As the moment came for Meir to read from the Torah at his long-awaited Bar Mitzvah ceremony, his father stood proudly next to him, alongside his Boys Town Jerusalem rabbis and teachers. The service, held in the school’s synagogue on Monday, was attended by Meir’s entire seventh grade class. Yet no one could help thinking of the one person who was missing: Meir’s mom, who died when he was only five years old.

“Although Meir’s father remarried and he has two younger stepsisters who adore him, the boy is still grieving,” said Boys Town Jerusalem Junior High Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz. “As his Bar Mitzvah approached, he told me in tears that he just couldn’t face the thought of going through with the ceremony. He asked if he could have his Bar Mitzvah at Boys Town Jerusalem, with his teachers and his class, where he felt secure. I spoke with his father who respected his son’s wishes, and we were honored to host the event here.”

Following the service in the Boys Town Jerusalem synagogue, Meir and his class, along with his father, stepmother and two sisters, enjoyed a homemade breakfast in a dedicated room, accompanied by music and dancing. Following the festivities, the entire class went go-carting before returning to their lessons. Meir beamed with happiness throughout.

Addressing Meir and his classmates, Rabbi Rosencrantz said, “What happens to you as a child you take with you for the rest of your life. Yet the choice of how you live your life is yours to make. Meir, you have the special ability to give honor and joy to your parents and your friends. May your entire life be filled with success, meaning and great happiness!”

Due to the family’s inability to cover the cost, Meir’s Bar Mitzvah celebration was paid for by generous Boys Town Jerusalem donors. For information on how you can help give a disadvantaged boy the gift of a wonderful Bar Mitzvah, please contact Boys Town Jerusalem at 800-469-2697 /


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