Giving Back?

By Joe Boxer, Mazkir 5777-8

A few musings.

Giving back?

Over the past few years, I have spoken to numerous different people who were about to take on various roles in our tnua. One of the classic questions we ask is “why do you want to be a madrich/a?” Whilst I have heard some fantastic and thought provoking ideas, more often then not, the answer is “because I want to give back.” Now there is an amazing logic in this answer, BA has given me x amount, therefore it is my responsibility to repay it in kind. In other words, “giving back,” makes BA out to be a business, I have taken a certain amount out, therefore I will give back in equal measures.Continue reading “Giving Back?”

The Rainsbury Review

Having left his tafkid as Head of the British desk at World Bnei Akiva after 4 years, Yediot had the chance to speak to Michael Rainsbury and ask a few questions about his time in Bnei Akiva and his thoughts on the Tnua.

What is your first memory of Bnei Akiva?

Following the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin, the madrichim of South Woodford BA organised a special peula that I still remember. I don’t remember what they did or said, but I do remember how it made me feel – part of a bigger story. And the ability to place chanichim as actors and writers in that story is what makes Bnei Akiva unique.Continue reading “The Rainsbury Review”

Draw Your Movement

By Harry Salter, Rosh Nivchar

Turn the clock back eight years and little Harry Salter was sitting in an art class in Hasmonean. As art isn’t my forte, I decided that I need to get out of the class. I called the teacher over and told her my thoughts: “Art should be optional.” As you can imagine, she didn’t take this well,Continue reading “Draw Your Movement”

Sing to Hashem a New Song: The Carlebach Dilemma

By Rafi Cohen

A week after machane is over, Thursday morning, and I receive a WhatsApp from the shul gabbai:

“Hi Rafi, how’s the voice…”

It’s an exciting opportunity to bring some of that amazing ruach all the way back from north Wales to what would otherwise be a set of dry and dusty Shabbat servicesContinue reading “Sing to Hashem a New Song: The Carlebach Dilemma”

Once a boger or bogeret of Bnei Akiva, always a boger or bogeret*

By Rafi Cohen

I never met my mum’s dad, he passed away before I was born. But my mum and her siblings regale his grandchildren with great anecdotes, funny stories and tales from his life. He was by all accounts a wonderful person and many people in the community have fond memories of him.

Escaping Germany in January 1939 he came to England alone on the Kindertransport and was fortunate to be joined later by his parents and younger sister. He grew up in Edgware, married and had four children and instilled them all with a strong love of Israel. They all went to sviva in Edgware as chanichim and madrichim, they took camp and Israel Machane and most of them have lived in Israel at some point in their lives.Continue reading “Once a boger or bogeret of Bnei Akiva, always a boger or bogeret*”

Small Thoughts on a Major Experience

By Rebecca Posner

Israel Machane.

I had the honour to take 32 incredible chanichim on Israel Machane, alongside three other inspiring madrichim. Or were the chanichim inspiring and the madrichim incredible? Who learns from who? Who do you have fun with the most?

Michael Rainsbury was our mentor for the educational aspect, and one of his principles was to show gratitude to everyone who helped us along the way. I hope this article serves as a small offering towards my gratitude to Bnei Akiva for presenting me with so many opportunities to grow in both my religious and Zionist life, but also in my self-confidence.Continue reading “Small Thoughts on a Major Experience”

Machlaka: Hiking in the footsteps of our founders

By Kobi Weiner

Split the machane in two parts, bus them away to a location unknown to the chanichim and let them find their way back, however long that may take. Even by the standards of Bnei Akiva, Machlaka is an absolutely crazy idea.

Traditionally it has been the highlight of Gimmel, the ultimate challenge at the culmination of one’s summer machanot as a chanich. I still have fond memories of my Machlaka in the South of France, trekking down country roads, trying to teach Ruach songs to baffled locals and convincing a Supermarket to let us practice our French on their tannoy system. More than just going wild and having fun though, Machlaka taught us valuable skills like tent building and map reading, and it was there I did my first Shmira shift. With this in mind, it upset me as a Tech on Gimmel last year to see my chanichim miss out this amazing opportunity, due to logistical impracticalities.

Thankfully, Machlaka made a triumphant return this yearContinue reading “Machlaka: Hiking in the footsteps of our founders”

The power of BAUK pre-camp, as seen by an Aussie!

By Akiva Gluck, Technical Director 5777

On the first day of my tafkid as Technical Director I opened the front drawer of my desk and found to my surprise a picture of fields with a bunch of tents on it. Confused as I was, I turn to the mazkir and asked him about it. He told me “That is Summer Machane and yes, we do camp in fields!” Almost a year later and many late nights, pre-camp has almost come to a close and there is something special and powerful about it which I struggle to see anywhere else in the world.Continue reading “The power of BAUK pre-camp, as seen by an Aussie!”

Reflections on Torani

By Daniel Lederman

This past year I was fortunate enough to have learnt at Yeshivat Hakotel. It has been an incredible experience. For those who want to understand the Israeli perspective, whilst also learning at a high level, I highly recommend the Yeshiva. Yet it was Bnei Akiva’s Torani program that changed how I perceive Israel on a religious, social and political level – and all in the company of an exceptionally talented group of people. This was in no small part down to the work of Michael Rainsbury and our Madrichim, but it is also a reflection of the quality of its participants. This article would like to argue that three features of Torani stand out as being particularly relevant to its success. I will try to limit the superlatives, but in truth, the Torani program deserves the praise.Continue reading “Reflections on Torani”

Defending Rabbi Dweck: On Bnei Akiva’s response to communal controversy

By Sam Gross

In the last few weeks, Anglo-Jewry has been rocked by a storm of controversy, of accusations, clarifications, innuendos and defamations surrounding Rabbi Joseph Dweck, in the aftermath of his shiur on homosexuality and Orthodoxy in May. The dust has not settled, and the story is still developing. Rabbi Dweck announced that as a result, he will not be taking his normal role as a scholar-in-residence in New Jersey this summer, and (perhaps more frighteningly) that he is stepping down – at least for now – from the Sephardi Beth Din.

Rabbi Dweck is under threat.

Continue reading “Defending Rabbi Dweck: On Bnei Akiva’s response to communal controversy”