The VP is the Machaneh steering committee who have been democratically elected by the Bogrim body to run the best Machaneh possible. Since the start of the year the VP has been working hard to ensure that Machaneh is the most fun, educational, and logistically sound it can be. The VP this year consists of 7 dedicated members of the movement: Rosh Machaneh, S’gan Rosh Machaneh Travel, S’gan Rosh Machaneh Projects, Rosh Chinnuch, Camp Organiser, VP Assistant, and the VP Shaliach. These people are the ones backstage making sure the production that is Machaneh is smooth sailing and show stopping!
Rosh Machaneh is the person who oversees every facet of Machaneh and is ultimately responsible for it. They are also the primary leader of Machaneh executive, known as the Va’ad Poel (VP) and ensure that this highly skilled team plan and run the best Machaneh possible!
This year, Mira Rudnick was elected by the movement to be Rosh Machaneh after her tafkid last year as S’ganit Rosh Machaneh as well as S’ganit Mazkir Klali (Deputy chairperson) for the movement. Mira has grown up in Habonim Dror since attending her first Machaneh in 2014. Since then, Mira has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the mission and values of Habonim Dror, recognizing its immense potential to shape the next generation of leaders and well-rounded individuals. Her passion for Habonim Dror is inherently linked to her dedication to the South African Jewish community, coupled with her profound understanding of the significance of youth engagement, which underscores her role as a driving force behind Habonim Dror’s mission within the community. She is extremely capable and confident in her team to execute an inspiring, well run and unforgettable Machaneh.
Historically Rosh Projects has been a position filled by a versatile leader who is able to be creative in coming up with innovative ways to run our significant projects, as well as being able to handle all the logistics that come with said projects.
Orion embodies the essence of Rosh Projects, showcasing his exceptional organizational and logistical abilities. His tenure on the Mazkirut this year, coupled with his studies of his final year in Film and Screen Production, has honed his creative talents and execution, rendering him highly qualified for the position of VP. With his extensive experience and unwavering dedication, Orion stands as one of the most committed members of the movement, having actively participated in Habonim every year since 2011. Throughout his experience as a madrich, he has taken on numerous leadership positions serving as a Rosh on previous Machanot and coordinating locally and abroad based programs. His role as Rosh Projects is a the culmination of all his experience and leadership he has garnered!
Rosh Travel is someone who is logistically and organisationally sound. They are in charge of anything travel related, i.e., booking flights, buses, etc. Thus, Rosh Travel makes sure that every Channie and Maddie is brought to the campsite and returned home in one piece.
Talia has been a part of Habo for around 10 years now, and has taken up various leadership roles on the Hanhaggah and VM over the last few years. In that time has developed a good understanding of all the intricate details that make a Machaneh amazing. She is always there to make things happen and have fun while doing it in her own crazy, high-energy way! She’s got a knack for spreadsheets and planning for every possible scenario, which makes Rosh Travel the perfect position for her. Talia is an Electrical Engineering student at Stellenbosch and this has taught her how to juggle many different tasks at once. Unfortunately she can’t juggle yet but she is learning, and you may see her at Machaneh practicing on Kikar.
Rosh Chinnuch is the person who plans and manages the educational flow of each Shichvah, and broadly for Machaneh. This is someone clued up on topics relating to Israel, Judaism, Habonim, and world affairs.
Jeffrey has been attending Machaneh since 2014, starting in Amelim and culminating this year into being S’gan Mazkir (deputy Chairperson) as well as being a member of the VP. During his time as a Madrich, he has held various leadership positions including Rosh Publications on the Hanhaggah and holding the position of Rosh Sayarim for Machaneh 2022. His knowledge of Habonim, Israel, Judaism, and global news together with his Habonim experience and his degree from UCT in English and Psychology will allow him to create a Machaneh where the Channichim are able to engage and interact with all educational topics to a critical and comfortable degree.
This position is all about looking after our lovely campsite, and managing all physical things on it. From checking that the showers have hot water, to ensuring that we have the necessary Tziud for our Peulot, Campsite Organiser does it all.
There isn’t anyone who is as qualified for this position as Daniel Flaum. Daniel is busy studying Mechanical Engineering at WITS, showcasing his practical approach of problem solving and love for getting his hand dirty. His practical skills in tandem with his four years of leadership experience, two of which as S’gan Mazkir (Deputy Chairperson), creates a strong structural understanding of Habonim and the Campsite. This is Daniel’s second time as Campsite Organiser and he cannot wait to take the lessons he’s learnt to ensure this Machaneh, the Campsite and all things on it run like a well oiled machine: he has been thinking about how to get it Machaneh-ready since the start of the year. Daniel can’t wait to be getting his hands dirty this December!
The Shaliach is the representative Israeli within the VP team, ensuring that we do a worthy job of representing Israelis, and educating on Israel, Zionism, and Hebrew language. He ensures that these aspects and values can be found throughout the Machaneh experience. The Shaliach oversees the selection of Israeli Madrichim, the Mischlachat, who can be found on every Tzevet. Ultimately, the Shaliach takes on any responsibilities relating to Israel and Israeli education.
For the past three years HDSA has been fortunate to have the ever-present Lior Agiv as our Shaliach in Johannesburg. Throughout these years, Lior has built strong connections to HDSA, our Bogrim, and most importantly our Channichim. This is Lior’s second (and last) Machaneh as VP Shaliach and he has thus developed an incredible understanding of Machaneh and what a life changing camp should look like. Lior’s vast skill set includes an in-depth understanding of the community in SA, a fresh Israeli outlook, and teamwork. We have no doubt that this skill set will translate to an incredible Machaneh, and Lior will end his Shlichut with a bang!
VP assistant is a role that really adapts as the year progressives: it is a flexible one which requires the person to pick up miscellaneous tasks that fall outside other Tafkidim, and to assist other VP members with their Tfkidim. Thus, he needs to be someone who can perform a lot of different tasks and is good at receiving delegated ideas. Ultimately, the VP Assistant must be a jack of all trades.
Kerrin fits this role to a T, having come on camp since 2011, and developing his skills as a Chaver, Madrich, and leader ever since. He is ready to undertake a big step in his Habonim career. Currently Kerrin studies Law and is a person who thrives on Chinnuch and discourse. Having gone on Shnat and taken various leadership positions (Rosh Bogrim 2021, Rosh Ken 2022, S’gan Rosh Shomrim 2022, Rosh Meorovut 2023), he’s acquired the logistics know-how for a position like VP assistant and is ready to take his years of growing and experience to the next level this Macheneh.
My name is Mira Rudnick and I will be serving as Habonim’s Rosh Machaneh for 2023. It is with immense gratitude and humility that I write the official letter from Rosh Machaneh. I have long been a member of Habonim, starting as a Channicha in grade eight. Almost ten years later, I have now been given the phenomenal opportunity to fill the role of Rosh Machaneh for my beloved movement.
Like many young Jewish South Africans, I have had the opportunity to be involved in many amazing Jewish experiences. From attending an excellent Jewish day school, to Diller, to holding leadership positions in school. Moreover, I have been lucky enough to complete two degrees in psychology with the University of the Witwatersrand. However, while all incredible in their own right, nothing has been nearly as formative or fundamental to my identity as Habonim. This movement and the rich experiences it has offered me has taught me more than any other space. With the guidance and care of inspiring madrichim I have been able to establish my identity as a young South African Jew through careful consideration of what values and principles I hold close to my heart. During my time in this movement, I have been celebrated for authenticity, challenged to always remain critical in my thinking and reminded to stand firm in my ideology. I have been granted a robust and intricate education about South Africa, Judaism, Zionism, and contemporary issues which surpasses that of any other formal institutions. Above all, Habonim Machaneh is the epitome of fun. It was and continues to be the space in which many of my happiest moments exist and my most cherished memories lie. It cultivated an environment for me, and so many others, where lifelong friendships take root and the most profound connections are forged. Ultimately, when I reflect on these formative years of my life, it remains crystal clear that Habonim played a pivotal role, and one for which I will forever remain grateful.
Now, so many years later, I am thrilled to have the platform and opportunity to provide this generation of Channichim exactly what my Madrichim and the senior leadership of the movement did for me. As I said, being a Channicha was a phenomenal experience for me but, to my surprise, being a leader in this movement has been even better. While of course there are plenty of challenges, lots of hard work and tedious logistics involved, I get to wake up and have the primary goal of my job to bring joy, fun and meaning to Jewish youth. There is nothing better than watching our channies have the pure and unadulterated fun which I truly believe only Habonim can provide. It is with thanks to our channies, their parents and all those who support us that I feel fulfilled, motivated and inspired knowing that by doing this job, by being Rosh Machaneh, I am playing a role in continuing the extraordinary work of Habonim for Jewish youth across Southern Africa. Most importantly, I am able to help bring to life the Machaneh of a lifetime for our channies, and I cannot wait to see them all simply, just have fun.