Update: Russian & Ukrainian Students at Yemin Orde
More than 100 of the students at Yemin Orde Youth Village are from Ukraine or Russia. Over 30 of them are here alone, without their families. The others have made aliyah to Israel with their immediate families but have extended family back home.
Two weeks ago in preparation for possible escalation, the staff at Yemin Orde contacted every Russian and Ukrainian family to let them know that the gates of the Village are open to them. The families were invited to come and stay as long as they need. Thus far, three families have arrived, with more on the way.
Additionally, the Village has offered to bring over a group of Jewish Ukrainian youth to attend a camp here, in the Village, while this perilous situation persists.
The morning that war broke out, the Village staff woke the children with literal and figurative hugs and short talks explaining that the staff is following the events closely and is available to help in any way possible. The leading psychosocial, educational, and informal educational staff gathered to create a plan of action. This includes the following:
- Director of the Village Boaz Schwartz spoke to the students from Ukraine and Russia. He later spoke to the entire Village.
- Talks were held with the youths' parents.
- One-on-one talks are being held with each Ukrainian and Russian youth to offer emotional support and to identify specific needs.
- Plans were made to meditate possible tensions between the Ukrainian and Russian youth.
- A designated team was established to meet twice per week to evaluate the situation and determine follow-up actions through the end of the war.
The main messages imparted to the youth are that the Village is there for them, and that they are all part of the Yemin Orde family — no matter if they are from Ukraine or Russia.
The staff is on special alert for any unusual behavioral changes among the students. The situation could get worse before it gets better, and they will continue to monitor the reality overseas and in the Village, and will act as necessary to maintain the emotional fortitude and safety of the youth.
We are extremely proud that Alex Potter — a high school student and third generation ImpactIsrael supporter – is raising funds to provide care packages to Yemin Orde’s Ukrainian students and alumni, and their families in Ukraine; as well as provide support to families of Ukrainian students and alumni who have come to Israel for safety. You may make a gift to his campaign by clicking here. Select Alex Potter Ukraine Relief Fund in the earmark section of the page.