Jonathan’s One Wish

For his entire life, Jonathan,* 13, has been entangled in his parents’ endless, vicious conflict. Yet when he began seventh grade at Boys Town Jerusalem in September – where no one knew him – the young boy carefully hid his personal trauma from his teachers and classmates.

 Jonathan didn’t want anyone to know his trauma

“Jonathan completed every assignment promptly and kept to himself,” recalls BTJ Junior High Principal Rabbi Yehuda Rosencrantz. When the seasoned principal’s suspicions were raised by thin scars on his new pupil’s face, Jonathan assured him that everything was “just fine.” In a violent outburst soon afterwards, Jonathan’s father punched him in the face so fiercely that he broke two of his son’s teeth.  

BTJ’s staff and supporters helped him be a “regular kid”

“Once the Child Welfare Authority alerted us, we mobilized to aid Jonathan,” Rabbi Rosencrantz said. “Breaking into tears, the boy confided in his teacher that he was petrified his classmates would discover the incident. All he rightfully wanted was to be a ‘regular kid.’”  

With strict confidentiality, a caring BTJ team of social workers, teachers and rabbis urgently set into action on Jonathan’s behalf. “Noting his single mother’s poverty, we immediately provided Jonathan with clothes, shoes and extra food. Generous donors covered the cost of his tuition and after-school activities as well. Simultaneously, we began working with both parents to secure their son’s welfare.” 

Jonathan has made many improvements since

Rabbi Rosencrantz notes that Jonathan soon became belligerent in class, no longer able to  repress his anger. With his teachers’ constant encouragement, he’s steadily gained inner strength and confidence. Best, he’s finally made good friends

Jonathan knows his BTJ family is there for him

Back in contact with his father, Jonathan told his teacher that his parents are now arguing bitterly over his upcoming Bar Mitzvah, each demanding a separate ceremony. “My only wish is for my parents to come together long enough to give me one Bar Mitzvah I can invite my friends to,” he whispered, knowing there’s no chance. “Whatever happens, your BTJ family is here for you,” said his teacher, bringing a smile to Jonathan’s face.  

*not his real name