A Bar Mitzvah Beyond Hope

If Natan* has learned one thing in his 13 years, it’s how to cope with reality. Even if it meant not having a Bar Mitzvah.

Natan didn’t have hope

After his parents’ very bitter divorce, the rail-thin boy learned to make few demands on his hardworking single mom. Or on his penniless dad, whose business collapsed several years ago. Now, as his 13th birthday neared, Natan realistically faced the fact that he could never have a Bar Mitzvah. Yet that hurt more than he’d imagined…

Soon after Natan began seventh grade at Boys Town Jerusalem Junior High – and just weeks before his birthday – he confided his dilemma to Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz.

BTJ sprung into action

Immediately, the experienced, sensitive rabbi separately approached Natan’s father and mother with a remarkable offer. “A generous overseas BTJ donor has enabled Natan to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah on a weekday here at school, complete with a festive breakfast and special activities for his entire class, at no cost to you whatsoever.”

Natan was finally going to have the Bar Mitzvah he wanted

Yet on the morning of his near-miraculous Bar Mitzvah, the anguished young boy informed Rabbi Rosencrantz that his mother refused to attend with his father present. Urgently, the principal contacted Natan’s mother with a powerful plea for her to arrive. When Natan caught a glimpse of his mom entering the synagogue at last, his face shone as he raced to bury his head in her arms.

Natan’s mother almost didn’t attend

“What we learned as Boys Town Jerusalem printing majors gave us the tools to immediately begin working and constantly advance,” Yosi stressed, adding with a smile that they soon reached the point where they employed their former BTJ instructors.

It was a successful Bar Mitzvah, thanks to supporters worldwide

As he watched a delighted Natan share this extraordinary celebration with his classmates, Rabbi Rosencrantz urged dedicated supporters worldwide to give generously to enable Boys Town Jerusalem to provide these boys – and an overwhelming number of others in need – the finest education, three nutritious meals daily, and the emotional strength to thrive.

*not his real name