The Pied Piper of Boys Town Jerusalem

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As he often does, Boys Town Jerusalem 12th grade teacher Rabbi Amos Dakan recently dismissed class early to accompany his students on a city bus to the Children’s Ward of Shaare Zedek Hospital. Guitar in hand, the rabbi led his students from room to room to sing and dance for the young patients and bring huge smiles to their faces.

 

“Making the effort to give love to a sick child is part of your mission on earth to help others,”
the rabbi explained. “This is the most important lesson I can teach.”

For Rabbi Dakan, Boys Town Jerusalem has long been the source of both the music and spirituality that characterize his life. In 1984, Amos Dakan enrolled as a ninth grader at Boys Town Jerusalem, although only partially: the young musical progeny divided his studies between the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Boys Town Jerusalem’s vocational printing department. “My parents brought me to Boys Town Jerusalem for the Jewish studies,” he says. “This changed my life.”

Following his 1988 graduation, Rabbi Dakan enlisted in an Israeli Air Force Intelligence unit. Upon discharge, he began studying for his rabbinical ordination. Music and good deeds, two essentials in his life, brought him to volunteer in 1994 for the newly-established Zichron Menachem organization for children with cancer. Searching for a place to hold a summer camp for the kids, Rabbi Dakan turned to BTJ founder Rabbi Alexander Lincher who instantly offered the school’s campus free of charge. Soon afterwards, Rabbi Linchner brought his former pupil home to Boys Town Jerusalem for the next several years by hiring Rabbi Dakon (by now an accomplished musician) to direct the school’s orchestra. His talents, charisma, mission and sincerity earned him the title of “Boys Town Jerusalem’s Pied Piper”.

Nearly 20 years later, Rabbi Dakon has returned to Boys Town Jerusalem as a 12th grade teacher.

 

“It’s a gift to be able to teach youth at this crucial age, on the threshold of their army service, marriage, and career building,”

he stresses. “I have the opportunity to mold them as thinking individuals with strong Torah values to guide them through life, primarily to love their fellow man and to give of themselves to others. These boys are our future doctors, engineers and leaders, and they have to realize now that the world was not created for them alone. Their objective must be to give of themselves – in the Army, as husbands, fathers and human beings. And today, by singing to a child who is hurting.”

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