WASHINGTON, DC, November 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Friends of Yemin Orde has announced an important change in its senior leadership at Yemin Orde Youth Village, a home and school for approximately 400 at-risk immigrant children, located in Mt. Carmel, Israel. The noted youth village's director, Dr. Benny Fisher (left), will become the top-ranking government official for the Israel Ministry of Education's Rural Education and Youth Aliyah division, effective December, 2013. Fisher joined Yemin Orde as director in 2009. The Village's Board of Directors has selected longtime senior staff member, Etay Cohen, to serve as interim director. Friends of Yemin Orde is the U.S. fundraising arm of Yemin Orde Youth Village and Yemin Orde Educational Initiatives. The Educational Initiatives is an independent organization created to expand Yemin Orde's educational methodology to other youth villages and schools in Israel. For more information on the Village or the Initiatives, visit http://www.yeminorde.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.237.0286.
Fisher's education career has spanned 25 years and has focused primarily on managing programs for distressed and emotionally-fragile youth in Israel. During his tenure at Yemin Orde, Fisher's steady guidance and leadership helped the Village successfully face one of the most challenging periods in its 60 year history: the December 2010 wildfire that swept through region and nearly destroyed Yemin Orde.
"Benny's strong leadership during this crisis enabled the children and staff to remain calm and optimistic in the months following the terrible fire. We are exceptionally proud of him and his new position and I am confident he will bring the same passion and vision to the Ministry of Education as he does to the Village's children and entire Yemin Orde family," said Michael Frieze, Chair, Friends of Yemin Orde. "
Since the fire, the Village has embarked on a two-year comprehensive recovery project to replace homes and offices destroyed in the blaze as well as to restore Yemin Orde to its original beauty. Today, new children and staff homes are well underway and most of the pre-construction work for the Village's new library, key administrative offices and new perimeter road is finished.
In his new role with the government, Fisher will oversee 120 schools and about 66,000 students who live in residential educational settings or who are alienated in their communities because of severe poverty or cultural and language barriers.
Fisher's experience at Yemin Orde, where children are from highly dysfunctional families, suffer poor educational and language skills and carry emotional scars of personal trauma, has expertly prepared him for his new high-level position in Israel's government. In the past four years at Yemin Orde, Fisher built a strong and highly-qualified staff that is committed to the Village and will provide the children with continuity and stability during this transition period.
The Village's Board of Directors has convened a special search committee for a new director.
"Of course we are disappointed that Benny is leaving us but we are incredibly happy and proud of him," said Adina Hagege, Chair, Yemin Orde Youth Village Board of Directors. "I know Benny believes strongly in our mission and he is committed to continuing to expand the Village Way vision. His new position is a great honor for him and a great honor for Yemin Orde."
Based on his experience at Yemin Orde, Fisher said he intends to invest special effort to bring youth living in the margins of Israeli society into the framework of educational settings that will provide quality support and education to at-risk children.
"I already feel that many of the strategic issues that I will need to deal with are the same as those we dealt with in Yemin Orde. The experience and insights that I absorbed in the Village will influence my work in the Ministry of Education and Yemin Orde will remain the model village in my eyes," Fisher said.
Earlier in his career, Fisher served as Superintendent for Israel's Ministry of Welfare for Risk Youth Shelters where he was responsible for training directors, monitoring educational and therapeutic programs as well as developing initiatives and creating partnerships with other agencies. Fisher is also a combat company commander with the Israel Defense Forces.
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