For my tzedekah (charity) project, I would like to raise money for the Yemin Orde Youth Village. I first became aware of this special place in the spring of 2017 when I traveled to Israel with my family for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah trip. I developed an instant emotional connection with Yemin Orde and knew from the get-go that I would dedicate my efforts to supporting it when it came time for my tzedekah project.

Yemin Orde Youth Village, located south of Haifa, is home, school and safe haven to 430 at-risk and immigrant youth. Yemin Orde’s youth, who are between the ages of 14 and 19, are first generation Israelis, or their parents are first generation Israelis, from Ethiopia, the Former Soviet Union, France, and Brazil. The Village’s youth arrive at Yemin Orde from the lowest end of Israel’s socio-economic scale.

Yemin Orde’s dedicated staff, along with the Village’s deeply sensitive approach to living and learning, helps transform the lives of Israel’s at-risk youth. With its successful Village Way educational methodology, fragile teens overcome past trauma, develop self-esteem, confidence, leadership skills and embrace hope so that they can lead meaningful and productive lives as Israeli citizens.

The vision of my tzedekah project is to support Yemin Orde’s programs for 1) sports, 2) arts, and 3) scholarships.

First, money dedicated to the sports program will help purchase equipment and supplies like sneakers and uniforms needed for the children to participate in a wide range of sports activities. This fund-raising goal is important to me because participating in sports like diving and gymnastics has been a large influence in my life, helping me develop self-esteem and confidence while learning valuable life lessons.

Next, the donations will be used to help support the Beit Joie Arts Center which provides the youth at the village with a safe space to express themselves creatively, overcome personal difficulties, find inner strength, and achieve resilience. Music has been an important part of my life since I was five-years old when I first started playing piano; it has helped me become more creative and confident, and I also heard it helps brain development!

Finally, I wish to support Yemin Orde’s need-based scholarships which are awarded to their graduates to attend university or pursue higher education. For me, I can think of no aspiration more significant that a dedication to lifelong learning, and I hope to achieve this one day at Stanford University.  

I hope you will be as inspired to help support Yemin Orde as I have been, from a spring break trip in 2017 to my Bar Mitzvah project in 2020. Please consider donating today and thank you for your support.