In Israel, a Youth Village That Leads by Example

January 20, 2010

Source: The Forward


After decades of success in holistic education of at-risk Israeli youth, the staff of the Yemin Orde Youth Village in northern Israel has set up an organization to take their model to other residential institutions for at-risk children. The team of the Yemin Orde Initiatives is training the management and staff at five other youth villages in the ethos that they believe is responsible for this success. In addition to the work in Israel, some Yemin Orde graduates are training staff and management at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, a project of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.


Dr. Chaim Peri, who recently completed 27 years as the head of Yemin Orde, formulated the educational method known as the "Village Way" and developed it into a training program which focuses on real-life experiences as well as educational theory.


The training program, endorsed by the Israeli Ministry of Education is intense, with sessions for participants running three days a week for a total of 21 hours. Only two years into the five-year program, the villages taking part in the Yemin Orde Initiatives are still trying to translate much of what they are learning from theory into practice.


Among the methodological cornerstones of the "Village Way" are:

  • Coherence as a Healing Factor
  • Educational Environments as Communities of Meaning
  • The Role of the Narrative in the Educational Process
  • Rethinking the Indicators of Success
Updated: May. 02, 2010