Newsletter - Autumn Winter 2014
With a heavy heart from a stressful and agonising summer of war, our children return to their villages for another school year. As I write this, a ceasefire has been agreed in Israel but the hurt, anger and trauma of the last few months remains. Every one of our children has been affected one way or another and we have united with our friends of Youth Aliyah Europe to raise funds for all the villages that were affected directly by the war.
The Youth Aliyah Villages are now more important than ever with anti-Semitism rising across the world, many more children are moving to Israel often without their parents and the villages are their only family support nearby. All the villages have increased the amount of on-site therapists to cope with the extra trauma of living through a war, especially for many without a loving family support network.
It is not all bad news – before the summer break the villages and Youth Aliyah Child Rescue participated in some lovely events which we are delighted to tell you about in our latest newsletter.
We have also joined up with Jewish Heritage Tours to offer a wonderful guided Kosher tour of Jewish Morocco in February.
Wishing you all the best for a peaceful and sweet New Year.
Chaim Peri Visits London
We were delighted that Chaim Peri from Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives visited London in June. Chaim didn’t get a chance to rest as his diary was jam packed with meetings and receptions that we had organised for him!
We were excited to have him speak to a group of our young supporters at SoYo in Golders Green organised by our Youth Co ordinator intern Salomé Houte. The young supporters were so taken in by Chaim and his Yemin Orde methodology that they are organising a visit to Yemin Orde during their university holidays with the hope of becoming Young Ambassadors for the charity. If you know anyone who would like to become a Young Ambassador please get in touch.
With thanks to Miriam Davis and Tina Curtis who hosted a warm reception at Miriam’s home, we had the opportunity to hear Chaim speak with such passion about Yemin Orde Initiatives that he is the founder of. Chaim poignantly said “We are not magicians. We can’t take children with bleeding wounds and send them out into the world perfectly healed, but we can send them out with scars that have closed up and with an awareness of these scars.”
A snap shot of the dedicated, warm and fantastic staff at Yemin Orde.
Ayano from Ethiopia and Keren from Eastern Europe met through their commitment to working with at-risk youth. Their exposure to troubled youth and the difficulties that so many of them face confirmed they wanted to dedicate themselves to helping these children. When they were offered the opportunity to work at Yemin Orde they jumped at the chance.
Ayano is an informal educator and Keren is the administrator for informal education at Yemin Orde. Both are hard-working and dedicated to the children and the work they do. Keren says “the work in the village is not always simple, and it can be very intense, but we feel strong in our desire to make an impact and change the face of Israeli youth, even if it’s just a small number. Each individual is a whole world, and a person who saves one life in Israel, it is as if he or she saved a whole world.”
Keren and Ayano live in the new staff house built by the donations of Youth Aliyah Child Rescue supporters together with their two children, Eitan Nissim, who is 2 years old and Yael Chana, just 1. It has three bedrooms, a spacious living room and a large veranda, where Keren and Ayano host the children, friends and family.
Keren and Ayano are very grateful for this beautiful new home. They believe all of these new homes are very important for the staff. After a hard day of work, the families return to a comforting place with peaceful, natural surroundings. She feels these homes enable her and others to relax and work more calmly with the children. The homes demonstrate just how much the Village recognises and respects their hard work and dedication. The students of Yemin Orde spend time with Ayano and Keren on Shabbat and holidays or at any time of the day and these homes allow them to be welcomed in a warm, loving functioning family home that many are not used to.
The army has taken over the running of the computer and robotics programme at T.O.M. The boys will study their chosen trade and during their army placement they will gain further work experience, giving them more opportunity to find a job in their chosen trade.
The boys were sorry to say goodbye to Mr Nissim Ben Yehuda who has retired after serving as the head of T.O.M. for many years. They have welcomed Mr Shalev with open arms as the new head teacher.
Talpiot: Fathers and Sons Football at Talpiot
A fathers and sons football team has been launched in the Village. This project, overseen by a social worker and a sports instructor, is part of the Talpiot child-family focused treatment model for rehabilitating at-risk families. From its onset, it has been highly successful in improving parent-child relations and empowering both the fathers and their sons.
Aloney Yitzhak: Welcome to New Students
82 new students joined Aloney Yitzhak this September with 24 “Naale” students (international students) among them. As is the Village tradition, the 12th graders did their best to make the new students feel welcome via many fun, communal activities. This year it included: a Kabbalat Shabbat focusing on the value of “Giving” — a community that gives and what life has given them. Water Shabbat, with group games in the water and out and of course festive meals with lots of singing and dancing
Mechina: Helping the Local Community
Throughout the year, the young men of the Mechina volunteer in weekly Tikkun Olam projects allowing them to engage with members of the local community. A number of the students have been working with disadvantaged children in Haztor Haglilit after school, serving as mentors and role models for the children.
At the beginning of June, the Mechina participants and employees from a local factory refurbished the building that houses this after-school programme. The children of the programme contributed to the day as well, serving drinks and snacks whilst watching their mentors invest time and effort in their after-school home. This inspiring event was covered by two local newspapers.