A Parent’s Perspective

Lynne Dover

I owe Bnei Akiva an enormous debt of gratitude both personally and on behalf of my children. It has given us all so many wonderful opportunities, socially and educationally and memories that will last forever.

In the spirit of constructive criticism I have been moved to put pen to paper (OK, I know there is neither pen nor paper, just showing my age!). As some of you may know, we are a ‘Northern’ family viewing the goings on in London from a distance. It seems to me that the structure and management of London/UK Bnei Akiva needs to be examined and some changes made in order to move forward.

From what I gather, there are competitors in London that we do not have in Manchester that are edging BA out of the market and some streamlining is needed in order to compete in what is obviously a finite arena.

The Mazkirut are a young and enthusiastic group of people all working with only the best motives but due to the chaotic appointment system sometimes those ’chosen’ for certain posts are sometimes a surprising choice. Having a one year contract with no long term accountability may also explain the inconsistent management approach, with little ability to plan long term, as some decisions, unless they are made at the beginning of the year will never be implemented and there is no accountability for mistakes.

To this end I have a suggestion. Appointments to the Mazkirut are ratified by a committee of parents or interested adults including a regional input, who have no say in the running of Bnei Akiva but who can make sure the appointment system is transparent and conducted in a fair and accountable way. The role of parents can be utilised further in an advisory capacity as well as fundraising and long term planning.

I am acutely aware that Bnei Akiva is a ‘youth’ movement and part of its ethos is that it gives young people an opportunity to run an organisation that they might not otherwise get, but it needs to be anchored as it seems to be drifting at the moment and I feel that some older and more experienced input may be useful.

As well as being the mother of one of the Yediot editors (no points for guessing which one), Lynne Dover has been a member of the Manchester Bachad committee for the last five years.

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