FROM IRAN TO BOYS TOWN JERUSALEM – AND ONWARD!
The hilly green landscape of Yitzchak David-Pour’s Boys Town Jerusalem home hardly resembles the remote desert of Yazd, Iran, which he left for Israel in 2013. Yet many more differences awaited 15-year-old Yitzchak when he arrived at Boys Town Jerusalem to live and study: he could not speak one word of Hebrew, nor could any students or staff speak Persian. Somehow, even without words to use, the school’s “angels” succeeded to communicate the concern and love that touched Yitzchak’s heart. Within three months, he’d learned basic Hebrew, made friends, and begun to pursue a penchant for electronics which has shaped his future.
Today in his senior year at Boys Town Jerusalem’s College of Applied Engineering, 20-year-old Yitzchak is excelling in the college’s newly-inaugurated Electrical Engineering division. Following graduation this spring, he will become an officer in the Israeli Air Force. Yitzchak firmly credits his success and achievements to the boundless love of Boys Town Jerusalem housemother Rachel Cohen-Pur. “I had Rachel,” he says simply. “She gave me strength.”
Alongside the enormous pride she takes in Yitzchak, Rachel is pained by the suffering he has faced. “The situation at his home is quite difficult,” she explains. “Yitzchak’s father is badly disabled and cannot work, his younger brother is acutely handicapped, and his mother works long hours at menial jobs to support the family. They are a very close, loving family and very grateful for all that Boys Town Jerusalem has given Yitzchak.” Thanks to the school’s donors, Yitzchak, like many others, was granted a full scholarship for tuition, room and board.
“I guess I haven’t really left the Boys Town Jerusalem dormitory for the past five years,” says Yitzchak in his Persian-accented Hebrew. In truth, when he first arrived, he nearly didn’t leave at all. “Operation Cast Lead broke out over the summer, and our town in southern Israel came under missile attack,” he recalls. “My family was taking cover in the shelter day and night. When the attack started, the principal called me in to say that he wanted to hire me to work at Boys Town over the summer. I stayed there for weeks on end, and everyone took good care of me.”
Following his high school graduation in 2016, Yitzchak was accepted to Boys Town Jerusalem’s College of Applied Engineering for high-level studies in conjunction with the Israel Defense Forces. “Classes end at 5 PM, and I keep studying till late at night,” he admits. Once he receives his diploma in spring, his five-year term of Air Force duty will begin. In future, Yitzchak looks forward to continuing his studies in engineering and beginning a career in high-tech.
“I’ll always be grateful to Boys Town Jerusalem for giving me so much,” Yitzchak declares. “I look forward to being able to give back to the school someday. And to sending my own sons here to study!”