By: Yereth Rosen
Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom
After years of toil, sweat, blood, tears, hours and hours of meetings, enlisting the help of community representatives, and heaping frustration, Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom was B'H launched.
Housed in the mainstream Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, our boys have finally come home. They have come home to their families who are frum, Torah-loving, erlicha Yidden, who have dreamt all these years of raising their special needs children in the very same ways. They have come home to their communities who have been watching with pity as these boys boarded public school busses morning after morning, year after year. They have come home to their local shuls whose members now see these special neshamos davening with kavanah and enthusiasm, after having been denied this privilege for so many years. They have come home to their Creator, who made them in His image, holy, pure neshamos, whose spiritual beings were suppressed for so long under the public school guise of separation of Church and State. Our children have come home, indeed, and we welcome them with open arms and hearts.
When visiting Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom one should expect to leave one's heart there. To walk into a sharply-lit, spanking clean classroom in a mainstream yeshiva, with frum Rebbes, teachers, and assistants teaching our special sons is truly a dream come true and a novelty in the twenty first century. To watch our boys daven, 'leig' tefillin, learn 'mishnayos', recite 'chumash', review 'halachos' and 'shteig away' like their 'normal' counterparts in yeshivas all over the world, can only be described as a true Kiddush Hashem.
Lunch with the mainstream yeshiva is an experience unto itself. Our boys stand in line with their trays in hand, cafeteria style, along with hundreds of other yeshiva bochurim and wait patiently until the kitchen hands serve them their meals. They then sit down at their designated tables and eat with manners and 'geshmack'. Wonderful friendships have already formed between our students and those of Torah Vodaath.
After lunch, secular instruction makes up the afternoon sessions. Then our students are taught math, spelling, reading, comprehension, social studies, etc. They also integrate life skills into everything that is taught and learnt, incorporating science projects and educational trips into the daily curriculum.
All this came about because of Rav Pam's ZT"L foresight and encouragement. Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom was one of his last 'projects' prior to his petirah, and he urged the Board of Torah Vodaath to do everything within their ability to enable this project to come to fruition. As a credit to this great gadol ZT"L, the students of Bonim Lamokom learned 'mishnayos l'ilu nishmas' HaRav Pam for a full year.
Our children have come home…Hashem's children, the Bonim Lamokom, have come home, at last.