ANNE HEYMAN (1961-2014) 

“Nobody does anything alone in this world. I certainly don’t take credit for this Village. I might take credit for having the idea, but many, many people have many, many ideas, and having an idea in and of itself doesn’t accomplish anything. If you ask me ... what my greatest achievement connected to Agahozo-Shalom is, ... I think the existence of this Village is proof that one person with a good idea can really change the world.”
— Anne Heyman

A native of South Africa, Anne Heyman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and from the George Washington University School of Law in 1986. After two years in private practice, Anne went to work for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she worked until the advent of her third child. After leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Anne was actively engaged in philanthropic work both in and outside of the United States. Her role as former President of the Board of Directors of Dorot reflected her ongoing commitment to the many needs of the home-bound and homeless elderly. Her work with the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York, Young Judaea, Tufts University Hillel, University of Pennsylvania Hillel and the Jewish Community Centers of America showed how important Jewish youth and continuity were to her and her family’s foundation, of which she was the director.

It is with respect to the notion of Tikkun Olam, the Jewish obligation to repair the world, that Anne was most passionate.  From the establishment of "Moral Voices," a program designed to inspire college youth to action, to Rwanda, where she spear-headed the creation of The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Anne’s commitment to improving the lives of others was unwavering.  Anne’s inspiring story has appeared in numerous publications, including three books: "The Power of Positive Destruction," by Seth Merrin, "The Art of Doing Good" by Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon, and "Act Three" by Julie Shifman.

Anne was an avid equestrian and competitive show jumper and passed away after falling from her horse while competing in a masters jumper competition on January 31, 2014.  She is survived by her husband, Seth Merrin, children Jason, Jonathan and Jenna, siblings Dan, Lauren and Justin, and her parents Sydney and Hermia.