Microsoft word - erman trust report back form 1, bnei akiva limmud, anthony-beinart-smollan.doc
Bnei Akiva Limmud, February-December 2011 – Anthony Beinart-Smollan
1. In what way did your experience contribute to your personal development and Jewish identity?
In 2011 I spent a year on World Bnei Akiva’s ‘Limmud’ programme in Israel as the only New Zealand with a group of South Africans and Australians. Limmud forged within me a strong personal commitment to serious Jewish learning, Zionism and a passion for community work that strengthens Israel and the Diaspora in tandem. Limmud was split into four months of yeshiva, Machon L’Manhigut (Leadership Institute), Shvil Israel (national hike around Israel), Poland journey, Magen David Adom, Kibbutz and various seminars. These stages helped to empower and strengthen these aforementioned values. Limmud was not merely a programme divided into various stages but was rather an opportunity to grow, make lifelong friends, enhance one’s leadership skills and develop a passion for Judaism and Zionism.
2. To what extent did the experience meet your expectations? How would you rate the quality of the programme?
I highly recommend Limmud and all of World Bnei Akiva’s year-long Israel programmes. Limmud greatly exceeded my expectations, both in the quality in which it was run and the vast array of tools it contributed to further my education, understanding, passion and commitment to my Jewish and Zionist identity. Bnei Akiva’s Israel programmes are meaningful, life transforming and inspirational. Limmud has likewise afforded me the tools and motivation to actively contribute to New Zealand’s Jewish community.
3. In what way have you contributed to the Jewish community since you returned from Israel?
My main involvement in the Jewish community is through Bnei Akiva. I am responsible for planning and running weekly educational programmes for 14-16 year olds, who outside of Bnei Akiva have no formal Jewish education. In addition to my responsibility as a weekly madrich, I have taken on two extra roles within the movement. Firstly as Rosh (head of) PR, I designed, coded and successfully launched Bnei Akiva’s website (bneiakiva.org.nz). I am responsible for weekly email newsletter updates and regular Facebook and Twitter updates. I design graphics and flyers for regular and major events and liaise with other organisations and publications. Secondly as Rosh Chinuch (education), I am in charge of the educational programme outline and management for the movement. This involves writing weekly ‘Chinuch Guides’ to help madrichim plan relevant, exciting and engaging programmes. Likewise I help plan and coordinate Bnei Akiva educational activities for both madrichim and the wider community. I was also the co-head of the Bnei Akiva and Habonim Purim Carnival,which over 250 people attended.
Outside of Bnei Akiva I am also regularly involved in other community organisations and activities. I help weekly with leading services and giving various ‘Divrei Torah’ at the Stiebel. In addition to this I also maintain the Zionist Federation of New Zealand’s website and social media pages. This involves regular blog updates and management of the website (zfnz.org.nz), Facebook page updates, management of a community events calendar and email newsletter updates. Likewise, I have also contributed towards Limmud NZ in helping with the online programme, social media updates, email newsletters and website posts.
4. In what way will you contribute to the Jewish community for the balance of your commitment to the Erman Trust?
For the rest of the year 2012, I plan to fulfil my responsibilities to Bnei Akiva, the Stiebel, the ZFNZ, Limmud NZ and other community activities as outlined above. I plan on being actively involved in Bnei Akiva in both 2013 and 2014. Through this period of time I hope to contribute further to the movement in a number of different capacities. I look forward to continually being involved and passionate in the movement for the next 2-3 years. I hope to continue my involvement in the Zionist Federation of New Zealand, Limmud NZ and the Stiebel in both the same and different roles.
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