Thank you to everyone who supported our Gala and our biggest fundraising event of the year.

Our Tikkun Ha’Lev Award Gala was a tremendous success as we raised $925,000 for the programs and activities at Yemin Orde Youth Village and Village Way Educational Initiatives’s 55 partner educational communities throughout Israel.  We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters and thank all those who attended, and made additional gifts during the event. (Photo: LtoR-Michael Gershenson, Kate Bolduan, Sarah and David Schwarz)

Click here to see a complete photo gallery from the event.

CNN broadcast journalist, Kate Bolduan, served as master of ceremonies for the evening program. She was introduced by friends and Gala Co-Chairs, Sarah and David Schwarz.

Kate, who is anchor and host of CNN’s “At This Hour” shared personal stories of meeting Yemin Orde graduates. She also described being inspired by Chaim Peri and his passion for helping and educating Israel’s at-risk youth. “This world needs more people like Chaim Peri,” Kate said.

The Tikkun Ha’Lev Award was given in honor of Anne Heyman z”l, whose vision created the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. Anne’s husband, Seth Merrin, accepted the award on behalf of his late wife. Ten percent of net proceeds will support Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in honor of Anne, Seth and the Heyman-Merrin family.

ImpactIsrael is Announced at Gala

George Blank, Board Chair, ImpactIsrael, surprised the gala’s 310 attendees with the announcement that Friends of Yemin Orde changed its name to ImpactIsrael.

“We are supporting a grassroots movement in Israel of engaged educators, including all sectors of society – Jewish, Arab, religious, secular, right, left – the entire society. This is the gift we want to give our children and grandchildren and to Israel,” Blank said in describing the meaning behind the name, ImpactIsrael. ImpactIsrael’s partners in Israel, Yemin Orde Youth Village and Village Way Educational Initiatives, will continue to operate under their current names.

Blank also introduced a new video that brought personal insight into the Village Way educational methodology and featured Israeli educators and youth directly impacted by its holistic blueprint for learning. Click here to see our new Village Way video.

Featured speaker Yemin Orde graduate, Shimon Solomon, (photo, right) served as a Member of Israel’s Knesset (its Parliament) from 2013-2015, and as director of Kfar Silver Youth Village from 2017-2019. Shimon was the first director of Informal Education at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

“Today, as an educator, and with all that I have learned in Yemin Orde Youth Village, I have gained experiences that are leading me and have become the philosophy of both the social and educational aspects of my life,” Shimon said.

Youth Villages in Israel and Rwanda Save Souls

Rabbi Michael Paley and his wife, Anny Dobrejcer, who also served as Gala Co-Chairs, recalled meeting Anne Heyman and Seth Merrin when they participated as teens in a Young Judaea program in Israel.

“We celebrate Anne’s vision and her partnership with Chaim Peri,” Rabbi Paley said. “And we celebrate the Village Way, the educational paradigm that Chaim and colleagues developed at the Yemin Orde Youth Village, that has transformed thousands of at-risk adolescent youth in Israel and in Rwanda.”

Chaim Peri presented the award to Seth Merrin, Founder and CEO, Liquidnet, who accepted it on behalf of his late wife.

“We see that marvelous and enchanting connection between that one Village on top of Mt. Carmel in Israel and that other Village in the midst of Africa. We see how they cooperate, how they save souls, how they make this world a better place. Thank you, Seth, for making this possible,” said Chaim in presenting the Tikkun Ha’Lev Award to Seth Merrin.

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