Yemin Orde graduate, Roi Etenesh, is a role model with a bright and promising future in Israel.

Yemin Orde graduate, Roi Etenesh, is an engineering officer in Israel's naval forces.
Yemin Orde graduate, Roi Etenesh, is an officer in Israel’s naval forces.

Yemin Orde graduate, Roi Etenesh, and Susan Weijel, Deputy Director, Yemin Orde Youth Village and Village Way Educational Initiatives recently completed a two-week tour of the United States. Roi shared his inspiring story of resilience after spending eight years in a refugee encampment in Ethiopia to being airlifted to an absorption center in Israel. He explained how Yemin Orde, its educators and its supportive community helped him heal from the loss of his parents and the challenges of adjusting to life in Israel, and embrace hope for a bright and promising future.

Roi recently graduated with an Engineering degree from Technion: Israel Institute of Technology. Today, he serves in Israel’s naval forces as an Engineering Officer. Read more about Roi and his journey to Israel.

New York and Boston Visits

In New York City, Roi and Susan attended the Friends of Yemin Orde board meeting (photo, left), where he addressed board members and guests and shared his personal story. “All the confidence I have today is because of Yemin Orde,” Roi said. “Going to Yemin Orde was the best decision I ever made.”

In Boston, Roi and Susan addressed an audience at Pine Brook Country Club, hosted by Steve and Michelle Bearak. In addition, they visited with longtime Friends of Yemin Orde supporters who live in the area.

Photos below, top row, left to right: 1) Roi Etenesh, Steve Bearak, Michelle Bearak, Susan Weijel; 2) Laura Kaye, Susan, Judy Kaye (FYO Board Member). Bottom row, left to right: 3) Dale Okonow (FYO Board Member), Roi, Susan; 4) Susan, Lisa Golden, Roi.

Southern California Visits

Roi and Susan traveled to Los Angeles and San Diego to introduce the Village Way to new audiences and to reconnect with old friends.

In Los Angeles, at a brunch hosted by Rosanne Ziering, Roi and Susan had the opportunity to explain how the Village Way methodology broadens the possibility of a secure and productive life for Israel’s at-risk youth. Guest Leslie Kessler, who recently visited the Village, said touring Yemin Orde and meeting its youth “was a transformative experience and gave us a real experience of the power and effectiveness of the Village Way.”

Friends of Yemin Orde board member, David Lonner, hosted a meeting at his home to launch the Los Angeles Village Way Leadership Network. The Leadership Network is a platform to engage and inform future leaders about a variety of important issues impacting Israel.

Email Lianne Goldsmith for information on Leadership Network events and upcoming programs in the Los Angeles area.

Photos below, top row, left to right: 1) a visit to the Gilbert Foundation: Susan Weijel, Martin Blank, Roi Etenesh, Richard Ziman. 2) the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; 3) Susan, David Lonner, Michele Ohayon, Roi.

In San Diego, Susan and Roi visited with rabbis, leaders and teens at Temple Emanu-El as well others in the Jewish community. They had an opportunity to tour San Pasqual Academy, a residential educational community for at-risk youth which incorporates elements of the Village Way methodology in its education framework.

Photo below: At Temple Emanu-El, high school teens meet Roi and learn about the Village Way.

Thank you to everyone who helped make Roi and Susan’s trip to New York, Boston and Southern California so successful and memorable! Are you interested in bringing Yemin Orde to your community? Read about the many ways you can help spread the word about the Village Way!

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