Almost 79 years to the day, after the activity of Torah & Avodah fund, otherwise known as Bnei Akiva, was forced to stop, an official approval was given to the Zionist youth movement to reopen its activity in Germany as a non-profit organization once again. This official authorization will allow the Beni Akiva organization to increase its activity in Germany and produce many activities and initiatives that were not possible up to now for the benefit of the Jewish communities.
Just a few days ago, Bnei Akiva in Germany got the official okay to restart its activity as a Jewish youth movement locally. The activity of Traditional- Zionist organizations had begun sporadically already in 1910. The activity of all organizations was later was united under an official fund called The Torah and Avodah Fund in 1927. This fund functioned mainly as the financial setting for all Zionist-traditional youth movements and activity. Under this umbrella the youth taking part could join Hachsharot, summer camps, ideological conferences and seminaries and many more.
It was a few years later that the fund branched out to an official organization named Bnei Akiva, the same organization still active today in Israel and worldwide. However, in Germany of the Nazi Reich, the Jewish organization activity became illegal and therefore the Bnei Akiva activity had to shut down in Germany, 1938.
As Bnei Akiva still exists and today is active around the world in more than 110 local branches under the subsidiary organization of World Bnei Akiva (WBA), it was a top priority within the organization to try and reestablish the youth organization in Germany as well, while the Jewish community there was growing.
Over the past few years WBA has sent several emissary representatives to begin the relationship with the different communities and has started applying for receiving the needed authorized approval along with issuing the necessary paperwork.
“At last after nearly 80 years of stilled activity, the official document was sent to the WBA office in Germany allowing us to begin our official activity and to bring back the spirit to the communities of Germany” states Eliyos Paz, the German desk director. “It is so exciting to see Bnei Akiva activities taking place in Germany after so many years of absence, to see the significant role Bnei Akiva is playing in strengthening traditional Judaism and connecting the young generation to the state of Israel. Another Jewish organization resurrected in Germany is another little victory on the Nazis and the new anti-Semitists”
“World Bnei Akiva is the largest traditional youth movement in the world. It has a long and rich tradition of ongoing activity of youth and their families and connection them all to values of Eretz Israel (the country of Israel)” States Roi Abecassis Director of World Bnei Akiva. “Often the activity is initiated together with the communities who approach us requesting a stronger connection to their heritage, people and land, a task we are always excited to address. At times we address a community and suggest our unique activities and together we build a supporting community. It is now our most exciting challenge to bring back the spirit of Bnei Akiva to the place where it all started, and proceed in building a strong Bnei Akiva in Germany again”.
– Photos from the last Winter camp of the German youth, organized by Bnei Akiva
(Credit: Bnei Akiva in Germany)