Akiva society

Akiva society

Akiva Society is an Orthodox Jewish student run organization for university students. The Akiva Society provides leadership training for the next generation of Jewish leaders. The members are baal teshuva at elite universities that have committed to managing significant projects on college campuses to tackle problems facing the Jewish people.

Organizational goals

Akiva Society's objective is to revitalize the Jewish people by providing opportunities for members to learn from leaders, connect with other students, and to discover their potential for the Jewish world in an atmosphere of open inquiry, intellectual stimulation, and mutual respect.

The website states its mission statement, "The Akiva Society is an organization committed to inspiring the next generation of Jewish leaders. Our members are baal teshuvas at elite universities that have committed to managing projects on their campuses to tackle problems facing the Jewish people. We empower our members with training, trips focusing on international Jewish communal life, mentoring, funding, and networking opportunities to succeed in their projects and personal growth."

Nationally, Akiva Society has students and alumni from most of the top 25 schools. Akiva Society is based in Chicago, it has programs in Israel and internationally.

Educational philosophy

*Jewish Unity is key to success. Akiva Society has the support of Jewish groups on campus like Chabad Shluchim, Aish HaTorah Rabbis, Ohr Somayach Rabbis, and many smaller groups.
*The only cure to baseless hatred is unconditional love.
*Torah is the blueprint to life, it is the instruction book on how to live to your potential.
*Leadership can be passed down from mentors simliar to the opening of Pirkei Avot.
*"Acquire yourself a friend" is not just a phase, it is an active component of the Akiva Society


=Meaning of name= The name Akiva Society was inspired by the Talmudic stories of Rabbi Akiva and Eliezer ben Hurcanus. Rabbi Akiva was once an illiterate 40-year-old shepherd who subsequently became the most famous sage of the Mishnah. He is credited with revalitizing the Jewish people with hope, training the next generation of leaders, and being the role model of a Baal Teshuva. Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus was an unlearned 20 year old when he left his family fortune to learn in Jerusalem. He later also became a leading scholar and advocate for the Jewish people.

References

A popular Baal Teshuva website announcing the creation of the Akiva Society. http://www.beyondbt.com/?p=978

http://collegeupstart.com/

UChicago's Recognized Student Organizationhttp://akivasociety.uchicago.edu

http://www.akivasociety.com/


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