As he scrambled his way down the mountain trail, 13-year-old Elie* was one of the first Boys Town Jerusalem Summer Campers to catch a glimpse of the glistening pool below. Laughing, he and his friends raced to jump into the cool water at the trail’s end, where a Camp cookout sizzled on a nearby grill.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy,” Elie told his mom that evening. When she gratefully relayed this to BTJ Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz, she added, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy! After this terrible year when we couldn’t afford to take Elie anywhere, you’re making his dreams come true, and more.

“Elie’s father lost his job due to the pandemic, and his mother is quite ill,” explained Rabbi Rosencrantz.

“Fortunately, generous supporters have enabled us to give Elie extra tutoring, free tuition, and a fabulous summer camp experience.” The rabbi laments that Elie is only one of a larger-than-ever number of boys facing painful home situations.

The day after the school year ended, after 18 months of Covid-disrupted studies, Boys Town gave students the greatly-needed academic boost of two weeks of intensive classes in English, math and other subjects. Only then did the Day Camp fun get started.

“Our daily adventures range from trips to a great waterpark, laser tag, bowling, a visit to the zoo, biking, carting, hiking and more. There’s also science and nature projects, sports, and great workouts in our modern fitness center. Each day includes Jewish studies as well.”

A true daily highlight is the nutritious lunch, snacks and drinks that are served. “For so many boys, there’s simply no food at home,” the principal notes. “Parents can’t thank us enough for this wonderful summer experience. And we can’t thank our donors enough for enabling us to give our boys – and their parents.– this extraordinary gift!

*not his real name


  1. esther mulroy says:

    Sending your boys much love and many blessings. My prayer is that they each develop their own idea of their personal safety and overcome their stress response when it is not necessary to elicit.
    We have all experienced some form of trauma. As we all take steps to know that we are each loved and to learn to give love to ourselves….Esther

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