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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Yemin Orde school destroyed in forest fire

I received the following email from one of my LinkedIn groups in 'real life.'
The Yemin Orde Boarding School – supported by Ivy Israel - Israel - was destroyed in the Carmel Forest Fire over the weekend. 500 Children – most without parents or a home in Israel where evacuated on Thursday night; by late Friday there was still poetic hope that two Greek fire-fighting planes dedicated to save the Youth Village during Hanukah had succeeded in beating back the fire but on Shabbat the Village burned down. The School on a height near where the Prophet Elijah dwelt (the Prophet who cares for Children) looked as if the earth vomited black on a once verdant campus.

Several Ivy Israel members met the school's headmaster Dr. Chaim Peri when he spoke in the States last month. Dr. Peri has met with Ivy Israel members in Israel several times over the past year; including during a day of service at the School organizaed by Yale over the summer.

The children, staff and the many graduates who rushed in from all over the country to help are safe. For now, the Village is uninhabitable and we moved 100 children to Yemin Orde Initiatives' sister school Neveh Amiel while the army searches for an installation where the entire Village (500 students and 130 staff) can stay together until the campus is rehabilitated.

As always, the priority remains to care for the children who themselves come from brokenness (many from Ethiopia; Russia, Brazil and children at risk from Israel). Deep inside, we instill in them a trust that after ill fortune strikes, new opportunities open. When there's life, there's hope! The community we built far outlasts any edifice. 1000s of graduates have come to help the high schoolers in need who are given a value-laden education to look-outside of themselves and embrace children from Darfur in need (who are Muslim refugees in Israel and learn at the Jewish Religious school). The graduates also teach at a boarding school in Rwanda for the Tutsi orphans built by Penn Alumnae Anne Heyman. The Nobel Laureate Elie Weisel, The Dali Lama and scores of social thought leaders are actively involved with the school. The US UN Ambassador recently spent a day at Yemin Orde to see how immigrant children are embraced and accelerated into being the most productive members of society.

Personal Note: I am on the Board of Directors of Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives – the organization that teaches teachers throughout Israel the Yemin Orde pedagogic approach and for 25 years I have had the privilege of working with the School's Director Dr. Chaim Peri (two time Israel Prize Nominee) including during a period when I was involved in bringing 1000s of Jewish children from Ethiopia who studied at the school.

My hope is to strengthen the ties to the school during this season when it is very much in the media and in need. To also enlist you to participate in future activities we conduct with the school.

Please see background on various sites.

Background and US site:

Updates and eyewitness accounts of the fire:

Donations (Tax Deductible) with Credit Card (Hebrew)

Dov Hoch - President – Penn Club of Israel
Board Member - Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives
Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Shy Guy):

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At 6:25 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

The friend of a friend went to that school. I have sent them a link to your post here.


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