Remembering Gush Katif: On Monday, January 22, 4000 young people from Religious-Zionist schools participated in the annual "Masa Kissufim", during which they visited communities that surround the Gaza Strip, viewed and heard stories about Gush Katif from former residents. Later they gathered at Shlomit,
The highlight of the year in any Yeshiva High School in Israel is the "Hachtara" the great pre-Purim celebration organized by the 12th grade which turns the school upside-down with fun and silliness. This year, however, as they were raising the funds for their celebration, students of Yeshivat Bnei Akiva Netiv Meir in Jerusalem began to ask themselves: Is this really the best that we can do with the money that we raise?
The Yeshivot Bnei Akiva mourns our alumnus Rabbi Raziel Shevach who was murdered by terrorists outside Chavat Gilad. Rav Raziel, father of five, and a central figure in the spiritual life of the yishuv, known for his willingness to give of himself to others at any time, was an alumnus of YBA Givat Shmuel.
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.
This past June YBA Givat Shmuel received a call: Could the Yeshiva help a young man from a needy family with his Bar Mitzvah? Without missing a beat, the entire 10th grade-135 young men- began planning. With logistical support from the school, the 10th graders raised funds and organized catering, decorations, music and invitations.
In June, Orot Modi'in, YBA's high school for girls in Modi'in was awarded The Education Prize for 5777, the most prestigious award given by the Ministry of Education. Orot Modi'in was one of five high schools from across the State of Israel-and the only religious school- to receive this recognition.
In spring of 2017, American Friends of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva will be embarking upon an exciting new direction which will significantly raise the North American profile of the outstanding educational activities of Yeshivot and Ulpanot Bnei Akiva. AFYBA is deeply grateful to our esteemed chairman, Marvin Bienenfeld and president Arthur Alexander for their dedication and service, and we are pleased to announce that Alan Wildes will be assuming the presidency to lead our growth initiative.
On March 20, five advanced students of Ulpanat Ayelet Hashachar were in Cape Canaveral, Florida to witness the launch of the satellite Duchifat-2 which they helped to construct over the last three years. The satellite, which will map the Earth’s thermosphere, is a partnership between the Ministry of Science, the aeronautics industry and the science center in Herzeliya.
Minister of Education Naftali Bennett. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely. The head of the Mossad. The first woman of Ethiopian descent to serve in the Knesset. The chief of Israeli police. The CEO of Israel Electric Corporation. The president of Hebrew University. Even Cantor Dudu Fisher. What single thing do all of these Israelis have in common? They all attended Yeshivot Bnei Akiva (YBA) schools in Israel.
Racheli Frenkel is not your typical national leader. Usually, a leader develops gradually, gaining in stature and prominence with the passage of time. But occasionally, seemingly ordinary people are thrust by extraordinary circumstances onto the national stage, to be universally recognized for their leadership qualities, despite their previous anonymity. Racheli Frenkel is such a leader.
Moshe and Svetlana are both 26 and new immigrants from the former Soviet Union. They met each other in Beer Sheva and fell in love. Svetlana recently lost her mother to cancer and has no contact with her father. Moshe also lost all contact with both his parents after making Aliyah on his own. The couple wanted to marry, but had no resources to afford a traditional Jewish wedding.
|YBA students handing out free Israeli flags in Jerusalem|
This week, YBA high school students fanned out all across Israel to help bolster the resilience of Israel's citizens. They filled traffic intersections in all the major cities waving flags, dancing and singling while handing out 20,000 Israeli flags and bumper stickers saying, "Be strong and we will be strengthened" and "An eternal nation has no fear of the long road ahead."
Students volunteered their free time for these activities out of a sense of social responsibility. "Raising the flag of Israel in these times sends a message to our enemies that we are not bowing to terror," said one student, "we are never going to leave Eretz Yisrael, and we are not afraid."
"Lots of drivers sound their car horns in support; others roll down their windows and yell 'kol hakavod!' ('Good job!') and many thank us," said another participant. "That's the proof that 'Am Yisrael Chai'."
|Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, z"l|
In 1975, at the urging of his mentor, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, of blessed memory, he founded the non-profit organization, Amishav – for the Dispersed of Israel.
Rabbi Avichail has lectured widely in Israel and abroad, published numerous articles and the Hebrew books HaOvdim B’Eretz Ashur and Shitei Yisrael, the latter of which has been translated into English and French.
In order to assist in aliya and conversion, he wrote and published the booklet Judaism (Hebrew) which has been translated into numerous languages.
Rabbi Avichail was a member of the Rabbinical Court which converted the Belmonte community in Portugal. He facilitated aliya of the BaDerej L’Yerushalayim group from Mexico and the Bnei Menashe group from Peru. He continues to assist the aliya of Bnei Menashe from northeast India (some 1,000 souls to date). Rabbi Avichail has travelled the world, from India, Burma, China, Thailand and Japan to Europe and South America, in order to research, encourage and guide the dispersed of Israel.
Rabbi Avichail was born in Jerusalem in 1932. His parents came from Lithuania and Ukraine. At 16 he was drafted by the Israel Defense Forces during the War of Independence; he completed his service with the rank of sergeant in the Nahal brigade at Kibbutz Yavne. Afterwards he joined Kibbutz Saad, where he lived and worked for five years, and then studied at Yeshivat Kerem BeYavneh and Merkaz HaRav Kook. He received his rabbinical ordination and completed a teaching certificate for Bible studies and Mishna. He has held the positions of community rabbi, students’ rabbi at the Hebrew University, and teacher of Bible and Judaism for all ages. He received the equivalent of a Doctorate in Jewish Professions for his rabbinical studies and publications.
Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail and his wife Rivka were jointly awarded the Yakir Yerushalayim prize [annual citizenship prize in Jerusalem] in 2012. They have six children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their home was open at all times to the Bnei Menashe, new converts and all those who wish to study Judaism.
Thousands of citizens of Israel from the Bnei Menashe community will mourn this modest and saintly man, who paved the way for them to begin new lives as Jews in the state of Israel.
Ron was conscripted to the IDF in 1981 and joined the Paratroopers Brigade. He went on the serve as a commander of the brigade's Engineer Company and as deputy-commander of the 50th battalion of the Nahal Brigade.
Alsheich left the army in 1988 with the rank of Major, and joined the Shabak, Israel's equivalent to the FBI, where he rose through the ranks until being appointed deputy director in September 2014. He was expected to be tapped to be the next head of the Shabak before being picked by Erdan to lead the Israel Police.
Alsheich's nomination is expected to sail through the approval process, as praise for his talent and appropriateness for the position pours in from sources all across Israeli society. Israel's last Chief of Police, Yohanan Danino, a graduate of YBA Or Etzion, retired from the position three months ago.
The chairman of the Yeshivot Bnei Akiva educational network, Rabbi Haim Drukman, called Alsheich to congratulate him and wish him well. "It is a very important and demanding position," said Rabbi Drukman; "Your appointment is a source of pride for the entire religious Zionist sector in general, and for YBA in particular, because it demonstrates our commitment to educating toward the values of Torat Eretz Yisrael, which incorporates dedication to mitzvot between man and G-d, man and his fellow man, and man and his country."
Read more about Ron Alsheich and how his appointment reflects the growing trend of religious Zionist leadership in all sectors of Israeli society in the following links: