The Jerusalem Post

Joint initiative helps out 4,000 at-risk students

- • By Jerusalem Post Staff

A $5.7m. public-private partnershi­p will provide a new home-away-from-home for more than 4,000 at-risk students who attend boarding schools across the country. The project is a joint initiative of the Internatio­nal Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, and the Israeli Public Forum for Youth Villages and Boarding Schools for Children at Risk.

Under the partnershi­p, 40 of the most dilapidate­d boarding schools throughout the country will be renovated. These are schools that provide a homeaway-from-home for many of the 10,000 young people who are victims of physical abuse, sexual assault or neglect, and are considered at-risk youth.

The ministry, led by Haim Katz, will finance about $2.8m., while the IFCJ, led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, will contribute $2.27m. The forum, led by Israel Prize laureate Avi Naor, will contribute $570,000.

“These young children are not responsibl­e for the difficult circumstan­ces they endure, and they deserve the best possible homes that we can provide,” said Eckstein, after touring the Neve Tzelim boarding school in Ramot Hashavim, one of the buildings scheduled to receive the repairs.

“A home that is pleasant and inviting reinforces a feeling of belonging, fostering a homey atmosphere of warmth and love that these children and adolescent­s so desperatel­y lack,” Katz said.

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