Boys Town Jerusalem, one of eight Israeli high schools tapped by the Prime Minister’s National Cyber Directorate to pilot a cutting-edge course in cybersecurity, topped the nation with the highest number of students to pass the CCSP (Certified Cyber Security Practitioner) exam for global authorization. Announcing the results, Ehud Ben Gera, superintendent of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology Administration, noted that Boys Town Jerusalem surpassed the nearest high-performing school by 50%.

Our students worked extra hard to succeed

Behind the impressive statistics stood an enormous, near-impossible undertaking. At the start of the 2018-19 school year, 32 eleventh and twelfth graders were handpicked for the complex, demanding 150-hour extracurricular course, held once a week from 5 pm – 9:30 pm. For the many students from difficult family backgrounds, the effort was all the more demanding. Yet veteran BTJ instructor Shlomo Serok, head of the school’s technological education department, welcomed the challenge with open arms. “As a global cyber power, the State of Israel places the highest priority on cyber protection,” he noted. “Our students were chosen to defend both military and civilian targets at risk.”

It took teamwork to make this happen

Each lesson, Shlomo Serok sat alongside his students to learn the complex skills of preventing cyber threats. Conducted by the Kernelios Cyber Knowledge Center, the course culminated in the international Certified Cyber Security Practitioner exam to accredit cybersecurity professionals.

“At the start, I reviewed and drilled the students after each lesson,” Serok explained. “Later I enlisted the better students to tutor the weaker ones. We were all in this together, and there was tremendous motivation to pull everyone to succeed.”

The result was a stunning feat for the Boys Town Jerusalem students, with all 32 students attaining cybersecurity practitioner certification.

“You are the trailblazers,” Acting Mayor of Jerusalem Chagit Moshe told them at a recent awards ceremony. “You taught us that students can rise to reach their greatest dreams.”

The progress of the Boys Town Jerusalem course is being closely observed by the Education Ministry and the Prime Minister’s National Cyber Directorate in preparation for introducing the course on a nationwide basis.

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