Many would be overwhelmed by the difficult poverty and homelife that nineteen-year-old Elchanan Feldman faces. Yet Elchanan’s optimism and faith have given him extraordinary power: not only has he excelled in his advanced studies in Boys Town Jerusalem’s College of Applied Engineering, but he’s helped his classmates succeed as well.

Elchanan, his unemployed Russian-immigrant parents, and seven siblings face harsh living conditions daily, yet the trauma that occurred over a decade ago is still uppermost in their minds. “My mother, who was then pregnant, was crossing the street with my youngest brother when they were hit by a car and badly injured. My mother fought for her life during a long hospitalization, and my brother is 100% disabled to this day.”

When Elchanan was accepted to Boys Town’s College of Applied Engineering (CAE) two years ago, his poverty-stricken family could pay nothing towards his tuition, room and board. Thanks to generous donors, including the UK-based Reuben Foundation, he was granted a full scholarship for his Electrical Engineering studies. “Whenever I’m in need, there’s always teachers and rabbis here to listen and to help me. I can speak to them from my heart.”

With these teachers and rabbis behind him, Elchanan has made a meteoric rise to excel in his studies. From his first year, the young man began tutoring his fellow CAE students and BTJ high school boys in math. “I like to give, and especially to give over what I know,” he says. “There’s huge satisfaction in seeing people grasp what I explain.”

Currently, Elchanan is completing on his College of Applied Engineering final project to present and defend before Ministry of Education examiners. Soon after graduation, he will be enlisting for a five-year term of service in an IDF technological unit. “Wherever I’m assigned, I’ll give the maximum,” he promises with a smile.

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