Jake* was only a small child when his father terrorized the home. Today, the 13-year-old still recalls the shelter for battered women where he and his mother took refuge. Worse, he remembers in chilling detail every blow from his father’s hands.

The anxiety remains, despite the years that have passed since his parents divorced and the progress that Jake and his mother have made,” explains Boys Town Jerusalem social worker Hadas Knopf.

“Abuse is a form of terror, and Jake is a victim. Fortunately these emotions are no longer pent-up, and we can begin to talk about his fears in the open.

Beyond the emotional damage, Jake suffers from serious learning disabilities. Thanks to support from donors worldwide, the school is now able to provide the youngster with critical assistance. To address his needs for remedial help in nearly every subject, Jake has been assigned a specialist in reading and writing skills, as well as tutors to work with him in other areas of study.

When the pandemic first closed the schools, Jake was given a BTJ computer to enable him to join his class via remote learning. Yet, like so many others, Jake desperately lacked the personal connection to his teacher and class. The repeated lockdowns only worsened Jake’s academic and emotional state, to the point where a new solution was introduced: Jake was assigned to join the Special Education classes, the sole group of students which the government allows to continue studying in class on campus.

“Almost immediately, Jake began showing progress and delight,” Hadas adds. “Jake’s healing and his stability are in our hands during these very challenging times. He and I meet regularly and often for therapy. We’re trying our best to give this youngster the support and the love to give him strength for life.”

Your contributions give Jake and other boys like him the support they need during this difficult time. To continue helping Jake, click here.

*not his real name

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