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AFYBA offers day-long visits to soldiers, survivors and hostage family members

An AFYBA experience on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 will emphasize values such as solidarity, brotherhood and Ahavat Yisrael (“love for Israel”).

Yeshivot Bnei Akiva alumni pray in the Gaza Strip. Credit: AFYBA.
Yeshivot Bnei Akiva alumni pray in the Gaza Strip. Credit: AFYBA.

The American Friends of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva announces “AFYBA Supports War Efforts in Israel” to help fortify the nation during these challenging times. As part of this endeavor, the organization invites Americans visiting Israel in January to enhance their trip for one day and participate in a special AFYBA experience.

Scheduled for Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, the day-long events hosted by AFYBA are aimed to emphasize values such as solidarity, brotherhood and Ahavat Yisrael (“love for Israel”). The main objective is to demonstrate AFYBA’s deep care for the Israel Defense Forces, Bnei Akiva students and staff, the wounded, hospital staff and evacuated residents from border cities.

Jack Gourdji, executive director of AFYBA, expressed his hopes that those who join this mission will return to the United States as personal witnesses of Israel’s current situation, fostering a stronger connection with the AFYBA family.

The trip is open to all visiting Israel during this period, whether as individuals, families or groups. The two available dates include visits to IDF military bases near the southern border; a tour of towns and villages affected by the Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7; visits to schools converted into army bases; meetings with representatives of hostage families; and stops at hospitals to engage with survivors.

“The war has significantly impacted AFYBA schools and the lives of our students and their families, but our students remain resilient, doing what is right for the country while maintaining their education through Yeshivot Bnei Akiva,” said Gourdji.

Recent violent incidents have left numerous families shattered. Recognizing the urgent need for unity and assistance, AFYBA has initiated key efforts to provide aid and strengthen national security. These initiatives include:

• Creating Sanctuaries: AFYBA-affiliated schools have transformed into sanctuaries, offering refuge to displaced families affected by terror attacks. These facilities provide essential support, including food, shelter and daily care to individuals of all ages.

• Educational Adaptations: With schools repurposed for relief efforts, AFYBA students have transitioned to online learning and are actively involved in agricultural efforts, showcasing their resilience and dedication.

• Military Support: Yeshiva Bnei Akiva Eli has been repurposed as a military base to support the IDF’s “Operation Swords of Iron.” AFYBA is investing in advanced military equipment, including ceramic bulletproof vests, helmets and drones, to enhance capabilities against terrorist threats.

To register and for more information, contact jack@afyba.org.

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AFYBA’S history began in 1939, when Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neria, student of Rav Avraham Yitzchok HaCohen Kook and future Israel Prize winner, went to Kfar Haroeh to create a new kind of yeshivah high school. Over the next 80 years, AFYBA blossomed into a network of 70 institutions—Yeshivot, Ulpanot, Hesder and Pre-Military Academies—that span the entire length and width of Israel.
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