Smiles of Joy From Disabled Children’s Day Camp at BTJ
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.
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.
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.”