Only 17 and he is on A Do Good Mission

Date: July 2017
<Center><B> Only 17 and he is on A Do Good Mission</center></b>
A Certificate of Honor: Yinon Yom Tov at the Ministry of Education Award Ceremony, with BTJ Principal Elimelech Yaakov (to his right) and Yinon's parents.
Never underestimate the power of a 16-year-old boy who’s out to make the world a better place. Boys Town Jerusalem student Yinon Yom Tov, for one, has moved mountains in his struggle to help at-risk youth in his neighborhood. This month, he was honored for his outstanding achievements by a prestigious award from the Ministry of Education.

Last year, within the framework of Boys Town Jerusalem’s community service projects, Yinon volunteered as a Bnei Akiva youth movement counselor in his “Kiryat Moshe” Jerusalem neighborhood. Yinon enthusiastically began working with third graders, only to discover that for the past six years, the 47-year-old Bnei Akiva clubhouse had been overrun by outside delinquents involved in drugs and alcohol abuse. The situation was so dangerous that the police slapped a closure order on the site.

“Here I’ve learned how to speak before a dignitary or an audience with clear, correct, confident speech. My rabbis and teachers are guiding my path. They’re alongside me in my every accomplishment.”

“I decided to use every ounce of strength to fight,” Yinon said. “Many of the neighborhood kids who attend Bnei Akiva come from difficult homes and desperately need the activities, camaraderie and ideals we offer there. I approached the municipality, the police, Bnei Akiva officials and more to demand their help. Eventually we succeeded in reclaiming the clubhouse and restoring its good name.”

In recognition for his efforts, this year Yinon was appointed to the (voluntary) position of komunare, the coordinator of the Bnei Akiva chapter’s 14 counselors. At 17, Yinon is perhaps Israel’s youngest komunare, and certainly one of the most active. With endless patience and concern, he has attracted a growing number of young members and devoted counselors. On Israel’s Memorial Day, Yinon reached out to the entire community to join Bnei Akiva ceremonies in memory of Kiryat Moshe-born victims of war and terror.

“Yinon Yom Tov is a powerhouse of action on behalf of the good of others,” said Principal Rabbi Elimelech Yaakov. “We couldn’t be more proud of him.”

As the once-sullied Kiryat Moshe Bnei Akiva clubhouse now buzzed with wholesome activities, Yinon was suddenly informed of the Jerusalem Municipality’s decision to usurp this structure for different uses - without offering a permanent replacement. Yinon is now the leader of a grassroots protest movement. “I have initiated meetings with every relevant Municipality figure, two Knesset members, Bnei Akiva officials, and others. Last week we protested outside Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s home. We will not give up!”

Yinon gives his Boys Town Jerusalem teachers full credit for granting him the skills, courage and determination to carry out his work. “Here I’ve learned how to speak before a dignitary or an audience with clear, correct, confident speech. My rabbis and teachers are guiding my path. They’re alongside me in my every accomplishment.”

“Yinon Yom Tov is a powerhouse of action on behalf of the good of others,” said Principal Rabbi Elimelech Yaakov. “We couldn’t be more proud of him.”



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