Amir Kisar, 50, has been unanimously selected by the Boys Town Jerusalem Board of Directors to assume the position of CEO, following the retirement of Natan Tal. Kisar’s move to the CEO’S office marks the highest peak in a journey that began when he first entered Boys Town Jerusalem as a thirteen-year-old student.
The son of Yemenite immigrants to Israel, Amir’s youth was spent on a moshav (cooperative agricultural community) where he and his four siblings worked alongside their parents to raise chickens and green vegetables. Although the moshav was secular, Amir felt a thirst for Jewish knowledge from a young age. His mother’s brother, a rabbi, thus suggested that Amir live and study at Boys Town Jerusalem from seventh grade.
“I remember walking onto the campus and being so impressed at the sight of the big new dormitory and the sports fields,” he smiles. “The shock came on Day One when the lessons just did not stop. At home, school ended at 1:30 PM. At Boys Town, we studied straight through till 6:00 PM!”
Time seemed to pass the quickest in his Jewish studies classes, where the rabbi encouraged the class to discuss the philosophical questions that Amir posed. As Amir became more traditional in his outlook, his rabbis made certain that the boy’s relationship with his family and community remained strong and respectful.
Following his graduation from BTJ, Amir served in the IDF as a combat soldier. He later completed a BA in Accounting and Management at the Jerusalem College of Technology, as well as qualifying as a tax consultant and CPA. “After I married, BTJ founder Rabbi Alexander Linchner, z’l, called to ask me to come ‘home,’” Amir said. First appointed as the school’s internal auditor, he later became the comptroller.
Amir Kisar is confident that his background in finance will be an asset to his new responsibilities as CEO. “Above all, I personally know the power of a Boys Town Jerusalem education. This school is 100% committed to building a young man and granting him tools for life. Thousands of graduates making major contributions to Israel are the clear proof of BTJ’s success.”
As for the new CEO’s primary challenges, he stresses the need to maintain Boys Town’s edge in technology education in today’s competitive era. Teachers, too, must be trained to master the latest instructional technology. “Of course, budgetary demands are a major concern,” Amir admits, “especially when I see the terrible hardships our boys face at home. Their parents have no means to pay any tuition. However, with the continued help of our donors throughout the world, Boys Town can rescue these young men from the destructive cycle of poverty and give them and their children a chance for a better life.”