Boys Town Jerusalem’s first – and hopefully only – student to contract the coronavirus is now hospitalized and experiencing severe breathing difficulty. Ironically, Boys Town was the place where Micah* had finally begun to breathe easier after having faced painful hardships on his own for so long. Now the school is fighting to help him survive.

When Micah was 14, both parents died, leaving him orphaned and penniless. With his older brothers in the Army or far from home, he had to fend for himself for two years before being placed in several nightmarish foster homes. At age 18, he independently reached Boys Town Jerusalem.

“From the day Micah enrolled in our College of Applied Engineering, he was no longer on his own,” said BTJ Dean of Students Rabbi Meir Linchner. Living in the school’s dorm, enjoying wholesome meals, new friendships and a caring staff, Micah thrived in his intensive studies.

Just three weeks ago, he was finishing his graduate project and preparing to enlist in a top IDF unit. Then the coronavirus struck Israel, all schools and dormitories were closed, and Micah was once again on his own.

“We immediately contacted the Welfare Department to provide Micah a room,” noted Rabbi Linchner. “Recently he called to tell me he was quite ill and had been tested for corona. As his condition worsened while waiting for the results, we stepped in to bring food and other supplies to leave outside his door. Two days ago, Micah called me crying, the first he’d broken down in all his years of fighting for his life. ‘I’m in such pain,” he sobbed. ‘And now I was informed that my corona test results were lost.’

“We immediately turned to a BTJ grad who is a paramedic to retest Micah,” Rabbi Linchner reports. “Last night, the paramedic rushed him to the hospital by ambulance when the test results were positive. Desperately weak, Micah left with only the shirt on his back. We’ve now sent funds to his dorm parent to buy basic essentials to bring to the hospital. We are his family, and we are praying hard for this son.

Update: After a few weeks in quarantine at a coronavirus hotel, Micah was released. Unfortunately, Micah did not have a place to go, so we got special permission to open the dormitory for him. He is the only one there, but we make sure he has electricity and food every day.

* not his real name


If you’d like to help Micah, please donate here.

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