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Bnei Akiva Sydney: A Year in Review

By Mor and Yishai Lacob, World Bnei Akiva Shlichim in Sydney, Australia

As a final farewell to 2023, we want to take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey and achievements we had together last year, and share our exciting plans for 2024.

Throughout the past year, our Movement witnessed significant growth in our youth members. It's heartening to see the Bnei Akiva Sydney community flourishing, and we attribute this success to the dedication and enthusiasm of both our Madrichim and Chanichim.

We want to share some of the things that happened, both on a weekly basis as well as special events:

  • Powerful Shabbat Minyanim: Every week, we were uplifted to have 40-50 individuals join us for a minyan, followed by a Dvar Torah and Kiddush.

  • Significant growth in youth members: Our Shabbat tochniot saw a meaningful increase in participants, ranging from 60-80 enthusiastic Chanichim per week.

  • New initiative for Juniors: We introduced a new program, the ‘Parsha Quiz', during Shabbatot for our Junior Chanichim, where they engage in weekly learning sessions about the Parsha and earn prizes.

  • North Shabbaton: Our Shabbaton at Masada on the North Shore blew us away, with over 100 Chanichim participating and leaving a lasting impact. We're planning similar Shabbatonim for the upcoming year.

  • Ve'shinantam: In November, we launched a family learning program, ‘Ve'shinantam,' for Junior Chanichim every Thursday. The program includes learning about the week’s Parsha and connecting it to Jewish values. The program got stronger as time went by and we finished the year with over 50 kids and parents on the last week! Dinner, and exciting prizes are provided. We invite everyone to join us next year!

  • Special Shabbat Meals: We focused on hosting Shabbat meals for our Senior years, fostering a family atmosphere and providing an opportunity to connect with our older youth, who are the future leaders of our Movement.

  • Special events: Our vision for the Maon is to be a social hub for the movement’s Chanichim, Madrichim and Bogrim. Therefore, we organised sports events, Sheva Brachot, movie nights etc, as well as our yearly Purim party, Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration, Yom Yerushalayim Davening, Shavuot learning night, Simchat Torah celebrations, and more.

  • A meaningful Winter Camp: We had an incredible time at Winter Camp! We also hit a remarkable number of participants with over 200 Movement members, creating unforgettable memories.

  • The Summer Camps were unbelievable! On our Junior camp we had 120 participants, and on Fed camp we had 100 Chanichim and Madrichim coming from Sydney.

This year, 18 participants from Bnei Akiva Sydney are going on a gap year in Israel with World Bnei Akiva - Limmud and MTA . We want to wish every single one of them Hatzlacha Raba on this transformative life experience. We are sure that when they come back to the community after learning so much this year, they will impact the Movement deeply and we are so excited and proud of each and every one of them.

As we reflect on all of last year’s achievements, we are grateful for the support of our community. We are eager to continue this journey together, with so many plans, ideas and dreams.

We can’t wait to see all the beautiful things 2024 will bring.

Kadimah Bnei Akiva!

Mor & Yishai

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