Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Presidential Citation for Excellence
Date: August 2015

<b><Center>Presidential Citation for Excellence</center></b>
BTJ graduate, Matan Malichi, is to the right of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Israel Air Force Sergeant Matan Malichi, 21, a 2012 graduate of Boys Town Jerusalem, was among the 120 Israel Defense Forces soldiers cited for excellence by President Ruby Rivlin at a gala ceremony on Israel’s 67st Independence Day. The award was presented to Malichi and his comrades at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem in the presence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The Israeli Air Force paid its own traditional salute to the soldiers in an impressive aeronautic “flyover” held during the ceremony.

For Sgt. Matan Malichi, the award was a tribute to his devotion to duty and his professionalism in assuming command of his unit when the superior officer was reassigned to a special mission. Malichi serves in the Air Force Technology and Logistics Branch in a unit geared for training observant recruits to operate the Air Force’s heavy machinery and equipment. From building electrical and mechanical infrastructures to operating armored bulldozers and other engineering and construction missions, these soldiers make a major contribution to Israel’s security.

Matan himself enlisted in this unit “because I wanted to serve my country while maintaining my religious values.” He soon rose to the rank of sergeant, and made the smooth transition to leading the unit when the situation dictated. Rabbi Elimelech Yaakov, director of Jewish Studies at Boys Town Jerusalem, noted that Matan Malichi was an excellent high school student who already showed strong leadership capabilities. Malichi, whose family is of Yemenite origin, attended Boys Town for four years and majored in Electronics and Computers.

In presenting the Exemplary Soldier award to Matan Malichi and the other prizewinners, President Ruby Rivlin declared, “The IDF is outstanding not because of its force, but because of its spirit.”

“The ceremony was a very exciting moment in my life,” Matan admitted. “Now I look forward to my last five months of IDF service, where I’ll continue to lead my unit until someone comes to replace me. It’s been a great challenge and a great honor for me to serve.”

Matan Malichi is the sixth Boys Town Jerusalem graduate to be granted the Presidential Award for Exemplary IDF Soldiers.


Boys Town Jerusalem (Hebrew: קרית נוער ירושלים‎, Kiryat Noar Yerushalayim) is an Orthodox Jewish orphanage and educational institution in Jerusalem, Israel. Founded in 1949, it houses over 850 boys aged 12 to 20 on its 18 acres (7.3 ha) Bayit Vegan campus[3] and provides on-site religious, secular, and technological education on the junior high through college levels.[4]

It is the largest yeshiva/vocational school in the world[5] and is one of Israel's most important technological training centers.[6][7] It maintains a close working relationship with the Israel Defense Forces, which partnered in the founding of its on-campus College of Applied Engineering and makes frequent use of that college's facilities and graduates.[8] It also has a publishing division. Boys Town Jerusalem originated the Jan Zwartendijk Award for Humanitarian Ethics and Values, which it awards annually to Holocaust-era rescuers and other proponents of humanitarian values.[9]



Boys Town Jerusalem was founded in 1949 by Rabbi Alexander Linchner (1908–1997),[10] a native of Brooklyn, New York, and son-in-law of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz.[11] Linchner sought to establish a home for child Holocaust survivors,[12] war refugees, and impoverished immigrants.[13] He was encouraged by his father-in-law, who urged him from his deathbed "to go to Israel and save the Sephardi children from secularism".[5] Linchner based his educational model on the Torah im Derech Eretz (Torah study combined with work) approach articulated by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.[3][10]

Initial enrollment was 14 Yemenite Jewish children[3][10] in a refugee camp.[14] In 1953 the school moved into prefab huts in Bayit Vegan.[15] Its current campus opened in 1964.[10] By 1968, enrollment was at 650; by 1985 it had reached 1,000.[15]

From its inception, Boys Town Jerusalem continually expanded its academic, vocational and recreational facilities. During the second half of the 1950s, vocational schools for printing, precision mechanics, and furniture design were opened, and the first high school class was graduated. In the 1960s, schools of lithography, electronics, and technical education were established. The 1970s saw the opening of the College of Applied Engineering, a computer center, a recreation center, and junior high school. The 1980s introduced special programs developed for Russian, Iranian, and Ethiopian immigrant students. The 1990s and 2000s saw the addition of a Torah and Technology Academy, an electronics center, an interdisciplinary Holocaust studies program, and a special program for French immigrants.[15]

After Linchner's death in 1997, his son, Rabbi Moshe Linchner, assumed the position of dean and his grandson, Rabbi Meir Linchner, became rosh yeshiva of the orphanage's yeshiva.[3]

Student body

Boys Town Jerusalem enrolls students from 45 different countries.[16] The staff includes speakers of many languages, including French[17] and Persian.[3] Special cultural programs include:
  • Naale Zion program for French students who come to Israel without their parents[15]
  • Naale OhrDessa program for Russian immigrant students[18]
  • Ethiopian program[15]
Approximately two-thirds of the population are Sephardi Jews.[14] The majority of boys are from economically-deprived families and receive scholarship assistance.[16] Students are encouraged to live on campus and are served kosher meals.[1]

All students are required to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, and most become Israeli citizens.[12] Over the course of its history, 61 graduates and three staff members have fallen in the line of duty.[1]

Academic curriculum

Boys Town Jerusalem operates a three-track academic curriculum consisting of Judaic, academic, and technological studies.[4]

Judaic studies

The on-site yeshiva is called Tiferet Yerushalayim–S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program.[19]

Academic studies

Students attend grades 7 through 12 on campus, completing the full academic curriculum mandated by the Israel Ministry of Education.[1] The school also schedules daily, 3-hour tutoring groups to prepare high school seniors for their Bagrut (matriculation) examinations. In 2012 the school received a special commendation from the Israel Ministry of Education for the large number of students passing the Bagrut examinations in 2010 and 2011. The Ministry noted that 73.5% of Boys Town Jerusalem graduates earned full matriculation certificates, compared to a national average of 50% of high school students.[20] Boys also engage in community service projects such as camp counseling and assembling home care equipment.[12]

Scientific and technological training


Boys Town Jerusalem operates two college-level programs, the Technical Teachers College and the College of Applied Engineering. Students in the latter college have the option to pursue a 2-year or 4-year degree.[12] The College of Applied Engineering was established in 1971[15] in partnership with the Israel Defense Forces, which makes use of its facilities and graduates.[8] Students receive a 2-year deferment from military service in order to attend the College, and then commit themselves to a minimum 4-year service in the IDF as applied engineers.[8]

In the 2000s the IDF established several specialized programs at the College of Applied Engineering. The Shachak program trains a select group of electronics students for work on technological support teams in the Israel Air Force. The Marom program trains English and mathematics students to be officers in the Israel Ordnance Corps.[21]

Courses at the College of Applied Engineering include electronics, computer science, precision mathematics, and computer-aided design and manufacturing.[22] In 2013 a robotics laboratory was installed. This laboratory will also provide training for electronics specialists for the Israel Air Force and Ordnance Corps.[23]

Among the products developed by Boys Town Jerusalem engineering students are a hand-held orientation device for the blind and a security system for Israeli settlements.[12]

Other programs


In 2011 an animal therapy pilot was initiated by request of the Israel Ministry of Education. This project has expanded to accommodate students with emotional issues.[3] The orphanage also offers art therapy, music therapy, psychodrama, and psychotherapy.[3]


Rabbi Alexander Linchner zt'l - Founder -Brilliant Visionary
Rabbi Moshe Linchner


  • Rabbi Moshe Linchner, Dean
  • Rabbi Meir Linchner, Rosh Yeshiva