Born in Cape Town in 1930, Barney Wainer grew up in Johannesburg where he matriculated at Athlone High School. He then continued at the Rabbi J L Zlotnik-Avida Theological Seminary in Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
Barney has an M.A. in Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge Univ.), an Honors B.A. in Semitics (Uncompleted) (Univ. of S.A. Pretoria) and a B.A. in Judaica, History of Art (Univ. of S A. Pretoria). He also has a Dip. Swedish Design and Architecture (Stockholm) and a Natl. Dip. Design (Central School of Art and Design, London). He is a Licensed Israel Tour Guide (Israel Govt. School of Tourism, Tel Aviv, 1988)
After studying Interior Architecture and Industrial Design in London he practiced in Johannesburg. He and his wife Thelma came to live in Israel in 1964. He was employed by consultants as assistant in charge of design for Kol Bo Shalom - Israel’s first full-line Department Store. Later, he went into private practice in Tel Aviv including consulting for Israel Productivity Institute in retail planning and design. At this time he also assisted Arthur Goldreich in launching Interior and Industrial Design course at Bezalel Academy. He has held teaching posts at the Tel Aviv University for Technological Education (1983-87), Architecture and Interior Design Workshop, Tel Aviv (1982-85) and at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (1968-1971).
Barney served in the Israeli Army as Parachute Ordinance (sergeant), Intelligence Corps (instructor) and later liason officer (lt.) to the UN in Sinai.
As a youth in South Africa Barney was active in the Zionist Youth activity initially in Habonim, followed by Betar. He attended the Institute For Youth Leaders From Abroad in Jerusalem 1949 including time at Ramat Raziel and rebuilding Mishmar ha-Yarden after its destruction by Syria the previous year. On return to South Africa he was active full time in 1950 in Betar.
Today Barney still works as a tour guide and his hobbies are cycling, sailing (two Atlantic crossings), history, gardening, sculpture. He lives in Tel Aviv and has two daughters and four grandchildren.