Mourning the loss of supporter and friend, Anne Heyman

Anne Heyman, Young Judaea Alumna and founder of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in RwandaYoung Judaeans around the world were shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and fellow alumna, Anne Heyman. Anne was a Young Judaean through and through, who met her husband, Seth Merrin, on Year Course and raised three children, all of whom have been active in the movement attending both Camp Tel Yehudah and Year Course.

Anne’s life remains emblematic of the power and passion of Young Judaea. Her entire life was committed to tzedek (justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). She founded the Agahozo-Shalom youth village for children orphaned by the Rwandan genocide out of a burning passion for social activism and the Zionist imperative to be a light unto other nations. The village and its hundreds of flourishing children serve as a tribute to her dedication to helping the most vulnerable victims of genocide:  she will never be forgotten. Young Judaea will continue to support Anne’s vision by sending groups of students to volunteer with farm-work, maintenance projects and teaching English at the youth village for years to come. Participants on Young Judaea’s Year Course program in Israel are scheduled to leave for Rwanda on the 17th February for a month-long volunteer experience at “Anne’s village”. We dedicate their service to her memory.

Those of us that had the great fortune of knowing Anne experienced her amazing passion, her keen sense of justice, her seemingly infinite energy to engage the world in the healing of broken communities, and a role model to all who she touched through her words of inspiration and acts of kindness. Thanks to Anne’s support, encouragement and constant call for improvement, Young Judaea will continue to burn brighter as we fulfill our mission to engage all in repairing the world.

To learn more about Anne’s legacy, visit: