When the Battlefield Reaches Home

The battlefield of the raging Israeli war is not confined to Gaza. Its widespread trauma now reaches every strata of Israeli society, as Boys Town Jerusalem students and teachers can attest. For some, the pressure is crippling.

A mother would not let her son come to class

“Judah,” a seventh-grader whose parents are divorced, did not return to school when classes resumed several weeks ago. A call to his mother revealed that she had survived a terrifying escape from Hamas terrorists in their brutal attack on October 7th . Her friends were murdered before her eyes. “My son is not leaving home until the war ends,” the traumatized mother told BTJ Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz. Thanks to reassuring home visits by BTJ staff to Judah’s parents, his dad now brings the young boy to school several days a week.

A student is driven by his teacher every day

Another mother, still traumatized from experiencing a previous terror attack, refused to send her son to his Special Education class. Today his teacher kindly drives him to school and back daily.

The mental agony of the war will remain for a long time

“Every student is affected by the war’s trauma, especially those who have experienced acute distress of any kind,” Rabbi Rosencrantz asserts. “We are on special alert to detect signs of anxiety and stress. Sadly, the mental agony will remain with students long past the war’s end.”

Beyond anxiety, there are also financial struggles

Beyond the war’s painful emotional toll, financial crises have risen sharply. “Countless parents have lost their jobs and their security. One mother tearfully begged us to send home any leftover food from our cafeteria, as she could no longer afford groceries,” the principal noted. “In these dark hours, we’re redoubling our efforts to give strength to parents and students alike.”