Friends of Yemin Orde was recently awarded $2 million in a successful challenge match to build new homes for a total of 50 children at Yemin Orde Youth Village. The challenge, granted by Boston philanthropists, Douglas and Judith Krupp, provided a 1:1 match up to a $1 million to build the two new homes at the Village. Construction on the new homes is scheduled to begin July 2017, with completion in December, 2018.

Douglas Krupp is chairman of Berkshire Property Advisors, LLC; Judith Krupp is a partner of Burnt Umber, a theater production company.

A Challenge to Supporters

The Krupps issued their challenge after visiting the Village in 2015 and noticing the deteriorated and overcrowded conditions of several of the Village’s older children’s homes. They established the $1 million match opportunity in an effort to encourage supporters of Yemin Orde to step up and help build a second new home where students will have the best environment to thrive and succeed.

“Yemin Orde represents the best of humanity and Israel,” said Douglas Krupp. “We are inspired by the excellent care and education at-risk youth receive at the Village.”

The Krupps recently returned to the Village to finalize building plans for the two new homes.
(Photo on right: left to right, Douglas Krupp, Judith Krupp, Boaz Eden, Co-Chair, Yemin Orde Youth Village Board of Directors.)

Answering the Challenge With Generosity

The Krupp family donated $1 million to build one home and the additional $1 million was secured thanks to the support of the Sherman Charitable Trust, London, England; Robert Altman, Yardley, PA; Max Blankfeld, Houston, TX and the Ted Perlman family, Chicago, IL.

Robert Altman said he first read about Yemin Orde when a Philadelphia Jewish newspaper wrote about  visiting graduate, Israela Tadela. It was then that he decided to answer the challenge.

“We see Yemin Orde as a program that has successfully transformed the lives of kids with problems into well-rounded productive adults,” Altman said. “We wanted to play some small part in that.”

Between 2010 and 2015, the Village rebuilt many of its aging children’s homes and those damaged in the December 2010 fire. However, several of the original children’s homes remain occupied at the Village, which accounts for a huge discrepancy in the living conditions of the teens assigned to live in the older homes and those living in the newer homes.

(Photo: Older children’s home at Yemin Orde.)

The comfortable and spacious environment of a new and upgraded home has tremendous positive impact on the well-being of the fragile teens who live there.   Investing in rebuilding the children’s homes shows Yemin Orde’s at-risk youth, who have faced much adversity in their young lives, that they are respected and worthy.  In this way, vulnerable teens can feel safe, happy and secure in the Village community.

New Homes Designed for Comfort, Security

The newly constructed homes will feature more private space in each bedroom and a desk for each child, which are important tools for school success. The new homes will also have a clubhouse where teens can relax and spend free time together. There is also a kitchen area, and bathrooms and showers for each bedroom area. (Photo at right: Newly-built Golda Meir Children’s Home)

The new homes will have upgraded special security rooms, made of fortified concrete, which is required by Israeli law. The old homes do not have this fortified security room. The Ministry of Education also requires a special system for protecting against chemical warfare. The new homes will also have this special system.

Currently, there are 20 children’s homes at the Village that are named for famous Jewish and secular figures in history such as Martin Luther King Jr., David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, and Elie and Marion Weisel, among others.

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