Over 50 years later, one of Israel’s distinguished, veteran judges can still recall the day that his education and future were transformed.

Judge Azoulai was an immigrant in Israel

I was living with my parents and seven siblings in a makeshift immigrant camp in Beer Sheva, after emigrating from Morocco to the newly-established State of Israel,” said Judge Baruch Azoulai, deputy president of Israel’s Southern District Court.

“In 1959, a rabbi arrived at the camp, searching for promising students to bring to Jerusalem to study in the then-new Boys Town Jerusalem high school. I was among those selected, and from the moment my friends and I arrived at Boys Town Jerusalem, we embarked on a completely new odyssey. Ultimately, it gave me and my classmates the impetus to excel and make exceptional contributions to the Israeli nation,” the judge declared.

Passing the torch onwards

Judge Azoulai made his remarks to the graduating class of Boys Town Jerusalem at their recent commencement ceremony. Speaking to the new graduates and their parents, the judge cautioned the students, “You will certainly encounter problems and crises in your future, yet you’ve been given the tools for life at Boys Town that will enable you to confront these challenges. It’s hard for you to acknowledge this now, but I speak from a different perspective, one where I can look back and see and appreciate what I was given at this school.”

2012 also saw incredible strides from immigrant students

At the ceremony, two graduates were cited for special awards. Both graduates are recent immigrants from Iran who have been living and studying in Boys Town over the past few years. Moshe* was awarded a certificate of merit for his outstanding efforts in academic and community service activities. His classmate Michael* was named Most Exemplary Student.

According to Principal Rabbi Elimelech Ya’akov, “Michael’s academic achievements are nothing short of extraordinary. His bagrut (national matriculation exam) scores are in the 90s, and this is a student who did not know Hebrew when he arrived in Israel in 2008! Moshe and Michael’s outstanding characters and achievements are a boon to all of Israel.”

Boys Town Jerusalem’s Class of 2012 is now army-bound, with most of the students soon beginning their basic training for their upcoming compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces.

While education is a significant part of Boys Town Jerusalem, it is not the only thing we provide to nearly 1,000 boys every year. Find out what makes Boys Town Jerusalem more than a school.

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