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Asher Cailingold's History of Bnei Akiva

In the year 2000 Asher Cailingold wrote a chapter on the history of Bnei Akiva and Bachad in the book titled ‘The Jewish Emigrant from Britain, 1700-2000’


Chana Bier's (Manne) Memories

I was on the Hanhala for 3 years, 1973-76, and Mazkira Clalit – the 1st woman to do the job, in 1976-77 before making Aliya to Netivot as part of the Garin Ir Pituach

In 1976, the year I finished my BA at University, I was asked by the cental Shaliach, Berale ז”ל, to take on the job of Mazkira for a year. It was a very full and fulfilling year. One of our achievements that year, with the inspiration and energy of Yitschak Stern to back us, was to set up a snif of BA in Belfast. I went there for several shabbatot to help get it started, and many children from relatively assimilated backgrounds, were drawn in and subsequently came to camps and made Aliya. Altogether. BA in the UK did a fantastic job bringing kids from nonreligious backgrounds back to the fold. I felt proud of that achievement, and still do today.

The inspiration of the shlichim was very much felt, especially by the Bogrim – Berale, Yair Noy, Yoske Weinberg, Yitchak Stern and others. We knew that when we made Aliya, we would have many homes to welcome us, and for many of us these relationships remained and developed over the years.
Another memory concerns the decision to change the venue of hachshara from Lavi to Sde Eliyahu. I still remember how I had to calm a group of very worried and angry parents, deeply unhappy about the change. Thank G-d, it all worked out well and both the chanichim and their parents were happy with the decision. in retrospect.

Finally, I would like to mention the fact that many Bogrim, including myself, were sent during the 70s and 80s to Russia through Lishkat Hakesher, to give some encouragement and practical help to the Jews there (“refusniks”). For all of us this was a deeply moving experience, and I think we gained for ourselves at least as much as we achieved for them.


Chana is in Shevet Tsurim

Malcolm Weiner's Memories

I went to camp as a chanich every year from 1958 (age 9) till 1965, and then as a madrich. I was Rosh Machaneh of Coach Machaneh in 1971 and Bet Base in 1972, before spending a year on the Mazkirut as Camps Organizer in 1971.
I was a member of Hachsharah in Lavi in 1967-8. Machzor Daled.
Rosh Snif of North London (70 Cazenov Road ) 1970-1.
I came on ALIYAH TO ALUMIM as a member of the Garin in 1972
The picture is from Machaneh Pately Bridge 1963. In the middle holding his jersey is as he was then Jonathan Sacks and to his left is former President of the Board of Deputies Vivian Wineman.

Malcolm Weiner is in Shevet Nachshon and now lives on Kibbutz Alumim

Victor Ofstein's Memories

I was a Chanich on every camp ’81-’89 and then a Madrich at multiple camps ’88-’92. At Sviva I was a Madrich in Hendon ’87-’89, before becoming Rosh Sviva Hendon ’92-’93

I was also a Rosh Machane Winter ’92, Israel Machane Madrich ’93, and delegate to Veida Olamit Winter ’91

The pictures below are from AC 1983 in Dorking, and BB 1984 in Gloucestershire. I can name every person in them!

Victor Ofstein is in Shevet Hechalutz.

(click on the slider to view the photos)

Leila Koor née Rosenberg's Memories

I attended B.A. from the age of 7, first in the Bayit at 70 Cazenove Road in Stamford Hill and moving from there to NW London.

In Norrice Lea I was first a chanicha, then a madricha, and then as Rosh Sviva. During my teenage years three svivot joined together forming a group called Donlilos. The chevra were from Hendon, Finchley, Golders Green and Hampstead Garden Suburb.

I attended machanot from the age of ten, going to three aleph camps – 1963 1964 and 1965. Machane Sayarim in the Lake District ( under canvas) in 1967. Seminar Torani in Maartens Maartens Hoos in Holland together with European Bnei Akiva chaverim, in 1968, and Israel Machane in 1969 – my first visit to Israel.

In between I attended the winter machanot, the most memorable being in Towcester, followed by the annual veidot. I did hadracha at various camps, and also worked as the camp cook with 2 assistants at the tender age of 17!
I was active doing voluntary work at the Willesden Bayit at 276 Willesden Lane, and actually was a paid employee there for about 6 months in 1973.
Aliya followed in 1979, after I had completed my studies and married.

Prof. David Newman's Memories

Too many memories to mention!

These photos come from Chigwell Machane Hadracha in the early 1970’s. They include Shaliach Zvi Slonim and many other members of Shevet Tzurim and Shacham, most of whom now live in Israel with children, grandchildren and more!

Professor David Newman is in Shevet Shacham

Shlomo (Alan) Koor's Memories

Shlomo was a Madrich in Norrice Lea, a Chaver Hanhala Artzit and was Camps Organiser in 1974 alongside Sue Levy.

See the attached document below for some of Shlomo’s memories

Shlomo Koor is in Shevet Yachdav

Key Events

1964 – BASI Created

1966 – Arieh Handler becomes Chairman of Bachad

1967 – Willesden Bayit opened

1970 – Queen Elizabeth greets Chaverim at US Centenary

1976 – First Mazkira – Chana Bayer

1986 – Offices move to 2 Hallswelle Road

Images from the era