With Jewish Zionists spread out all over the world, we’ve discovered so many creative and engaging new ways of connecting over the last century.
And World Bnei Akiva has had a huge part in doing this. Whether it is through the thousands of shlichim (emissaries) sent across the globe to promote a love of Israel and Judaism, the yearly programs and trips to Israel they help organize, or the many worldwide initiatives they create annually in Jewish communities, World Bnei Akiva is a founding father of global Zionism.
While the world may still be recovering from a year of isolation and caution, World Bnei Akiva has managed to keep the fun alive. And more importantly, connections between Jewish communities across the world have grown even stronger.
Way back in 1998, Sweden’s shaliach Rotem Abecassis knew he wanted to bring more engagement to his participants, and found that inspiration came when they connected with the chapters in surrounding countries. As they saw just how active and passionate their neighboring peers were, the kids’ bonds grew stronger, as well as their devotion to Bnei Akiva. Abecassis organized a weekend long singing competition among a few neighboring countries, and with such promising success, he brought his idea to World Bnei Akiva.
Quite soon after, Jewrovision, came into the scene. Jewrovision, a song competition (just like the famous Eurovision), was created as a way to connect and collaborate between the local Bnei Akiva’s. With the goal of creating a joint shared experience in both an educational and fun way, Jewrovision was born with a purpose. For one long Shabbaton weekend once a year, young Jews would come together, sing, dance, and experience their shared passions as one. With time, more and more countries began joining the annual Jewrovision as a result of its great success. Soon Bnei Akiva communities all over Europe participating, with each year’s competition held in a different country, of the previous year’s winner.
With Jewrovision’s fast growing momentum, the world’s health situation unfortunately pushed the event online in 2020. And while the weekend trip may have been cancelled, Bnei Akiva’s spirit stayed strong, creating an even larger online forum for Jewrovision, with countries all around the world participating!
Last year, the biggest Jewrovision ever took place, with performances sent in by 14 countries. On Yom Haaztmaut, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, 1,500 people came together on a livestream YouTube event, and sang about hope, tikva, the event’s theme. With a studio of presenters commentating live, and thousands of live viewers acting as the judges from the comfort of their own homes, the first online Jewrvision was a success!
While each performance brought with it the flavor its own country, with different languages and different cultures, the 14 snifim from around the world shared one common thing: a connection to Bnei Akiva, and a love of their homeland, Israel.
Coming in first place for the 4th year in a row(!!!), the Netherlands came out on top!
Check out their inspiring performance here, and check out some of the other amazing songs while you are at it!
This year, Jewrovision is back online, taking place on Sunday, May 9th, and is ready to take the global world of Zionism by storm. Not only are viewers encouraged to vote from home, but World Bnei Akiva has some of our favorite Jewish musicians to join the judging ranks!
With this year’s theme of resilience, let us come together and celebrate the wondrous strength and courage of a world which continues to survive and thrive, no matter the circumstance!