Board of Directors
Friends of Yemin Orde has a geographically diverse Board of Directors that meets twice a year (May and November) in New York City. Board members serve a term of three years and may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.
George Blank, Chair
New Hope, PA
“In all of our efforts to help others, there is no organization that Harriet and I feel more passionately about than Yemin Orde. This is because the village displays the highest level of historic Torah given Jewish values of kindness, concern and responsibility for each other, expressed in the staff’s work with children at risk. At Yemin Orde, one see the successful healing of broken young lives and the creating of proud and productive young adults. It happens every day and throughout every year, and it is not easy. Anyone who is concerned about the survival of Israel and the Jewish people, must spend a day at Yemin Orde. There they will see our future.”
Charles Gwirtsman, Immediate Past Chair
“It is my privilege to serve as an advocate and leader for Friends of Yemin Orde and the children of Yemin Orde Youth Village. The Village and its staff overcame the challenges of displacement when the wildfire tore through their area, and now we need to help rebuild Yemin Orde into the beautiful and therapeutic refuge it was a year ago.
“The team at Yemin Orde, through the Yemin Orde Initiatives, continues to expand the use of the Village’s Derech Kfar holistic educational methodology towards an increasing number of children at risk and educators in Israel. I look forward to working toward dramatically increasing the reach of these programs.”
Michael Frieze, Chair Emeritus
“We are providing an incredible educational opportunity to kids that have come from tough circumstances. These are children who have lost their belief that they can be successful. Their transformation at Yemin Orde is quite extraordinary.”
New York, NY
“Yemin Orde Youth Village embodies the spirit of a diverse and growing Israel. I am honored to help lead efforts to catalyze change for Israel’s youth at risk and to inspire a new generation to have hope for a bright future as successful and productive citizens. The promise of hope is an important element in building a better world for Israel’s fragile children. Yemin Orde and the Village Way are successfully reaching troubled youth in new ways and creating new opportunities for learning, growth and renewal. I am proud to be a part of this vision.”
“Being at Yemin Orde in June 2014 with my wife and daughters reminded me of a mantra I try to live by: LIVING LIFE BEING JEWISH EVERY DAY.” That has been the essence of Yemin Orde since I first visited in the mid-1980s with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. After 30 years of being an advocate, a funder, a believer and a champion of Yemin Orde, I was honored to be asked to serve on the Friends of Yemin Orde board and the “yes” became easier as I move into the next phase of business retirement.”
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
“Yemin Orde has a life changing impact on its students. For many, it’s an opportunity to be functional members of society- an asset, not a social liability. The love and support provided creates a family bond that lasts for their lifetime.”
Boca Raton, FL
“I believe that the future of society as a whole depends on the strength of its youth. Helping support the Village and Village Way Educational Initiatives is the most direct line to assist at-risk youth in Israel and assist in making them productive members of society.”
New Hope, PA
“My husband and I have had the opportunity to visit Yemin Orde many times. The children in the Village deserve every opportunity we can give them on their path toward productive lives and a bright future. The dedication of the staff is amazing. We love being part of this process.”
New York, NY
“I derive tremendous satisfaction doing my small part to help Yemin Orde create a nurturing home for displaced children from around the world. The transformation of struggling and disenfranchised kids into self assured and productive members of Israeli society is testimony to the caring environment and the devotion of the entire staff of the village.
Michelle Bond Copelin
“Yemin Orde personified “beauty for ashes” as the Village healed and recovered from the great fire of 2010. This community has not faltered in their commitment to embrace at-risk youth by creating secure lasting relationships, fostering hope and healing, as well as motivating and empowering young people to engage in the process of healing the world. It is an honor to work with Friends of Yemin Orde supporting the Village and the Village Way Educational Initiatives in an effort to increase service to Israel’s at-risk youth.”
“When you visit the village, you know you are witnessing something special. As it turned out, I didn’t just join the board of a charitable organization, I became part of an extended family of whom I am very proud.”
Boca Raton, FL
“My wife Jane and I have been involved with multiple organizations that serve various populations in Israel, but we feel especially good about supporting Yemin Orde because we know we are helping kids. We were so impressed on our first visit to the village when we saw that 500 kids from different cultural backgrounds were being educated and nurtured in a way that would help them fully integrate into Israeli society. Chaim Peri’s method really works! By taking care of these young people early in their lives, we are investing in a stronger future for Israel.”
Don Crawford Jr.
“It starts with quintessential commander Chaim Peri, who incessantly demonstrates immense passion and ambition to grow these once-lost children into exceptional leaders, while as importantly maintaining their Jewish identities. The timeless, absolute values and beliefs thereof are constantly being attacked in Israel and acutely all around the world, today more than ever. Yemin Orde is teaching their chosen to understand and how to overcome the unique challenges of Israel so that they are more equipped than even their predecessors to survive and make Israel a greater nation than it already is.”
“My commitment to Yemin Orde was love at first sight and that love has only grown over the years. Any of my efforts or resources from my family supports Jewish children at risk from all over the world who will have a secure life in a loving atmosphere and who will become productive citizens of Israel, a country we also love. This is assured because we have come to know Yemin Orde’s dedicated staff who are fully committed to the “Village Way” philosophy and who become the surrogate parents of these wonderful children. As I write this, I have tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. It’s a privilege to be part of the Yemin Orde family. There is no donation we make that does more good or makes us feel better.”
New York, NY
“Yemin Orde is a unique and special place in the world. The compassion, caring, sense of family and community, coupled with instilling an outstanding work ethic take children who might never otherwise survive, let alone succeed, and empower them to excel. Yemin Orde has produced leaders in many fields and the ties they maintain to the Village speak volumes.”
“Yemin Orde is a powerful example of some of my highest priorities combined within a single purpose: supporting education and the healthy development of youth at risk, maintaining a strong connection with Israel and living Jewish values, the most important of which is the notion that all of us are responsible for one another. Visiting the Village in 2017, meeting with impressive staff and incredible youth, and hearing their inspiring stories was a life-changing experience for me. It is a privilege to join the board of Friends of Yemin Orde. I hope to bring my experience in the not-for-profit world to help share its amazing story with a wider audience within the United States.”
“Chaim Peri is an extraordinary man and I am inspired by his passion, faith and love for the children at Yemin Orde. What an extraordinary experience it is to visit the Village and meet the beautiful young people who will graduate to become outstanding leaders and citizens of Israel. I am honored to be part of this inspirational group.”
Los Angeles, CA
“Yemin Orde is not only a unique place in Israel but in the world. By giving children a connection to their roots and a safe and loving place to be educated and nurtured, Yemin Orde has produced exemplary citizens for the state of Israel and the Jewish people to thrive for generations to come.”
“Yemin Orde is an extraordinarily special place. It is a place of learning, safety and stability for “at-risk” children who need it most. It is a caring community and home to those who do not have another place to go or others to care about them. It is a national treasure for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. It is what our culture is all about and why I am proud to be Jewish. I feel privileged and proud to be a member of the Board, and affiliated with Chaim and his exceptional staff of dedicated professionals who are truly changing the future paths of so many precious lives.”
New York, NY
“The role of Yemin Orde is now more critical than ever – changing forever the lives of marginalized youth from Israel and throughout the world. Their methodologies are proven and the results powerful as the Village transforms children from unfortunate circumstances into leaders of society. I am honored and privileged to be a part of the Board of Directors and even more honored to have been a part of this organization for the past 15 years. There is no better gift than knowing we are giving these children a stake in Israel’s future.”
Steven Rosenfeld, MD
Boca Raton, FL
“Yemin Orde is a microcosm of what Israeli society should strive to be. This miraculous organization accepts vulnerable and at-risk youth from all over the world, accepts them for what they are, educates them, nurtures them, never abandons them, and creates wholesome self-confident adults who lead healthy lives and contribute to the betterment of their families and Israeli society. There is no more deserving and productive philanthropic organization that I am aware of, and my whole family is devoted to support their mission.”
New York, NY
“Chaim Peri is my spiritual hero. He has developed the most integrated system that I know for nurturing kids with problems, and at the same time he is the most humble man I know.”
“When you visit Yemin Orde Youth Village atop Mount Carmel, you bear witness to magic. An alchemy of resilient children, talented and tireless staff, and the clinically-proven “Village Way” methodology, transform marginalized Israeli kids into young adults who match and often exceed Israel’s norms for education, income, family stability, public service, and happiness. In other words, Yemin Orde graduates are overachievers in a country of overachievers. More importantly, their hearts are mended, their belief in themselves is restored, and they look outward with a sense of responsibility to the community around them. It’s an absolutely miraculous story.
Now, through Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives, thousands of vulnerable children throughout Israel are touched by the Village Way. We know the philosophy works, so we must continue expanding our reach until it secures the future of every child at risk in Israel. Yemin Orde is just one village, but one village can be the spark that changes the world.”
New York, NY
“Yemin Orde provides an unparalleled educational experience to kids who come from highly challenged backgrounds. The proven methods of its educators transform these children where, upon graduation, they become productive citizens and leaders within Israel. Also, the sense of community and family is so strong at the Village, that the children know they have a forever home, regardless of their age, or where they are in their lives.”
“Chaim Peri is a person who cannot bear to see the suffering of children or the tragedy of wasted lives. His educational philosophy, the guiding principle of Yemin Orde, and the focus of his life, is clear. Chaim taught us that his community is guided by a beautiful educational methodology called “The Village Way” (in Hebrew, “derech kfar”), whose origins lie in the philosophy and values of the founders of Youth Villages in pre-State Israel. These educators established educational environments geared towards character building in service of a great vision – the building of a homeland.
Yemin Orde is not there merely to restore health. Its function is to foster lives filled with awe and wonder, purpose, meaning and heroism, love of Israel and a deep commitment to the well- being of others and of humankind. The graduates of Yemin Orde are taught to be people committed to doing that which is “good and grand,” who would not be able to restrain themselves from interfering when they saw wrong being done. They could not bear it.
That was the spirit that filled Chaim Peri as he showed us through the wreckage left by the Haifa fire back in 2010. He swore that all would be repaired and that the village and the staff and the residents would, like the lights of the menorah and the holiness of Chanukah, “increase and not decrease,” go up and not down. And that’s the spirit that has caused the leadership of Yemin Orde to bring its educational model to schools throughout Israel and to create a village in Rwanda to repair the lives of the children who survived the Rwandan genocide. Thats the spirit of Derech Kfar and Chaim Peri.”
“Of all my philanthropic associations none has been more impactful or fulfilling than my involvement with Yemin Orde. The passion and vision of Chaim Peri and his team are second to none”.
Dr. Chaim Peri
Yemin Orde Wingate Youth Village
Hof Hacarmel Israel
“I’m in awe and admiration for all that Chaim Peri and the dedicated staff at Yemin Orde have done for so many children and for the Jewish world. My life has been enriched by being part of the Yemin Orde family.”
Mark I. Solomon, Co-Founder
“I encourage everyone to visit and support Yemin Orde. Everyone you meet there will stay in your heart forever. They will change the way you think about Israel, its children and its future.”
“Yemin Orde represents Israel at its best. It is Israel as we all dream it could be, as a light unto the nations.”
victor gelb z”l
Chagrin Falls, OH
“I know of no other agency that is equal to Yemin Orde… It has saved the lives of thousands of boys and girls… and made them into exceptional men and women, many of whom, have become their country’s leaders.”