Un­lim­ited po­ten­tial

Em­power young peo­ple from chal­leng­ing back­grounds to build a bright fu­ture

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Boys Town Jerusalem -

BOYS TOWN Jerusalem is one of Is­rael’s lead­ing and most dy­namic ed­u­ca­tional, res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments. It was es­tab­lished soon af­ter the cre­ation of the in­de­pen­dent State of Is­rael in 1948, when so many Jewish boys, who had been or­phaned in the atroc­i­ties of the Shoah, were flood­ing into the State.

Th­e­se­boyshad­to­be­both­housed and ed­u­cated and Rabbi Alexan­der Linch­ner, a Brook­lyn-born rabbi, en­sured that a school was built that could cater for their needs.

To­day, Boys Town Jerusalem stands on an 18-acre cam­pus in Bayit Ve­gan. Rabbi Alexan­der Linch­ner passed away some years ago, but the present Dean is his son, Rabbi Moshe Linch­ner and he pre­sides over a school that now looks af­ter and ed­u­cates over 920 Jewish boys aged 12 to 20, many of whom live on the cam­pus.

Th­ese boys pre­dom­i­nately come from dis­ad­van­taged back­grounds, from within Is­rael as well as from other coun­tries around the globe where it has been im­pos­si­ble for them to prac­tise their Ju­daism, and where they have been un­able to learn about their his­tory, their her­itage or their cul­ture.

Many of th­ese boys come from the Former Soviet Union, France, Iran, and Ethiopia and they ar­rive at Boys Town Jerusalem, usu­ally with­out fam­ily or friends, when the process be­gins of in­te­grat­ing them within the Jewish state.

Once the boys grad­u­ate, they serve­with­intheIDFand­help­to­pro­tect and safe­guard the state. They then forge a ca­reer for them­selves within Is­rael and in­deed many Boys Town Jerusalem grad­u­ates are now so­lic­i­tors, lawyers, rab­bis, teach­ers, ca­reer educators and lead­ers of in­dus­try.

Bri­tish Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem works tire­lessly to en­rich the lives of th­ese boys. In 2012, the char­ity or­gan­ised a Jewish Pri­mary School Choral Fes­ti­val, ex­tremely suc­cess­ful whisky and choco­late tast­ing evenings and a phe­nom­e­nally well-re­ceived sup­per quiz in Edg­ware.

The char­ity’s 2013 Pri­mary School Choral Fes­ti­val has al­ready taken place and at the time of writ­ing it is or­gan­is­ing a foot­ball match against an ex-Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur team, to take place in March. All those play­ers who will rep­re­sent the char­ity need to raise spon­sor­ship (min­i­mum £280) for the priv­i­lege of play­ing.

In the UK, Boys Town Jerusalem re­lies heav­ily on its gen­er­ous sup­port­ers at Pe­sach and Rosh Hashanah and it is in­debted to those mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who choose to in­clude Boys Town Jerusalem in their will.

Boys Town Jerusalem’s slo­gan is “we turn young boys from lim­ited back­grounds into young men with lim­it­less fu­tures”.

No slo­gan could be more apt. For 65 years, Boys Town Jerusalem has been com­mit­ted to help­ing dis­ad­van­taged Jewish young peo­ple and its aim, in the UK, is to help en­sure that for gen­er­a­tions to come, it re­mains one of Is­rael’s most in­spi­ra­tional in­sti­tu­tions.

Boys Town pupils can be who­ever they dream of be­ing

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