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Hodayot Youth Village

In cooperation with World ORT Kadima Mada (Science Journey), the Atlanta Region has adopted Hodayot Religious Youth Village in Israel, located in the heart of the lower Galilee, and is focusing its fundraising efforts to support myriad programs and capital upgrades in Hodayot. The mission of Hodayot is to help youth overcome obstacles and get a solid educational foundation to move forward in their lives.

A beautiful rural area is the setting of the Kadima Mada high school at Hodayot for 250 youth, most of whom are new immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union whose families rank low on the socio-economic scale and whose backgrounds include challenging family situations and living environments.

Students begin at Hodayot ranking substantially below the average educational level for their age, because in many cases, survival has been their main objective. Raising them to a basic educational level before matriculation studies is the priority of the school, and its matriculation rate of over 50% is evidence of the work by educators to help these students progress.

A popular field the school offers is police track, an exploration of law and order, civic duty, and the dangers of drugs and terrorism; another specialty is early childhood studies, which includes practical work in nurseries. Many students come from homes where neglect was common, and this track helps fill the void created by lack of positive experience.

In the Hodayot school, Kadima Mada provides educational support for students and teachers through the installation of state-of-the-art laboratories and interactive whiteboards and through the resources of the World ORT Teacher Empowerment Center. Kadima Mada also sponsors extra-curricular activities such as World ORT Science Day, robotics competitions, and plays and discussions with themes chosen to help youth learn about important issues and integrate into society when they leave the school. Kadima Mada supports the outstanding Hodayot educational greenhouses, which provide students with skills in a niche area – growing fruit, vegetables and herbs – as they learn about nature and the environment, the growing process and how to sell produce in local markets.

All Hodayot students live in on-site and take part in extra-curricular programs, and on Shabbat, staff create a warm family experience shared with the students, all of whom continue to the Israel Defense Forces and national service, evidence of school success in teaching values and pride for Israel.

Hodayot not only educates the next generation – it saves lives.  To ensure the school can continue to provide a relevant education prepariing students for current industry, it needs the latest teaching technology and equipment. The school has requested the installation of a new ICT (information and communications technology) laboratory, as well as other capital upgrades.

Hodayot Current Funding Needs

$270,000 — To increase the size of the facility and capacity of the Empowerment Therapy Center to serve 100 kids
$12,000 — To complete the Empowerment Therapy Center to serve 50 kids

$150,000 — Supplementary STEM* teaching for three years for five study tracks
$10,000 — Supplementary STEM* teaching for one study track for one year –
5 tracks need funding

$25,000 — New classroom with modern furnishings and equipment – 12 needed
$5,000 — Mezuzah for door of classroom or laboratory – 3 needed
$500 — Giving Kids a Boost package for one student for basic needs to be determined, such as clothes, shoes, school uniform, glasses, dental treatments, participation on field trips, etc. – 140 students need this package

*Science, technology, engineering and math