Smiles of Joy From Disabled Children's Day Camp at BTJ

Date: September 2017
<CENTER><B>Smiles of Joy From Disabled Children's Day Camp at BTJ </center></b>
BTJ 10th grader Daniel Yemini on the job.


For nine glorious summer days, 370 sick and handicapped children age three and up are having the time of their lives. Almost magically, the Boys Town Jerusalem campus has been transformed to host the “Ezer Mitzion” Day Camp where the children are in wonderland.

“It’s hard to recognize the school,” admitted BTJ tenth grader Daniel Yemini as he stood amidst a mountain of balloons. Daniel, who has spent his summer vacation working at the school as part of a work/study program, is now a prime member of the logistics crew for the day camp. “From 8 AM till 5 PM, there are around 1,000 people on campus,” he explained. “Each child has one or even two volunteers, plus there’s a large staff. I’m busy all the time,” he said, walkie-talkie in hand, as he rushed off to fix a leaky faucet.

“These children have very difficult lives, and it’s not easy to create a wide-open, accessible place where they can have so much fun. One smile from these kids, and I feel happier than anyone can imagine.”

“We can’t thank Boys Town Jerusalem enough for the warm, loving welcome they have given our children,” said Rabbi Amikam Tanamy, CEO of Ezer Mizion. “They’ve spared no effort to give us the space and facilities we need to create a fun, exciting environment for these very special kids.” Rabbi Tanamy noted that the camp was established not only for the children’s benefit. “We aim to give their parents and siblings a greatly-needed break as well.”

Five members of the hearty group of dedicated, hardworking teenage volunteers needed no introduction to Boys Town Jerusalem. The children of BTJ staff members, they lost no time rolling up their sleeves to help “their” campers take part in the host of activities.

“Helping others lies at the very core of the school’s philosophy of ‘Kol Yisrael areyvim zeh bazeh’, meaning each of us is responsible for one another.”

“It’s quite an experience to be involved in this project,” Daniel Yemini said. “These children have very difficult lives, and it’s not easy to create a wide-open, accessible place where they can have so much fun. One smile from these kids, and I feel happier than anyone can imagine.”

BTJ dean Rabbi Moshe Linchner stressed that this camp program for special-needs kids is but one of a host of instances where Boys Town Jerusalem reaches out to assist. “ Helping others lies at the very core of the school’s philosophy of Kol Yisrael areyvim zeh bazeh, meaning each of us is responsible for one another.”



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