In a nod to the growing influence and importance of media and communications in Israel, the religious Bnei Akiva youth movement will appoint a spokesman in each chapter.
The spokesman or spokeswoman will be responsible for all contacts with local media and with the national spokesman. “We encourage our youth to enter the world of the media – with the special character and values of Bnei Akiva,” said Rabbi Benny Nachteiler, chairman of the movement.
The Bnei Akiva movement is Israel's largest religious Zionist youth movement, with over 75,000 boys and girls in 350 chapters across the country. Founded in 1929, it held its Moetza convention this past week – a gathering of some 400 of its older members, of late and post-high school age, as well as rabbis, public figures and leaders of the movement. Decisions were made regarding the direction Bnei Akiva should take in future years.
For the first time, it was decided to appoint a committee on Communications and Culture, which dealt comprehensively with issues such as culture ‘consumption,’ the use of social networks such as Facebook, the integration of youth in the world of media, and the like.
It was resolved: “The movement calls upon its members to take part in cultural and media activities out of a sense of mission and accomplishment, and thus bring to the fore the values on which they were educated in Bnei Akiva. It further congratulates those who are engaged in such work, and calls upon them to strive for key positions in these areas, in order to enhance their influence in forming Israeli culture and media.”
“This is the first year that Bnei Akiva has a committee specifically for these areas,” Rabbi Nachteiler said, “and this stems from the understanding that media is important and influential in Israeli society. We cannot afford to stay away from this arena; on the contrary, we encourage our youth to enter this world and emphasize our unique character and values.”