“How can I ever be expected to ‘honor my father’?” 15-year-old Benny(*) bitterly asked Boys Town Jerusalem social worker Hadas Knopf. “He is a monster who only knows how to hurt us.”

Benny’s father left his family in poverty

While Benny, his mother, and siblings always knew that his father’s business regularly took him overseas, they had no idea that he was seriously involved with another woman there as well. After the truth came out four years ago, the man simply disappeared, abandoning his family and plunging them into serious debt.

Benny’s anger is a danger to himself

“As a result, Benny’s anger has grown so intense that it’s almost life-threatening,” Hadas reports. Recently he jumped off a high ledge and broke his leg, the latest in a string of harmful accidents over the past year.

Yet his emotional pain is no less dangerous. Beyond his own abandonment trauma, Benny is torn by his mother’s suffering and tries to protect her. “It was clear to us that Benny would gain tremendously by moving into the dormitory this year,” Hadas notes, “yet he anguished over leaving his mother, whom he feels responsible for. We’ve made arrangements to allow him to live in the dorm but to go home at will.”

We’re turning his powerful anger into good energy

Lately, his absentee father suddenly made efforts to reestablish contact, which Benny has vehemently rejected. “Benny is a sweet, likeable kid whose pent-up anger, frustration and sadness now threaten to prevent him from ever having a father,” says Hadas. “We are making every effort to turn his powerful anger to ‘good energy’ that will allow him to grow, succeed and love.”

Benny is on a full scholarship at Boys Town Jerusalem. You can help him and other boys like him, by clicking here.

*not his real name.

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