Energy and excitement marked this graduation ceremony for 96 high school seniors.

Yemin Orde’s high school graduation ceremony, and the evening festivities that follow, reflect the energy and excitement of this important milestone in the lives of the Village’s 96 graduates, who are Israel’s next generation of promising young leaders.

Hundreds of friends, family members and educators gathered at the commencement ceremony as youth received certificates, hugs and applause for their years of study and hard work.

“We are all connected to each other,” said Lior Cohen, Vice Principal, Yemin Orde High School. “Even though we came from different countries, spoke different languages, and held different customs or beliefs.”

It's graduation time!

Shmuli Bing and
special guest, Yuda Doron.

Goodbye for now Yemin Orde!

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Guests and graduates heard from guest speaker Israeli philanthropist, Yuda Doron, who strongly believes in Yemin Orde’s mission and participated in the rescue of Ethiopian Jews during Israel’s Operation Moses in the 1980’s.

Special guest attends graduation

Yuda remains active in supporting and advocating for the Israeli Ethiopian community. He spoke to the graduates about being emotionally strong, maturing and showing an understanding for one another, explaining that “diversity is our best quality. One must embrace it with all the different colors and origins.”

Following Yuda’s remarks, members of the Y-Orde band performed on flute, the violin and the bandura, a Ukrainian string instrument.

The two Head Coordinators for the 12th grade, Michal Golan and Almog Aloni, also addressed the graduates and audience. Michal and Almog have followed this group of graduates since they first entered the Village as young teens, and have witnessed, firsthand, the growth, development and the building of self-confidence of these now young adults.

“We have seen from experience that this cohort is a group with superior values, capable of driving everyone to reach new heights. Each project that has been carried out, has been completed in an exemplary manner. You have talent, strength and ambition, using them to successfully complete each task laid before you. You must take every moment that life offers as an occasion to realize something new.”

Michal Golan and Almog Aloni, Yemin Orde 12th Grade Coordinators

As they finished speaking, the Y-Orde band started singing “Song of Hope” (Shir Tikvah) and the graduating class took on the Yemin Orde tradition of presenting a long-stemmed rose to family members or a meaningful adult in their life.

Diplomas and dinner for proud graduates

All graduating seniors waited in line to be called onto the stage to accept his and her diploma and receive warm congratulatory hugs from the Village leadership and education staff.

The traditional sumptuous celebratory dinner was specially prepared by dining hall staff to satisfy the tastes of the Village’s global community, and served traditional Ethiopian fare, shnitzel, french fries and different meat dishes, salads and pita.

Yemin Orde transforms into Jungle Orde

Each year, the graduating class performs an original play related to their time at the Village and how they have matured. The youth design the costumes, the backdrop, the props and write the script.

As with every new cohort to the Village, in 9th grade a name is given which then remains with the group throughout the four years. In this case, the graduating class had the name “Kfir” or little lion cub in Hebrew and therefore chose to create a show that used The Lion King as reference.

Shmuli Bing, Yemin Orde Director, told the audience that he remembers when these new graduates just entered the Village with hesitation, doubt and questioning looks. “Our staff helped every single youth find their way and learn how to be responsible, how to make positive choices and change their outlook on life, working towards their strengths,” said Shmuli.

Congratulations to the 2019 graduating class. May you go from strength to strength!

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

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