which has moved into leadership positions in the IDF and in all aspects of Israeli society in recent years.

YESHIVOT BNEI AKIVA - Training Israel’s Future.TM

UBA Orot Modiin dedicates new auditorium/synagogue

The 600 girls of UBA Orot Modiin in the town of Modiin recently celebrated the opening of the remodeled auditorium/synagogue on their campus. 

The auditorium will now be called 'Heichal Moshe v’Esther' in memory of Rabbi Moshe and Esther Nachtailer z”l, whose legacy helped to complete the renovation. Rabbi Beni Nachtailer (no relation), the Director General of the YBA Educational Network and Rabbi Asher Corsia, the Rosh Ulpana welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, the mayor of Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, Haim Beavas and other local officials at the dedication ceremony.

Like all YBA network schools, UBA Orot Modiin is very involved with the welfare of its local community. Hence, the students will share the synagogue on Shabbat and holidays with Congregation Menorat Avner, a neighborhood congregation named after Avner Goldman, am IAF helicopter pilot who was killing in the line of duty.

Yeshivot Bnei Akiva - Training Israel's Future. TM
UBA Orot Modiin Campus

“A teacher teaches facts, an educator imparts values,” says Rabbi Beni Nachtailer at Awards for Excellence event…

The YBA network held a special in-service training and recognition day for secular studies teachers in the first week of December at UBA Amana in Kfar Saba. Hundreds of faculty members from the network’s 57 yeshiva and ulpana high schools came together for a day of enrichment and to honor one outstanding teacher in each subject of secular studies.

“We consider each of you not only a teacher, but an educator,” Rabbi Beni Nachtailer, the YBA network’s Director General, told the assembled faculty members. “We are gathered here to express our appreciation for the work you do to educate our students and to strengthen the Jewish values that YBA stands for – Love for the Torah, the Jewish people and Land of Israel.” 

YESHIVOT BNEI AKIVA - Training Israel’s Future.TM

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.

IAF launches cadet training program at YBA Bar Yochai, Meron

Gen. Amir Eshel reviews the cadets upon arrival

The commander of the Israel Air Force, Gen. Amir Eshel, visited the campus of YBA Bar Yochai in the Galilee town of Meron in September to launch a new cadet trianing program, "Kanfei Shachar" (Wings of Dawn).

The program is a joint venture between the IAF and Merkaz Yeshivot Bnei Akiva meant to prepare a cadre of highly skilled recruits to man the  ground support crews for the IAF's fighter jet squadrons.

Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yosef Tawil welcomes the general
as Rabbi Beni Nachtailer listens
The students chosen for the program will wear IAF uniforms and be considered military cadets in every respect. The program's curriculum will include advanced studies in electronics, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering,
Gen. Amir Eshel addressing the cadets in the Beit Midrash

First class of Kanfei Shachar cadets with honored guests
Rabbi Beni Nachtailer, the Director General of the Yeshivot Bnei Akiva educational network wished the cadets much success as they embark on a new course in their lives. "The way of religious Zionism demands that we should be involved in every aspect of Israeli society, always applying our eternal Jewish values in daily life."

Gen. Eshel told the cadets that he was proud of the unique collaboration between the IAF and the YBA educational network. "We are thirsty for the special qualities that the students of YBA schools will bring to the air force," he said. "The number of pilots is limited, but they need a large number of high quality soldiers as ground support staff to make sure they can carry out their missions successfully and return home safely."

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

21 YBA schools ranked among the top 208 in Israel

The Ministry of Education released last week its list of top ranking high schools in Israel. This is the second time that the ministry has used a more well-rounded ranking system, rather than basing school ranking solely the percent of students matriculating for admittance to institutions of higher education.
YBA Dirrctor General,
Rabbi Beni Nachtailer

According to the ministry's new ranking system, 21 of the the top 208 high schools (10%) belong to the Yeshivot Bnei Akiva educational network -- more than any other educational network in Israel.

Rabbi Beni Nachtailer, Director General of YBA, said in response to the publication of the new ranking, "This is a certificate of honor for our faculty members, who work day-in and day-out to make our schools the best possible. We are proud to be the industry leaders in value-laden education."

The ranking system measures over a thousand high schools in Israel according to a variety of parameters to determine which schools are the leading "value-laden" schools in the country.
These include:

  • 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, Mathmetics and the exact Sciences
  • maintaining a matriculation examination process free of irregularities
  • rate of improvement in all parameters over previous year's scores
The teaching faculty of the top 208 schools were rewarded with salary bonuses raging from $860 to $2,300 based on their school's relative position on the list. 

Critics of the new ranking system claim that the relative weighting of the various measures favor schools in the religious Zionist sector and that the faculty bonus money would better be spent in investing in the schools at the bottom of the national ranking list.