Bnei Akiva of Los Angeles inspires and empowers Jewish youth to become leaders. Bnei Akiva chaverim (members), from childhood through college, lead and participate in retreats, Shabbat programming, after-school activities and summer camp. Our goal is to instill in our community a love for Am Yisrael, Torat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.
Bnei Akiva has been in important presence in the Los Angeles Jewish community for the last six decades, helping to plant and nurture the seeds of religious Zionism and support for Israel among both youth and adults. In the last decade, a new group of lay leaders – many of them alumni of Bnei Akiva of Los Angeles – has inspired a rebirth of the movement by creating a more robust calendar, higher participation, and a revival of Camp Moshava on the West Coast.
Our mission is to develop and train the next generation of Orthodox Zionist leaders and thinkers from within the Los Angeles Jewish Community. We seek to do this through year-round programming which is fun, educational and which teaches leadership skills and a deep love for Am Yisrael, Medinat Yisrael and Torat Yisrael.
Most of our activities are lead by high schoolers, a system that gives our young children relatable role models and also gives our teens hands-on experience in leadership and finding their own voices. Our teens also serve on local and regional boards, creating and running programming and activities that further Bnei Akiva’s mission.
History of the Bnei Akiva Movement
Bnei Akiva is an international Religious Zionist Youth Movement that inspires and empowers Jewish youth with a deep commitment to Am Yisrael (our people), Eretz Yisrael (our land), and Torat Yisrael (our Torah).
More than 45,000 youths in 34 countries participate in Bnei Akiva’s youth-led activities, including informal educational programs, summer camps and summer and gap-year Israel programs. The significance of Bnei Akiva reaches beyond the student and positively impacts the entire family and the wider Jewish community. Students often continue their affiliation with Bnei Akiva well past high school into college and adulthood.
Bnei Akiva was created after World War I as a youth movement connected with the Mizrachi movement of religious laborers, committed to building up the land of Israel as pioneers. In 1958 Mizrachi-affiliated youth groups in Israel and the rest of the world came together to form Bnei Akiva.
Bnei Akiva was named for the Mishnaic Rabbi Akiva, a shepherd who began learning Torah at the age of 40. Rabbi Akiva’s perseverance and his love of God, Torah and Israel are ideals integral to Bnei Akiva’s mission.
Bnei Akiva members strive to live the Bnei Akiva motto of Torah V’Avodah, combining Torah learning and observance of mitzvot with active contributions to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Bnei Akiva cultivates young leaders who take initiative, who assume responsibility for the worldwide Jewish community.
Bnei Akiva has snifim (chapters) all around the world. Local snifim bring members together for regular Shabbat meetings filled with Torah and Israel, friends and fun. High school madrichim (counselors) take leadership roles, planning and running activities for younger participants, giving generously and growing tremendously in the process.