IT was an inspirational meeting in Israel last week, when a team of students from Boys Town Jerusalem (BTJ) – who were recently crowned Israel’s First Tech Challenge robotics champions – were personally congratulated by Australian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem (AFBTJ) chair David Selig.
During his visit to the school, Selig told the students, “I am here to tell you that we in Australia are grateful to you, [because] we gain strength from our pride in Israel, and the ability to help young men like you, who will contribute to the world.”
Selig, the chair of AFBTJ since its inception in 2018, emphasised how Australians, through the charity, are generously providing greatly needed scholarships to needy students at the school, as well as contributing to improve dormitories.
“Unlike many organisations, AFBTJ can assure donors that every dollar gets excellent bang for the buck.
“We keep our operating costs to the barest minimum, with no expenses for offices and manpower.”
Selig praised the activities spurred by Sydney-born Ilana Kaplan, who has served as BTJ’s Australian development coordinator since she moved to Israel with her family in 2019.
Kaplan and Selig lauded the recent addition of two new Melbourne-based trustees to the AFBTJ board, Ben Rubens and Yechiel Belfer.
“The Melbourne community can play a crucial role as well in helping BTJ cultivate Israel’s up-and-coming generation of technological leaders with strong moral values,” Selig said.
After meeting young students from across the BTJ campus, Selig reflected, “I view our work to help this school as a very Zionistic pursuit.
“It’s a massive accomplishment to take students, largely from disadvantaged homes … and transform them into positive building blocks of the State of Israel.
“For us, to take even a minor role in this mission, is a privilege.”
Selig confirmed Kaplan will be in Sydney and Melbourne until March 20. To arrange a meeting with her to learn more about BTJ, email email@example.com