For Brazilian-born graduate, Daniela Blumenfeld, packing up and moving to Israel, alone, when she was 15 years old was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Daniela arrived at Yemin Orde Youth Village in 2003 from Sao Paolo, when she was in the 11th grade. Her family was not religious but after hearing about Yemin Orde from her high school teacher, Daniela started to take an interest in Judaism. The idea of attending school in Israel with other kids from around the world intrigued her. A short time later, Daniela packed her belongings and left her home in Brazil for the first time ever!

Daniela immediately felt at home at Yemin Orde. The Village’s youth from Brazil, under the guidance of Shmil and Isabella Kaufman, is a close-knit group as they learn and live together at the Village. Daniela remembers a strong sense of family, with mentors available at all times for guidance.

Moving to Israel with the guidance and support of her Yemin Orde family allowed Daniela to transition slowly, learn a new language and adjust to a new culture without pressure. Daniela fondly recalls the fun end-of-year parties she and her friends organized at the Village. Her graduating class performed a show based on the story of Chanukah and the Maccabees. Daniela remembers with pride how the entire group worked together on the show and the energy and excitement that ran through the Village during the evening.

Since the sixth grade, Daniela has wanted to be a doctor. After completing her studies at Yemin Orde high school in 2005, Daniela officially became a citizen of Israel, made “aliyah” and started her medical studies.

Today, she is studying for a MD/Ph.D degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is pursing a surgical career.  Daniela also volunteers in a hospital with cancer patients and gives talks to youth at area schools about hygiene and health.

Click here to read more about the success stories of Yemin Orde’s graduates.