July 18, 2024
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Boys Town Jerusalem Makes Strides in Israeli War on Hunger

With the latest Israeli statistics indicating a surge in poverty and a record number of children who go to sleep hungry, the head of Boys Town Jerusalem’s massive food services department is proud of the school’s ability to provide hearty, nutritious meals for students. Yet, Mrs. Tova Rottenberg, director of the department, views the emotional aspects of her work as being quite vital as well.

The Boys Town Jerusalem kitchen is one of the few Israeli educational institutions to prepare and serve three fresh, nutritious meals daily for students and staff. This commitment involves the preparation of nearly 3,000 meals daily at a cost of $7,000 per day on food alone. Tova is personally responsible for planning and overseeing the purchase of food products for the school’s everyday needs, such as 2,337 eggs, 220 pounds of potatoes, 330 pounds of meat, 120 loaves of bread and much, much more. Yet, her passion each school day is to greet every student as she personally serves him his main course, and then to circulate throughout the lunchroom to make sure that “her boys” are all eating well.

“We’re well aware that these meals are the only food that many of our students will receive. Their homes are empty. We are truly involved in a lifesaving mission,” Tova admits.

BTJ’s resident social worker Rivka Hakakian vigorously concurs. “It’s impossible to overestimate the value of three meals a day for a student’s success and well-being.”

Boys Town Jerusalem is one of Israel’s premier institutions for educating the country’s next generation of leaders in the fields of technology, commerce, education, the military and public service. Since its founding in 1948, BTJ has pursued its mission of turning young boys from limited backgrounds into young men with limitless futures. From junior high through the college level, the three-part curriculum at Boys Town—academic, technological and Torah—is designed to turn otherwise disadvantaged Israeli youth into productive citizens of tomorrow. Boys Town’s 18-acre campus is a home away from home for its more than 900 students. More than 7,000 graduates hold key positions throughout Israeli society.

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