Only 12 years old, Haim, a new seventh-grader at Boys Town Jerusalem, has already lost his faith in humanity. His parents’ ugly divorce has torn his life apart, and the shame of his father’s arrest for criminal activity still smolders and aches. After losing trust in his father, Haim has lost confidence in everyone else, across the board.

Haim is in quite a fragile state at present,” BTJ Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz admits “We’ve been closely involved with the Ministry of Welfare over the summer months to get an early start in easing his emotional and academic adjustments to junior high.”

The rabbi stresses that Haim’s family’s newfound, overwhelming poverty is yet another cause for the boy’s distress. “On the financial front, thanks to our donors, we are making great efforts to lighten the burden. Beyond giving him a full scholarship, plus extracurricular activities at no cost, we’ve bought all of Haim’s books, purchased a laptop to enable his access to after-school tutoring, ordered tefillin for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah to be hosted here at school, and more.”

Most important, the rabbi notes that the school’s team of social workers, teachers and rabbis is already working in close coordination to soothe Haim’s entry into the school.

“Haim’s sweeping distrust, suspicion and anguish may seem overpowering,” says the principal, “but we have good reason to be optimistic about his future. One look at the students filling our halls is proof that with diligent efforts and endless love and support, ‘our boys’ can overcome a world of hardship to succeed and thrive.”

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