simon solomonShimon Solomon, was recently elected to serve as a member of Israel’s Knesset, which is its legislature.

Solomon, 44, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia in 1980 with his parents and five brothers and sisters. Yemin Orde Youth Village welcomed him shortly after his arrival in Israel. The Village, located in northern Israel, is home to hundreds of at-risk immigrant youth from around the world and provides traumatized children with a home, a safe haven and an excellent education.

Solomon’s professional career has focused on Ethiopian and refugee issues in Israel. He has successfully applied Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives’s (YOEI) acclaimed Derech Kfar (the Village Way) methodology as Director of Education at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, a youth village serving young victims of genocide modeled after Yemin Orde Youth Village. From 2005 to 2007, Solomon worked in the Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa, and was later director of an immigrant absorption center in Beersheba.

Shimon Solomon3Solomon remains a close partner with Chaim Peri, YOEI founder, and the Educational Initiatives in supporting the Village Way philosophy and rejuvenating more therapeutic residential communities, youth villages and public schools in Israel.

There are now two Ethiopian-Israelis serving as members of Israel’s Knesset. Also elected is Pnina Tamano-Shata, 31, the first Ethiopian-Israeli woman in the Knesset. Tamano-Shata is an attorney, activist and former television reporter in Israel.

This news marks a milestone for the Ethiopian-Israeli community and for Yemin Orde and its acclaimed methodology which embraces self-esteem, leadership, cultural identity and places a strong emphasis on education and achievement. Through YOEI’s Educational Institute, educators receive teacher training, workshops and interventions that help apply the Village Way methodology in their schools; thereby, meeting the therapeutic and educational needs of the at-risk children they serve. The ultimate goal of the methodology is to educate youth into becoming functioning heads of households who actively contribute to their community.

Since its inception in 1953, Yemin Orde has graduated more than 4,000 students. They currently serve as leaders in various professions including: Law, Military, Art, Music, Health Care, Politics, Film, Education and Technology.

Read more about Yemin Orde graduates giving back to their community.