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The Big Five

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

What do Morris Kahn, Stanley Fisher, Maxine Fassberg, Michael Hayden, and Stanley Hirsch have in common

The Big Five - Morris Khan, Stanley Fisher, Maxine Fassberg, Michael Hayden, and Stanley Hirsch - are prime examples of the influence that the youth movement Habonim Dror has and continues to have for its alumni. From Intel to Amdocs to the World Bank, these five figures are extremely influential in the world economy and technological fields, and: they all came out of the Habonim Dror youth movement. The methods through which they run their companies and are able to manage hundreds of thousands of employees is all influenced by their time being ‘madrichim’ in Habonim Dror and the use of the ‘hadracha’ techniques learned in the movement.

​In the photo (from left to right): Hilary Meyer, Michael Hayden and Johnny Isaacsohn 

Photo credit: Habonim Dror, the Kibutz Movement

Habonim Dror is a Zionist Jewish Youth Movement formed by the 1982 merger of the Habonim and Dror youth movements that works to guide young, Jewish people to educate their peers and together to promote their ideological and educational goals. Habonim was founded in 1929 in London, England by Wellesley Aron, together with Chaim Lipshitz and Norman Lourie. Dror was formed by the unification of several Zionist youth movements in Poland in 1915. This international youth group of the Kibbutz movement, which is run solely by its participants, or ‘Chanichim’ as they are called in Hebrew, is active worldwide with hundreds of participants in countries such as the United States, Israel- where it runs Kibbutz programs, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Its guiding values are Judaism, Zionism, and ‘Hagshama’ (personal fulfillment), as well as supporting economic and social equality. These core values shape the participants to become upstanding leaders and citizens in their communities. 

In the Photo: Stanley Fisher (9)    Photo credit: Habonim Dror, the Kibutz Movement

As a result of their outstanding work leading within Habonim Dror, many successful alumni have come out of this youth movement. Errol Anstey, ‘Manhig’ of Habonim Dror Southern Africa, said that successful people come from Habonim Dror because of “basic ‘hadracha’ learned in Habonim; [hadracha] taught people how to care, how to lead, how to be organized, from logistics, to supplying, to building… that is what makes them special.” These skills that are difficult to acquire otherwise, prove valuable to the youth movement alumni for the rest of their lives. Habonim Dror has such an impact on its participants because of the responsibility they have within the movement. They are in charge of running everything, as well as passing along the values of the movement to their ‘Chanichim’. As a Jewish educational experience based on values of human equality as well as cultural activities and celebrations that come from Jewish wisdom, history, traditions and values, Habonim Dror proves to be an experience that impacts them for the rest of their life, as seen in the Big Five and so many more alumni. This commonality between the Big Five proves unlike any other, truly how important Habonim Dror is, the values it teaches, and the experiences it gives are to its ‘Chanichim’ for their lifetime

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