Yemin Orde Youth Village graduate Sandro Golis grew up in the former Soviet Union.

sandro golis
Yemin Orde graduate Sandro Golis

He arrived in Israel in 2005 when he was 15 years of age – alone and without family in Israel – as part of the “Naale” program, an Israeli government-sponsored program that encourages Jewish youth from abroad to study in Israel.  Many of Yemin Orde’s Russian-speaking youth arrived in Israel through the “Naale” program.

Sandro was immediately welcomed at Yemin Orde Youth Village where he studied hard and participated in many recreational and extra-curricular activities including swimming, learning to play the guitar and singing with the choir.

The Village, through its educational methodology called, the Village Way, and dedicated educators and professionals, provided Sandro with a supportive home environment, an excellent education and a safe haven where he could adjust to his new life in Israel.

After graduation in 2008, Sandro attended a one year young men’s leadership program before serving in Israel’s military. This gap year program offered him the opportunity to further strengthen his Israeli identity and academic skills, as well as volunteer in his local community. Sandro served three years as a “lone soldier” in a combat unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Sandro credits the emotional and academic support he received from the Village’s staff and educators for his successes as a young adult.

“The supportive atmosphere at Yemin Orde helped me study and succeed while remaining in Israel, alone, without my family,” Sandro said. “As a youth in Georgia, I studied at a Jewish school and always felt a connection to Israel. My mother supported me in the decision to come to Israel.”

Sandro said the valuable life lessons he learned at Yemin Orde are still a big part his life.

A bright future

“One of the most important things I learned at the Village is the ability to contribute to my surroundings wherever I may live. It is eight years since I graduated Yemin Orde and, during all those years, I still always find an organization near me and volunteer my free time. Tikkun Olam (social justice, charity) is a big part of me,” Sandro said. “Yemin Orde taught me to be independent, to strive to reach my goals and to make good decisions. From the age of 15, I have lived alone in Israel. Yemin Orde showed me how to dream big things and have the strength to do all that I wish to achieve.”

Sandro received a B.SC. in Computer Science from the prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He is currently attending Brandeis University, near Boston, as the recipient of the university’s Laurel and Orrie Friedman Fellowship, a 1-1/2 year program which will enable Sandro to study for a Master’s degree in Computer Science. The Fellowship underwrites 100 percent of Sandro’s tuition and fees, travel and living expenses for the duration of his studies.

Orrie Friedman (z”l) was a close friend of Chaim Peri, Founder, Founder, Village Way Educational Initiatives, and a strong supporter of Yemin Orde and its educational methodology.

Sandro’s family remains in Soviet Georgia.

Learn how Yemin Orde provides its graduates with “a forever home.”