Each of the fifteen students in Rabbi Mordechai Rosenfeld’s 12th grade Special Education Class at Boys Town Jerusalem has his own difficult story – and his own daunting challenges. Yet every boy knows that his teacher passionately believes in him and in his ability to shine.

Each special education student had his own challenges

“Our students’ learning disabilities run the painful gamut from reading comprehension through acute emotional issues,” Rabbi Rosenfeld explains. “The relatively small-sized Special Ed classes allow us to grant plentiful individual attention in preparing pupils for the crucial bagrut matriculation exams, while guiding them towards successful IDF service, marriage and a better life.”

Rabbi Rosenfeld becomes a father figure to them

Noting that two of his current students are being raised by single moms, and two are orphaned of their father, he admits that nearly every boy in class has instinctively called him Abba (Dad) at some time. Now in his 25th year as a Special Education teacher, Rabbi Rosenfeld shares his personal goal to help “his boys” gain the hard-won basic discipline to attend class, bring the proper school supplies, maintain good spirits and organize themselves for studies and exams.

The special education successes seem small but are very big

As for judging his own success, the softspoken educator points with pride to one student whose severe learning problems had driven him to belligerent anger outbursts and total loss of control last year. Working closely with the adopted boy’s parents, Rabbi Rosenfeld used “love and trust” to build a strong framework within which this student could function. “This year, his mood has tremendously improved, along with his attendance and willingness to make the effort to succeed.”

BTJ has five special education classes

Rabbi Rosenfeld’s 12th grade class is one of BTJ’s five Special Education classes for the 2022-3 schoolyear, beginning at Grade Seven. “The Ministry of Education has assigned this challenge to Boys Town Jerusalem in recognition of our profound commitment to prepare youngsters in very special need to become confident, educated, capable adults.”

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