web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Yad Eliezer’s Big Brother Program: An Interview With Eli Yakobi

Yad-020813-Soccer

Again the phone rings; Eli shoots off an email.

“A young man told me he wants to be a big brother. I asked how he heard of us, and he asked me whether I recognized him. Ten years earlier, as the son of divorced impoverished parents, he was suffering socially and academically, and had received a mentor from Yad Eliezer. I asked if he is still in touch with his mentor. He laughed. ‘He’s like my father! I talk to him all the time!’ I asked him when he knew that the relationship with his mentor was real and lasting. He said, ‘One day he looked through my backpack. There wasn’t much − a torn pencil case, half a broken pencil, a few ratty notebooks. He took me to the stationary store where he picked up a stack of notebooks. He stuffed nice pencils, erasers and markers into a new pencil case until it overflowed. He paid for it all from his pocket. Embarrassed, I asked him why he was doing this. He told me, “You’re a smart kid. I want you to have supplies like all the other kids.” Then I knew that he really cared about me.’

“I told the young man to wait as I checked his file in the computer,” continued Rabbi Yakobi. “Sure enough, I found in the log kept by his mentor that he had taken him to buy school supplies, and since then, his little brother had opened up to him. This ‘little brother’ is now a ‘big brother’ passing on the legacy.”

After the Big Brother program’s first decade, an outside study surveyed 1000 graduates (100 randomly selected from each year of the program). Given the students’ troubled family and school situations, it could not be taken for granted that they would succeed in life. A whopping 87% were in school or holding down a job. For such an at-risk group the figures are a powerful testament to the success of the project.

“Recently a bridegroomcame in on his wedding day. I often get wedding invitations, but an invitation in person on the day of the wedding? That was a first! He came together with his mentor, and said, ‘My father is in jail − with good reason. My mentor is the only father I know. Tonight he and his wife will walk us to the chuppah. If not for you, I don’t know where I would be today − certainly not where I am − more likely where my father is. I had to invite you in person.’ Then the mentor asked if I recognized him. I did. I had arranged for him to have a mentor when he was sixteen years old and still could not read. I was moved to hear that he is working, getting a good education and heading a family. ‘I learned to invest in a child,’ he said, ‘from you.’”

Our interview had ended, but I had one more question for Rabbi Yakobi. “Forgive me if this is a little personal, but I have to ask. Did something in your background attract you to this work?”

“Thank G-d, I grew up in a regular family. Both my parents worked in education and we had dozens of ‘adopted siblings’ who became part of my family. Today all my siblings are involved in education; perhaps it’s in my blood.”

“Well, in that case, your parents must be very proud to have 25,000 grandchildren.”

About the Author: The author can be reached at Shalvi@Yadeliezer.org


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Yad Eliezer’s Big Brother Program: An Interview With Eli Yakobi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Herzilya's vertical cemetery vaults.
PA Arabs Found Sleeping Peacefully in Herzliya Graves
Latest Indepth Stories
Medics evacuate the dead and injured after attack on Har Nof synagogue Tuesday morning.

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

Dalia Lemkos, HY"D Is this the image you think of when you hear the word "settler?"

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.

More Articles from Shalvi Weissman
Yad-020813-Soccer

A young man told me he wants to be a big brother. I asked how he heard of us, and he asked me whether I recognized him. Ten years earlier, as the son of divorced impoverished parents, he was suffering socially and academically, and had received a mentor from Yad Eliezer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/yad-eliezers-big-brother-program-an-interview-with-eli-yakobi/2013/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: