The Keser Shem Tov program was born from the educational advocacy program at the WorkAtIt organization. WorkAtIt helps support young men and women in the Jewish community to find meaningful work; part of their work involves helping clients find the next steps in their education. We have seen young people who had given up hope, but who were ultimately able to find their inner light and strength after finding support in their efforts to succeed in the ways that worked best for them.
These young people have tremendous promise and potential and often have not been able to actualize their greatness within the traditional school system. Keser Shem Tov is aimed at giving them a chance to be part of a strong, supportive community to help these young people find their place and thrive.
Below are some of their stories.
Baruch had been to a number of yeshivas over his teenage years. He faced a difficult family situation at home, and he came across as very quiet and closed and he did not connect well with others. Through discussions with his former yeshivas, we were able to figure out a path for Baruch to graduate. He took courses at a local tutoring center and gained the skills he needed to finish his high school diploma and to take the SATs. Armed with a sense of dignity and belonging, he then felt that he was ready to lift himself up and spend time learning in Eretz Yisroel before moving on to the next stages in his life.
Frieda struggled with dyslexia and never was very good at school. Bouncing from yeshiva to yeshiva, she was not able to accumulate enough credits to get a high school diploma. With a passion for a career in an art-related field and with years of work experience behind her, we found a way to use various resources to complete her high school diploma requirements. Once she was motivated with an end-goal, Frieda found that she was pretty good at school and she did very well. Her newfound sense of accomplishment has opened up many doors for her.
Asher's Rosh Yeshiva realized how important it would be for him to spend time outside of the walls of the yeshiva working at a job. Working together with the yeshiva and Asher's parents, we helped develop a plan that would work for Asher. With the help of family and friends, Asher was partnered with a community member to work with him and learn his trade, while still being able to be in yeshiva with his rebbi and friends.