By the time Daniel*, a ninth grader, and his younger brother Ethan*, a new seventh grader, began their studies at Boys Town Jerusalem this year both brothers were drained of the energy or desire to even smile.

Poverty, hunger, and cancer

For over two years, their family’s poverty has grown unbearable. Their father lost his job in the early days of the Covid epidemic, and has not found employment since. Their mother works at odd jobs whenever possible, but food has become scarce and nearly impossible to purchase. Yet, the most recent blow, Daniel’s diagnosis of a cancerous tumor, has plunged the entire family into a crisis of massive dimensions.

BTJ is doing everything it can thanks to its supporters

“Our school has mobilized a team of social workers, teachers, and rabbis to aid both brothers and their parents as well,” explains BTJ Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosenkrantz. “Not surprisingly, Daniel’s younger brother Ethan is confronting his stress by turning to delinquency, smoking, and truancy. To help Ethan, we’re working to set clear limits of behavior while showing him the sensitivity and love he so desperately needs.” Daniel is being provided with tutoring to help him keep up with his studies as he undergoes cancer treatments, in conjunction with the rabbis and social worker who are at his side for emotional support. Beyond, the school is turning to generous supporters to cover the costs of tuition, books, extracurricular activities and food parcels for Daniel and Ethan.

“This family’s world has been struck by hardship,” Rabbi Rosenkrantz says sadly. “The Boys Town Jerusalem family is determined to provide as much support, strength and hope as we possibly can.”

*not their real names

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