WORLD COUNCIL

The World Bnei Akiva World Council was established in 2015 as part of a process of evaluation and renewal of the governance of our movement.

 

In order to deepen our connection with the Bnei Akiva branches around the world we created a World Council, which includes representatives from the snifim and serves as the highest decision-making body of the world movement.

 

The council consists of 16 members who have significant experience and knowledge of the world of Bnei Akiva, such as former Shlichim and Mazkirim. One important element is having a representative from each major region or country; Europe, UK, France, South America, North America, Australia and South Africa.

 

All members are chosen by the organizations they represent. The World Council works on determining policy for the movement, approving the budget and raising funds. It meets every few months for a conference call and twice a year for a face-to-face meeting.

 

As part of the movement’s renewal we are focusing on a number of core projects which we intend to progress with in 2019 and beyond.

 

 

 

WORLD COUNCIL MEMBERS

Sarena Koschitzky, Honorary Chairman

Gael Grunewald, Co-Chairman

Dov Meyer, Co-Chairman

Roi Abecassis

Yoni Bahat

Cheryl Bradfield Eman

Gideon Bratt

Robert Ejnes

Nathan Feldman

Rob Fihrer

Benji Jotkowitz

Jeremy Kurnedz

Rabbi Benji Levy

Rabbi Doron Perez

Mark Schneider

Ze'ev Schwartz

Michael Silver

Wayne A. Yaffee

WORLD COUNCIL MEMBERS

Sarena Koschitzky, Honorary Chairman

Mrs. Koschitzky lives in Toronto Canada. Her past community service includes chairing Toronto’s United Jewish Appeal Community Campaign and the March of the Living. She currently serves as a member on the Toronto Federation Board and the Centre for Jewish Education. Mrs. Koschitzky is also involved in the work of Hillel and the Toronto Bnei Akiva Parent’s Council. She was co-chair of the World Bnei Akiva Council, and is now an Honorary Chairman. Mrs. Koschitzky holds a B.A. from De Paul University. She and her husband David have five children.

Gael Grunewald, Co-Chairman

Mr. Grunewald was born in France and made Aliyah when he was 18. Mr. Grunewald served as Chair of the Va’ad Amuta of World Bnei Akiva. Prior to that, he headed The Jewish Agency's ‘Counselors Training Institute’ and served as its representative in Europe, as educational advisor for the European Rabbis' Committee, Secretary General of World Bnei Akiva and Chair of the Youth Movements World Council. In 2006, he was elected to the World Zionist Organization (WZO) Executive. Mr. Grunewald was elected as member of the Board of Governors in 2011. Between 2011 and 2015, Mr. Grunewald has been serving as KKL-JNF Deputy Chairman. During the last Congress, Mr. Grunewald was elected as Head of the Settlements Division of the WZO. Mr. Grunwald is the chairman of Tzurba Merabanan - Halacha Practice Learning Institute. Gael and his wife Shira live in Beit Shemesh and have seven children.

Dov Meyer, Co-Chairman

Mr‭. ‬Meyer lives in Toronto Canada‭. ‬He is a graduate‭ ‬of Yeshivat Hakotel Hesder Program‭, ‬Bar Ilan Law School‭ ‬&‭ ‬University of Toronto School of Business‭ (‬MBA‭). ‬Mr‭. ‬Meyer is‭ ‬active in the Toronto Jewish community‭, ‬sitting on several boards‭ ‬and executive committees such as Bnei Akiva Schools and Netivot‭ ‬Hatorah Day School‭. ‬He is a proud boger of Bnei‭ ‬Akiva‭. ‬Dov’s wife Karen is a board‭ ‬member of Bnei Akiva North America‭. ‬The Meyer family are‭ ‬founders of many Bnei Akiva initiatives in North America including‭ ‬Moshava Bair Toronto and BABayit NY‭. ‬Dov has been on‭ ‬the finance committee of WBA for several years and has‭ ‬recently been appointed to the World Council as co-chairman‭. ‬Professionally‭, ‬he has‭ ‬been active in North American real estate investments for the‭ ‬last 25‭ ‬years and is currently founder and Executive Vice Chairman of a real estate finance company in Toronto‭.‬

Roi Abecassis is the Mazkal (Secretary General) for World Bnei Akiva and took on this position in 2015. He is a graduate of Yeshivat Har Etzion and is a certified lawyer and holds a Master's Degree (MA) in Political Science from Bar Ilan University. Roi started his career with World Bnei Akiva in 1998, and was then the World Bnei Akiva and World Zionist Organization (WZO) Central Shaliach in Scandinavia, followed by a position as CEO of WZOs Hagshama Department. Prior to his current position, Abecassis was World Bnei Akivas Deputy Mazkal (Deputy CEO) between 2011-2015. Roi lives with his wife and four children in Modi’in.

Yoni Bahat

Yoni‭ ‬Bahat‭ ‬lives‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬community‭ ‬of‭ ‬Nofey‭ ‬Prat‭, ‬next‭ ‬to‭ ‬Maale‭ ‬Adumim‭, ‬and is‭ ‬married‭ ‬to‭ ‬Einat‭ ‬with whom he has‭ ‬4‭ ‬children‭. ‬He‭ ‬grew‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬Bnei‭ ‬Akiva‭ ‬in‭ ‬Israel‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬Chanich‭ ‬and‭ ‬Madrich‭, ‬studied‭ ‬in‭ ‬Netiv‭ ‬Meir‭ ‬and‭ ‬then‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬Otniel‭ ‬Yeshiva‭. ‬Yoni‭ ‬served‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬Golani‭ ‬Brigade‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬soldier‭ ‬and‭ ‬commander‭. ‬He‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬Shaliach‭ ‬to‭ ‬Houston‭, ‬Texas‭ ‬from‭ ‬2007‭ ‬to‭ ‬2010‭.  ‬Between‭ ‬2008‭ ‬to‭ ‬2013‭, ‬he‭ ‬spent‭ ‬5‭ ‬summers‭ ‬in‭ ‬Camp‭ ‬Moshava‭ ‬I‭.‬O‭., ‬4‭ ‬of‭ ‬them‭ ‬as‭ ‬the‭ ‬head‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬Israeli‭ ‬Mishlachat‭ ‬to‭ ‬camp‭. ‬In‭ ‬2014-2015‭, ‬he‭ ‬was‭ ‬Rosh‭ ‬Machane‭ ‬in‭ ‬Sayarim‭ ‬Europe‭. ‬In‭ ‬2013‭ ‬he‭ ‬became‭ ‬the‭ ‬head‭ ‬of‭ ‬Shlichut‭ ‬department‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬Mazkirut‭ ‬and in‭ ‬2016‭ ‬the head‭ ‬of‭ ‬finances‭. ‬In 2018‭ ‬Yoni was appointed Deputy Mazkal of World Bnei Akiva‭. ‬Yoni‭ ‬has‭ ‬a‭ ‬BSc‭ ‬and‭ ‬MSc‭ ‬degrees‭ ‬in‭ ‬Geology‭ ‬and‭ ‬MBA‭, ‬all‭ ‬from‭ ‬the‭ ‬Hebrew‭ ‬University‭. ‬

Cheryl Bradfield Eman

Cheryl Bradfield Eman‭, ‬born and raised in London‭, ‬studied in Israel‭. ‬Married and settled in Milan‭, ‬Italy for 30‭ ‬years‭. ‬Very involved in construction of a new snif for WBA in Milan and kick-started the tnuah in both Milan and Rome‭. ‬Headed Italian Vaad Horim‭ ‬for 8‭ ‬years‭. ‬

Co-Chair WBA Board of Governors together with Daniel Goldman and Mark Belzbeg from 2010-2013‭. ‬Founded Yad Achim World Bnei Akiva‭ ‬in 2015‭ ‬with the aim of connecting‭  ‬and reconnecting Chanichim currently attending a‭  ‬Hachshara program with Bogrim who made Aliya‭  ‬some years ago‭. ‬Member of Bnei Akiva’s World Council since 2017‭.‬

Gideon Bratt

Mr. Bratt grew up in London, England and was a member of Bnei Akiva’s Hendon snif. He studied in Yeshivat Hakotel as part of the Torani Hachshara program, and then returned to the UK to study International Relations at the University of Birmingham. After graduating, he worked for Bnei Akiva UK as the Israel Worker and, shortly after, made aliyah to Jerusalem. After a few months at Ulpan Etzion, Mr. Bratt served in the IDF's Foreign Relations unit, and now works in marketing for a documentary film production company in the Old City.

Robert Ejnes

Mr. Ejnes lives in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. He has a very long history of community services, as past Executive board member and executive director of FSJU, and serving President of the Jewish congregation in Boulogne. He also currently serves as Executive Director of CRIF, the representative institution of French Jews. Robert Ejnes is also the President of Bnei Akiva of France. Robert Ejnes is a business consultant and holds a MBA from Northwestern University. He and his wife Geneviève have 8 children, most of them live in Israel.

Nathan Feldman

Mr Feldman has been part of Bnei Akiva since the age of 8, and has been a madrich, rosh hadracha and participated on Hachshara. He served in the IDF, studied at Bar Ilan University and returned to Mexico to be Mazkir Artzi and to finish his studies as a Chemical Engineer. Subsequently he has been Chairman of the Committee for the Youth of the Ashkenazi community in Mexico, and President of the Board of Yavne school, Ramat Shalom Community Center, the Executive Committee of the Ashkenazi community, and now the Board of Directors of the Ashkenazi community in Mexico. He is part of the Friends of the Bar-Ilan University in Mexico and is on the Board of Trustees of the University. He is on the Mexico Bnei Akiva Parents Council and part of the friends of the Shaare Zedek Mexico Hospital. Mr Feldman is married with 3 children.

Rob Fihrer

Mr Fihrer attended The King David School in Johannesburg‭, ‬South Africa‭. ‬He then went on to study at The‭ ‬University of the Witwatersrand and graduated with a Bachelor of‭ ‬Commerce degree‭.‬‮ ‬‭ ‬Mr Fihrer also holds a Post Graduate Diploma‭ ‬in Management from The University of the Witwatersrand‭ ‬‮   ‬Mr Fihrer‭ ‬founded Capricorn Capital Partners with two other partners in 2003‭ ‬and is currently the CEO‭. ‬Mr Fihrer sits on the‭ ‬board of Mizrachi South Africa‭, ‬the South African Jewish Board‭ ‬of Deputies‭, ‬and for the past six years has been‭ ‬integrally involved in Bnei Akiva South Africa through the Bnei‭ ‬Akiva Foundation‭, ‬focusing on rebuilding the Campsite in Mossel Bay and mentoring the Leadership‭.‬

‮ ‬

Benji Jotkowitz

Benji Jotkowitz lives in Melbourne, Australia and holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Monash University. He studied at Yeshivat Hesder Shiloh as part of the Bnei Akiva MTA program and subsequently has been heavily involved with the Melbourne Jewish Community for many years as Co-Chair of the Yavneh Foundation and Executive Board & Committee Member of Mizrachi Melbourne as Bnei Akiva liaison.  In his professional career, Benji is Founder & Director of Benneaux, an established boutique recruitment consultancy specialising in accounting from support through to senior and executive level positions.  Previously he held a senior management role with one of the largest international recruitment companies.  In his spare time, he offers employment consulting services to Jewish Care and Hatzolah. Benji is married to Sharona, a Jewish Studies teacher at Mount Scopus Memorial College, and they have three children who attend Leibler Yavneh College.

Jeremy Kurnedz

Mr. Kurnedz was born in Manchester, UK. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UCL. He was a mazkir with Bnei Akiva, UK between 1987 and 1988. He made aliyah in 1988. Mr. Kurnedz was a shaliach for World Bnei Akiva in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) between 1993 and 1995. Since 1995, he has been the CEO of Midreshet Harova. Mr. Kurnedz served as the Treasurer of WBA between 2002 and 2011 and has been Treasurer of World Mizrachi from 2001. He and his wife Michal live in Alon Shvut. They have seven children.

Rabbi Benji Levy

Rabbi Benji Levy is the Dean of Jewish Life & Learning at Moriah College, in Sydney Australia. He founded the Joint Mikolot Public Speaking across Australia, the Shalhevet Leadership Program through World Mizrachi and led the Sydney Shabbat Project. He has been on the World Bnei Akiva Board of Governors for five years, is a member of the Koren Publishers Educational Board, was the Merakez of Bnei Akiva in Sydney, led Mibereshit in Australasia, has been a scholar-in-residence in communities around the world and has published numerous articles. Rabbi Benji holds a BA in Media & Communications and Honours in Jewish Civilisation Thought & Culture from the University of Sydney (USYD), an Education degree from Herzog College, Yoreh Yoreh Semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Zalman Nechemya Goldberg and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin following his study at Yeshivat Har Etzion and in Rav Rimon’s Merkaz HaHalacha Kollel, completed the Principal's Program at the Lookstein Centre in Bar Ilan University and is currently writing his PhD in Jewish philosophy. Rabbi Levy is married to Renana, and has two children, Shayna and Yehuda.

Rabbi Doron Perez

Rabbi Perez is the Head of the World Mizrachi Movement, based in Jerusalem. He studied for 9 years in some of Israel’s leading Yeshivot culminating in Rabbinic ordination and a B.Ed. degree, and served in the I.D.F. in the Hesder Army Program. He served the South African Jewish community over the last 15 years in multiple leadership roles; among them, the Rabbi of the Mizrachi Movement of South Africa, the Senior Rabbi of the Mizrachi shul in Johannesburg, and the Managing-Director of the Yeshiva College, the first and largest Torah school in Southern Africa. Rabbi Perez is a renowned orator and has been scholar-in-residence in many communities around the world. He is also the author of the book “Leading the Way”. Rabbi Perez is married to Shelley and has four children.

Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider is a renewable energy investment banker and a developer of large-scale renewable energy projects. He is married to Ariane and has four children and two grand-children. Mark credits Bnei Akiva with having transformed this life, Mark served as Merakez of Bnei Akiva Sydney, and both his sons, Jesse and Aaron, have also held that position. Tobi, Mark’s older daughter made Aliyah after having acted as “Zganit” (Deputy Merakezet). Ellie, Mark’s younger daughter, is also active in the movement. Mark served on the Board of Moriah College, Sydney’s foremost Jewish Day School for 20 years, including two stints as President of the Board. Mark and Ariane, his wife, have played an active role in supporting the local Sydney Bnei Akiva snif as parents for nearly 20 years.

Zeev Schwartz

Mr. Schwartz made aliyah from South Africa. He is the founding Executive Director of Torah Mitzion. He is also the former Mazkal of World Bnei Akiva. As well, Mr. Schwartz founded Lev Yehudi, an outreach organization that deals with kiruv among Israeli backpackers. He is also chairman of Yeshivat Hesder Torah BeTzion. Mr. Schwartz holds a BA in Jewish History and an MA in Public Administration from Bar Ilan University. He is a graduate of MTA 1985. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, served in the Givati Infantry Brigade and miluim in the Alexandroni Brigade of the IDF. He is married to Shulamit and lives in Shoham with their five children.

Michael Silver

Mr‭. ‬Silver was born in Johannesburg and made Aliya in 1999‭. ‬He has been an active member of Bnei Akiva since a young age and held various leadership roles in Bnei Akiva South Africa‭.  ‬In addition to Mr‭. ‬Silvers involvement with Bnei Akiva‭, ‬he is the Chairman of Beit Protea which is a Retirement facility in Herzliya‭. ‬He is a also a board member of a number of other non profit organizations‭. ‬Mr‭. ‬Silver is a founder and CEO of an international family office based in Herzliya Pituach providing investment and advisory services to local and international families‭. ‬Michael and his wife Fiona live in Raanana and have four children‭.‬

Wayne A. Yaffee

Mr. Yaffee resides in Houston, Texas. He is a shareholder with Greenberg Traurig LLP and practices law primarily in the area of real estate finance. He has served on the Board of Bnei Akiva of the U.S. and Canada for over ten years and is currently Chairman of the Board. He is also involved with Camp Moshava Indian Orchard. Mr. Yaffee is a past president and was a longtime member of the Board of Trustees of United Orthodox Synagogues. in Houston, Texas. He also served for many years on the board of The Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, Texas. Mr. Yaffee was also on the local governing council of AIPAC. Mr. Yaffee is married to Laura and has two daughters, one of whom is currently residing in Tekoa with her husband and the other of whom currently resides in Jerusalem with her husband.

Please reload

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

World Bnei Akiva

office@worldbneiakiva.org

Tel: +972-2-620-9012

 

Nonprofit Organization Number (Amutah) 58002895-9  |  Site Glossary  |  Privacy Policy  |  Credits  |  Disclaimer

 

©  2016-2020  World Bnei Akiva