The Yemin Orde Youth Choir ended its two-week concert tour of select U.S. cities on a high note. The 12-member choir traveled to select U.S. cities to build awareness and understanding for the challenges faced by at-risk youth throughout Israel.
The choir, which consists of 11 teenagers and one graduate of Yemin Orde, performed in front of a total of more than 1,000 people in concerts in White Plains, NY, Manhattan, Northern New Jersey, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Friends of Yemin Orde raised $160,000 from sponsors, attendees and all those who supported the choir’s tour. Funds raised from the choir’s tour will support the exceptional programs and activities that help transform the lives of Israel’s at-risk and immigrant youth.
The choir started its tour in Westchester County, NY, and sang in a performing arts center, synagogues, Jewish day schools, a children’s hospital, a private home and at the World of Children Award Honors gala in Los Angeles. In between concerts, the teens explored their host cities and visited many popular tourist sites such as Times Square in New York City, the Georgia Aquarium, Warner Brothers Studios in Los Angeles as well as Universal Studios Hollywood.
Yemin Orde’s Youth Choir
Choir members range in age from 15 to 18 years old and are from Ethiopia, France, the former Soviet Union, Brazil as well as Israel-born and reflect the diversity of the 440 youth at risk who live and learn at Yemin Orde Youth Village.
Yemin Orde graduate Sandro Golis, who orginally is from Soviet Georgia, also joined the choir and has shared his personal journey from the former Soviet Union. Sandro will soon graduate from the Technion, Israel’s prestigious Institute of Technology, where he studied Computer Science.
Special thanks to Nitzan Ben Simhon, Yemin Orde’s choir director, who worked with the teens to prepare them for the tour, as well as traveled with the group and accompanied them on guitar at each concert. Additionally, thank you to Galit Leibovitz, Principal, Yemin Orde High School, and Racheli Yaso, Director, Visitor Relations and Outreach at Yemin Orde, who took traveled with the choir as chaperones, helping with preparations and any personal matters that arose, as well as making presentations at each event.
During its two-week U.S. tour, the choir and chaperones stayed with local host families. This arrangement presented a great opportunity for the Israeli youth to meet American families and learn about each other’s culture, traditions and lifestyle. (photo at right: (l to r: Yemin Orde choir member, Hanah, LA host, Esther Feder and choir member, Yafa)
This was the first U.S. concert tour of the choir since 2010. You can hear a selection of songs on SoundCloud.com
We deeply appreciate the participation of many local youth choirs who joined with the Yemin Orde choir at many concerts.
White Plains, NY: Carmel Academy, Schechter Westchester, Fairfield and Westchester County Congregations, Members of Kol Hazzanim/The Cantors of Westchester.
Manhattan: Central Synagogue and the Central Synagogue Teen Choir, Heschel Half Notes, the Lower School Choir of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Ramaz Upper School and Chamber Choirs.
Los Angeles: Beth Jacob Congregation, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy under the direction of Cantor Arik Wolheim, Shalhevet High School under the direction of Joelle Keene, Los Angeles Jewish Community Children’s Choir under the direction of Dr. Michelle Green Willner. Milken Community Schools, Kol Echad Choir and its Musical Director, Kelly Shepard.