Bnei Akiva’s Financial Troubles
The World Bnei Akiva movement appears to be on the brink of collapse: Religious Zionism’s huge enterprise is operating at a deficit of tens of millions of shekels, half of the movement’s staff in Jerusalem has been fired, and educational activity departments have been shut down.
The movement is facing a cash flow problem due to cutbacks in the Jewish Agency, World Zionist Organization and Education Ministry. It did not receive NIS 700,000 (about $200,000) which should have been transferred from the Education Ministry and more than $1 million from the Jewish Agency, and was forced to find an alternative for the money from communal funding.
… “Our situation has worsened, threatening the performance of the enterprise which has been accompanying the State’s activity throughout the years,” says Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), co-president of the World Mizrahi Movement. “There was a time when the WZO and JA carried most of the burden of the Zionist youth movements, but since they’re facing difficulties too, the movement is in a bad situation.”
… A senior Bnei Akiva official told Yedioth Ahronoth in response, “It’s true that there’s a cash flow problem and that we need four million shekels immediately, but Bnei Akiva is a strong movement and is not on the brink of collapse. That’s a malicious thing to say. The end of the secretary-general’s term led to the recent reports, some of which are irresponsible.”