Yeshivot and Ulpanot of Bnei Akiva (YBA) is the leading religious Zionist educational movement in Israel. It was was founded in 1939 by Rav Moshe Zvi Neriya, zt"l, when he opened Israel's first yeshiva high school with thirteen students. He was sent there by the renowned Rav Kook.
Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, zt”l, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of what was then Palestine, is widely considered to be one of the leading founders of Modern Orthodoxy. Rav Kook sent his disciple, Rav Neriah, to found the first YBA school in Kfar Haroeh, a village named with the Hebrew acronym (הָרֹאֶ”ה) for Rav Kook’s name. Rav Neriah went on to help establish the Bnei Akiva youth movement, serve in the Knesset, and receive the Israel Prize for his service to the Jewish state. Since that first YBA school was founded in 1939, more than 100,000 students have graduated from its schools.
That first school led to the development of similar schools for both boys and girls, as well as the establishment of hesder programs, mechina programs, and a college.
Today, YBA has grown into a national movement encompassing 74 schools from the Golan to Eilat, serving more than 25,000 students of all backgrounds. This includes children from low-income homes, new immigrants, and the learning disabled.
All of these students graduate from YBA schools with a profound love of Torah, the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, which they carry with them for the rest of their lives.