Past, Present, and Future

Who we are & what we do

About Boys Town Jerusalem

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Established in 1948 to provide a home and education for young immigrants to the newly-created State of Israel, Boys Town Jerusalem has become one of the country’s largest, most respected educational institutions. Boys Town Jerusalem was founded by Alexander S. Linchner, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who devoted his life to creating an institution to provide Israeli youth with a quality education to enable them to build the State of Israel with technological skill and Jewish idealism. Today, the beautiful 18-acre BTJ campus in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood is one of Israel’s major technological training centers. Approximately 950 students aged 12-20 study and live on the campus. The children of immigrants from 45 countries on six continents, they mirror Israel’s ethnic diversity. More than 75% come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and require substantial scholarship assistance. No student is ever turned away from Boys Town Jerusalem due to inability to pay tuition. Beyond their outstanding technological and academic education, BTJ students are imbued with Jewish values and pride in their Jewish heritage. Over 7,500 graduates proudly serve in the Israel Defense Forces and build fine Jewish homes and families, while making important contributions to their nation.  

Mission Statement

Founded in the wake of the Holocaust and dedicated to providing an outstanding education for Israeli children of all races and socio-economic backgrounds, Boys Town Jerusalem is a residential school located within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. It encompasses grades 7-12 and a two-year College of Applied Engineering. The curriculum, which is certified by Israel’s Ministry of Education, combines the timeless values of Jewish heritage and advanced technology, while inspiring students to serve the State of Israel as both soldiers and productive citizens. Boys Town Jerusalem serves Jews from all backgrounds equally and is independent of all American or Israeli political and sectarian affiliations. Boys Town Jerusalem depends upon the support of all who share its vision of turning otherwise disadvantaged Israeli youth into productive citizens of tomorrow.

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National Board of Directors

FOUNDER Rabbi Alexander S. Linchner, Zt”L



PRESIDENT Michael J. Scharf*

INTERIM CO-CHAIRMEN Henri C. Levit*& Dr. Norman Frankel




VICE CHAIRMEN Donald L. Solomon*

VICE PRESIDENTS Lawrence B. Diener*

TREASURER Dr. Kenneth Garay

SECRETARY Marjorie Diener Blenden*

MEMBERS Ira Bartfield, Jack A. Belz, Michael Benedict, Carl Cohen, Joseph Cooper, Leslie L., Dan Samy, Dwek Mark Follender, Neil Goldstein, Hugh Greenberg, Menahem Z Gurman,* Bernard Hasten, Hart N. Hasten, Malcolm Hoenlein, Norman Horowitz, Douglas Kahan, Robert Kaswell

Ed Kerson, H. Irwin Levy, Elly Libin, David S. Mack, Robert Miller, John J. Pomerantz, Gershon Rothstein,* Aleksander Smukler, Yudi Teichman, Benjamin Veit, Aaron Weitman, Rebecca Tenenbein Mayor Michael J. Wildes, Michael Wimpfheimer,* Shimon Wolf, Dr. Matthew Zizmor

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More than a haf a century of success!

  • 1948- Rabbi Alexander Linchner emigrates from New York to Israel to prepare the foundations for Boys Town Jerusalem
  • 1949- Rabbi Linchner opens trade school with 14 boys from Yemen.
  • 1951-Construction begins in Bayit Vegan
  • 1953- School moves to pre-fab huts in Bayit Vegan; Clark printing institute, first vocational training unit opens.
  • 1956- Alexander P. & Mary Hirsch School of Precision Mechanics opens in factory loft; first permanent building completed.
  • 1957- Max and Elsa Federbush School of Furniture design opens.
  • 1959- First High School class graduates.
  • 1960- Nachlat Shimon dormitories completed.
  • 1962 - Construction on Boys Town campus begins; Charles Zarkin School of Lithography founded; Boys Town publishes Jewish Classics Series.
  • 1963 - Teachers Training School opens.
  • 1965 - School of electronics opens; technical school buildings completed; additional dormitories acquired.
  • 1967- Boys Town develops Israel's most sophisticated technical education center; After Six Day War, Nahal army unit of Boys Town Alumni is established in the Old City.
  • 1968- Construction of academic building begins. Total enrollment: 650.
  • 1969- Ades Academic building and Dining Hall completed, marking an end to the first stage of campus development.
  • 1971 - Marjorie and Archie Sherman College of applied engineering opens; Shirley and Milton Gralla National Junior High School opens for 130 economically deprived boys from Katamon neighborhood.
  • 1972- First class graduates from the college of Applied Engineering; Alexander P. & Mary Hirsch School of Precision mechanics dedicated.
  • 1973- Computer Science department opens; volunteer student community service program launched.
  • 1975- Computer Center opens.
  • 1977- Shirley and Milton Gralla National Junior High School begins accepting students.
  • 1978 - Arnold and Marie Schwartz Residence Center opens; Horace and grace Goldsmith recreation Center opens.
  • 1979 - Israeli Ministry of Education designates Boys Town Jerusalem as regional Technology Center; Boys Town inaugurates first course in computer typesetting in Israel.
  • 1980- Hebrew language ulpan course opens for immigrant Russian students.
  • 1981- Special program initiated fro Iranian students.
  • 1982- Herbert & Evelyn Zimmerman Children's Park dedicated.
  • 1983- U.S. Government A.I.D. grant approved for College of Applied Engineering.
  • 1985- Total enrollment 1000
  • 1986- Special program initiated for Ethiopian students. Total enrollment 1000.
  • 1987- Fred P. Pomerantz Technological Center dedicate; studies in Computerized Numerical Control begin.
  • 1988- Marjorie and Archie Sherman College of Applied Engineering dedicated. Beatrice and Leonard Diener Torah and Science Academy opened. First data processing class graduates.
  • 1989- Samuel and Helene Soref School of Electronics dedicated.
  • 1991- Maria and Joel Finkle Torah and Technology Academy opened.
  • 1996- BTJ Founder, Rabbi Alexander S. Linchner z"tl passes away.
  • 2001- Naale Zion Program initiated for French students who move to Israel without their parents; Cisco Regional Academy opens at BTJ.
  • 2002- Naale program initiated for students from the former Soviet Union who move to Israel without their parents.
  • 2004- Major refurbishing campaign begins on Boys Town campus.
  • 2005- Maks and Leah Rothstein Library opens at Boys Town.
  • 2006- BTJ hosts families from Northern Israel forced to relocate during Second Lebanon War.
  • 2007- David and Fela Shapell Family Foundation Program of Interdisciplinary Holocaust Studies inaugurated.
  • 2008- New program for Ethiopian students begun in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Absorption. Summer camp conducted for children from Sderot and other embattled communities in Southern Israel under constant threat of rocket fire from Gaza.
  • 2009- Israel Henry Beren Electronics Center dedicated. Newly renovated Benjamin & Celia Kaswell Sports Field and Robert M. Beren Sports Field are dedicated.Israeli Air Force Commander-in-Chief Maj.General Ido Nehushtan visits BTJ campus.
  • 2010- BTJ becomes one of the first schools in Israeli to install a solar-energy system. First BTJ team to compete in the prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition reaches semi-finals. BTJ becomes Israel’s first and only high school to offer a major in “Open Source (Open Solaris) Operating Systems” within the computer science program.
  • 2011- BTJ team takes first prize in the Light Athletics Division of the National Yeshiva High School Sports Tournament. Ninth graders score a first-place trophy for presentation at the regional competition of the FLL (FIRST Lego League) Israel. Computer instructor Shlomo Saruk is named one of the top 100 teachers in Israel.
  • 2012- BTJ team wins First Place in “Robot Strategy and Innovation” at the regional competition of the FLL (FIRST Lego League) Israel. Ethiopian immigrant students win first place in “Yedidim Mentoring and Leadership Organization” competition, in cooperation with the IDF.
  • 2013- The Judge David B. & Irma R. Follender Robotics Center is dedicated. The Robert and Kathy Kaswell Fitness Center is dedicated. Artwork by senior Raviv Bussi, a participant in BTJ’s extracurricular art program, wins award in the Ministry of Education’s National Exhibition for High School Art Graduates. The Melissa Franya Miller Counselling Center is dedicated. BTJ’s teachers are commended by the Ministry of Education for exemplary performance. The Benjamin & Harriet Bagno Activity Center is opened. BTJ sends relief supplies to Philippine victims of Typhoon Hayan, with Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D. G. Calonge coming to help pack the shipment.
  • 2014- BTJ Robotics Team is awarded first prize for Robot Mechanical Design in the regional FLL-Israel Robotics Competition. Eighth-grader David Petussi wins two gold medals in the Israeli National Yeshiva High School Sports Tournament. CAE student Reuven Aknin awarded second prize in the Israeli Ministry of Education Competition for Electronic Projects for the Handicapped.
  • 2015- Ninth-grade team wins first prize in the Jerusalem Fair for Scientific Research and Technological Solutions. Instructor Rabbi Elimelech Yaakov is named one of the “Best 100 Teachers” by Ministry of Education. Israel Air Force Sergeant Matan Malichi, Class of 2012, is cited as an Exemplary Soldier by President Ruby Rivlin.
  • 2016- Former Commander-in-Chief of the Israeli Navy Admiral Abraham Ben Shoshan visits BTJ. Dormitory building refurbished thanks to Lee Foundation grant.. BTJ student David Dikun, a Russian immigrant, wins gold medals in the Israeli National Thai Boxing Championship and the National Yeshiva High School championship match.
  • 2017- Ninth graders wins first place in the Jerusalem Fair for Scientific Research and Technological Solutions. Israel Henry Beren Educational Wing is dedicated. Israeli Ministry of Education designates BTJ for a record number of four special education classes. Josh Weston Center for Advanced Technology opens its doors.
  • 2018- Ministry of Education commends BTJ for the school’s 13% increase in the percentage of students who passed the national bagrut matriculation examination. BTJ becomes the first high school in Israel to pioneer a “Project Based Learning” (PBL) technology course. Team of 7th & 8th graders wins First Prize in the Jerusalem Regional FLL-Israel Robotics Competition.
  • 2019- The Spectacular Future of Our Boys Depends on You!
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Meet our national leaders

  • Rabbi Alexander S. Linchner, Zt”l

    Rabbi Alexander Sender Linchner, the Founder of Boys Town Jerusalem, passed away in Israel on June 5, 1997, at the age of 89. Rabbi Linchner, who was born and raised in the United States, was one of the few Americans to study at the great yeshivos of Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. During the course of his studies at the Yeshiva at Radin, Poland, he came under the direct, personal influence of the Chofetz Chaim, considered by many to be the pre-eminent authority on Jewish law and philosophy of the 20th century. Rabbi Linchner returned to the United States before the outbreak of World War II, where he became principal at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, in Brooklyn, working under the guiding hand of his father-in-law, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. Rabbi Mendelowitz was the founder of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools. He and Rabbi Linchner trained and inspired a generation of Jewish educators who founded Jewish day schools in many American Jewish communities, forming the backbone of Jewish education in this country.

  • Rabbi Moshe Linchner

    Love… at first sight: Boys Town’s secret ingredient. One of the first experiences of every entering student at Boys Town Jerusalem is a one-on-one meeting with Dean Rabbi Moshe Linchner. At this very warm and personal session, Rabbi Linchner conveys a basic philosophy of the school: Boys Town doesn’t look at who the student is NOW, but who he CAN BE.Even prior to the student’s first day at the school, a team of teachers, counselors and social workers have visited the boy’s home to better understand what his special needs are and what makes him tick.Love is the secret ingredient of Boys Town’s success. Many of Boys Town’s students come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They suffer from low self esteem, domestic problems, but perhaps most important, an absence of love, the basic.

  • Michael Scharf

    When Michael Scharf first came to Boys Town Jerusalem, he saw the facilities that comprise Boys Town Jerusalem’s 18-acre campus. But it was more than the classrooms, laboratories and dormitories which attracted his attention and began a loyal friendship. Two decades later, the Hon. Chaim Herzog, President of the State of Israel, visited Boys Town Jerusalem and expressed the lofty ideals which captured Michael Scharf’s spirit: “At Boys Town Jerusalem, I have found a source of hope for unity and love between the different parts of the Jewish people. The students of Boys Town Jerusalem leave the school strengthened in their Torah and in their faith, able to identify heart and soul with the building of the State of Israel, and appreciative of the contributions of all segments of the nation, without exception, to Israel’s redemption.”

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