American Friends of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva (AFYBA) has announced the appointment of Rabbi Micah D. Halpern as national executive director. Halpern was selected to head the organization as a result of his successful track record as fundraiser, motivational speaker, and media personality within the Jewish world.
According to Halpern, “Yeshivot and Ulpanot Bnei Akiva is one of the most important Jewish educational institutions in the world. The alumni of these institutions are the heroes of Israel — in the army, in high-tech, in all facets of Israeli society. Graduates hold eminent positions in the Supreme Court, the Knesset, and throughout the fields of arts and sciences. Bnei Akiva institutions build a strong and secure Israel and I am proud to be part of this vibrant, essential, organization.”
Public affairs executive and AFYB board member Rabbi Dr. Hank Sheinkopf explained: “Rabbi Halpern was brought aboard now as we reshape our board and become laser sharp in our approach. His vision and his passion will help us soar to new heights. Our institutions produce the crème de la crème of Israeli society. They are the future leaders of the Jewish people. Our schools are cutting edge and, with the assistance of American Jewry, we provide the best tools and facilities available to Israeli students.”
Rabbi Halpern adds that there are some projects that need help right now. There is a safety crisis on the Gaza border. “One of our high schools is on the Gaza border. It is a magnet for boys from all over the country, including students who fled persecution in Ethiopia and anti-Semitism in France. They live in a dormitory that is not yet fortified at all against incoming missiles and rockets. My first project as national executive director is to raise $3 million to fortify that dorm and protect these young heroes.”
AFYBA (American Friends of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva) supports 25,000 students in yeshivot, ulpanot, hesder, and mechinah programs throughout Israel in 75 institutions; 25 percent of Israeli religious high-school students, male and female, are a part of the network. Yeshivot and Ulpanot Bnei Akiva was first established in 1939 by Rabbi Moshe Zvi Niriyah with only 13 students.
To join in the effort, contact Micah.Halpern@AFYBA.org