Transformational capital projects completed thanks to generous donors; new staff homes and refurbished classrooms enhance living and learning the Village Way.
New Children’s Homes
Two new children’s homes opened in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year, providing improved living quarters for up to 50 youth. The two homes share a common wall.
The Naomi Shemer home was built due to the generosity of the Krupp Family Foundation. The Henrietta Szold home was built due to the generosity of the Sherman Charitable Trust, London, England; Robert Altman, Yardley, PA; Max Blankfield family, Houston, TX and the Ted Perlman family, Chicago, IL.
The homes provide a comfortable living space featuring private space in each bedroom and a desk for each child. There is also a kitchen area and bathrooms and showers for each bedroom suite.
The new homes have upgraded special security rooms, made of fortified concrete, which is required by Israeli law. They also have a special system for protecting against chemical warfare, as required by Israel’s Ministry of Education. The previous older homes did not have these special rooms.
Refurbished and Modernized Classrooms
We are also grateful to the Staenberg Family Foundation and the Mizel Family Foundation for supporting three refurbished and modernized classrooms at the Village’s high school.
New well-equipped and “smart” classrooms that are acoustically treated with varied media platforms and with new furniture enhance a child’s learning environment and convey a message of progress and success. Yemin Orde has many classrooms that are outdated with worn furniture and a lack of advanced learning technology equipment, which limits the ability of teachers to employ modern teaching methods prevalent in many public high schools in Israel.
Michael Staenberg, a native Omahan and St. Louis-based businessman and philanthropist, visited Yemin Orde Youth Village for the first time in March 2019. He was greatly inspired by the success of the Village Way educational methodology in helping at-risk youth overcome the complex challenges they face as they strive to be productive citizens of Israel.
Additionally, Staenberg returned to the U.S. so impressed with the Yemin Orde community – its students, its educators and its holistic community of meaning – that he persuaded his friend, Denver philanthropist Larry Mizel, to participate in the construction of the new classrooms.
Staenberg returned to the Village two months later to share his personal story of overcoming challenges and to consult about his plan to refurbish and update the high school’s classrooms.
“Yemin Orde gives at-risk youth not just a second chance, but a third chance. The Village Way offers a great educational training ground for many important life skills. Israel’s at-risk youth will be the country’s next generation of leaders and it is critically important that they receive our help,” Staenberg said.
Opportunity for Sponsorship
The Village’s Informal Educators share their lives with our youth, inviting them into their homes and showing they care. They are role models for our kids, the unsung heroes willing to live their lives here: idealist educators, some who are immigrants themselves, all have completed their mandatory military or national service in meaningful positions, most are married with young children or recently married (with spouses who understand the tremendous commitment involved in living here.)
Unfortunately, many of these committed educators are living in caravans that were placed on the Village grounds after the Carmel fire of 2010. More than nine years later, the caravans’ conditions are deteriorating and lack standard safety infrastructure, such as safe rooms / bomb shelters and protection from chemical warfare.
We are proud to report we have completed funding for one complex of four homes that totals $1,000,000. We would like to build a second complex of four homes at the same time. We received a challenge of $250,000 for one unit that will be granted only when funding for the remaining three units are secured. We have one unit remaining.
Each building for our informal educators is comprised of four separate family housing units, with each one being offered for permanent naming at the cost of $250,000. In order to start construction on a family home we must raise enough funds for all four units.
By partnering with us to meet this challenge grant, it is not only a naming opportunity gift but also allows you to make a direct long-lasting impact on the everyday lives of our informal educators and on the wellbeing of our youth. By doing so, you continue to be part of the Yemin Orde Youth Village legacy of transforming adolescents from survivors to leaders and strengthening Israel’s next generation.
For more information about this naming opportunity, please contact Executive Director, Karen Sallerson at [email protected] or call her at 240-752-6732.