Newsletters 2007/2008

December Newsletter 2012

December 1st – There was a football tournament held by the Palestinian National Authority-Ministry of Education in the Bethlehem District. The tournament was for the basic elementary classes of the school and our students were eager to participate in the competition. We played in three matches and won the first two, but we lost the last match and ended up placing second in the tournament. Our sporting activities are always a source of pride for the school and we congratulated our athletes for representing our school well


December 3rd – On this day, our Dabkeh dancing group came back from Italy. There was an invitation to the Beit Sahour Municipality to take a Dabkeh group abroad and show off this tradition of Palestinian folklore dancing. They had stayed in Italy for two weeks and were welcomed with a lot of excitement when they performed. We are proud of our students for having the courage to display their talents abroad. This is a good way to represent our school as well as Palestine in general

December 5th – The 10th grade and 11th grade classes went to the Women’s Union Club in Beit Sahour to attend a lecture about people with mental handicaps. They learned a lot about these kinds of disabilities and developed an understanding of the needs of the people who suffer from them. It was important to do this, because they are now more acquainted with how to incorporate these needs into the priorities of the local society. This is something that is often lacking in the society today.


December 6th – We had a volunteer and an older student dress up as Santa Clauses. They went from class to class ringing bells, singing carols, and simply putting smiles on the faces of the students. Every class from kindergarten to the twelfth grade was greeted with a Christmas blessing and a chocolate treat. This is one of the actions we do for students to brighten their moods around exam time and the last few weeks before the holiday

December 6th – There was a drawing competition which was organized by the HCEF. Some of our students were interested in participating because of their artistic skills. One of our students, Michael Rishmawi (9th grade), placed in the top ten of the competition. We support our students’ creative interests and are thrilled when they do well in competitions like this

December 8th – The Brass for Peace musical group came to the school and implemented a program for our participating students. They played their instruments in a 20 minute piece. Our students have been working with this group all year and it has been a great experience. It is important for our students to learn musical skills because it is outlet for them to build on their  artistic side and creativity

December 8th – 25 Swedish visitors came to the school and took a tour of the grounds. We always enjoy having foreign groups come to visit because it is a way to show the world what the Palestinian culture, society, and education is like. The group saw what programs (both education and extracurricular) the school offers our students and was impressed with our dedication to education

December 8th and 9th – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beit Sahour hosted a Christmas Bazaar for the community. Many things were on display at the bazaar such as edible treats, decorative items, clothes, handicrafts, books, etc. Some of the handicrafts that were available for sale were made by our students in their activities at school. These included some olive wood carvings, some homemade candles, embroideries, and other items. The bazaar was a hit, and it was exciting to see many of the visitors impressed by the work of the students especially


December 12th – Our Parent Council celebrated Palestinian Teachers’ Day with us. After school all of the teachers gathered with the parents to eat kanafeh, a traditional Palestinian sweet, and have social time. The president of the Parent Council and the headmaster of the school gave speeches. The teachers were also each given a pen and special day-planner as a gift of appreciation. The event was a nice way for the parents to thank our teachers for all of their hard work so far this year


December 13th – We celebrated Palestinian Teachers’ Day again, this time hosted by the General Assembly of Private Christian Schools in the area. We gathered at the Latin Patriarch School in Beit Sahour for refreshments, games, and later a lunch. All of the teachers who were interested in playing volleyball were divided into random teams (mixing teachers from each school with each other) and there was a tournament. There was also a table tennis tournament. All of the teachers had a great time and the lunch was delicious. Each school was also recognized with a plaque of appreciation


December 15th – The school was visited by Saint Nicholas who came to the school to bring Christmas cheer. He greeted the students in the first through fourth grade and handed out chocolates to them. This visit was sponsored by the Tent of Nations which is an organization that takes joy in many kinds of youth activities, for example raising the spirits of the children around the Christmas holiday


December 15th – After the school day all of the Lutheran schools in the Bethlehem area got together to celebrate Palestinian Teachers’ Day at Talitha Kumi School, an ELCJHL affiliated school in Beit Jala. Teachers from all of the schools were there for more volleyball fun, time for fellowship, and a relaxing day. There was a buffet lunch at the end of the day, and again each school was recognized with a plaque. It is indeed a special time of year in which each teacher is able to feel the love and support from the parents, fellow teachers, school administration, and school system

December 17th – Students from the kindergarten through the fourth grade were invited to watch an interactive play, Fanta-Raus, to celebrate Christmas. It was a fun event for the children who are excited about the holidays. It is obvious that our school enjoys making our students happy with many kinds of fun events around the holiday season

December 19th – Xanten, a group of people from Germany, visited our school for a tour. The group enjoyed learning about what our school has to offer and about the Lutheran school programs in general. It was important to show them that our school is very committed to the success of our students and for preparing them for a life when they graduate and continue to grow older

December 20th – There was a party at noon in order for all of the teachers to come together in the School Hall to stuff bags of peanuts to hand out on the party on the 22nd (described below). Retired teachers and principals were also invited to celebrate and join the event with the teachers. It was a time for fun, fellowship, and sharing in the Christmas spirit

December 22nd – We held a Christmas service at 7:00 p.m. in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beit Sahour. There were performances by the school choir and we had many visitors, parents, and community members attend. The bishop of the ELCJHL came to support us as well. It was a wonderful event to celebrate the holiday season with the students before they took their holiday from school. We are proud of our students for participating in the service

December 22nd – We had a Christmas party at 8:00 p.m. (after the Christmas service) at a restaurant in Beit Jala (called Dé Jà Vu). It was a party for all of the Lutheran schools in the Bethlehem area. It was fun to get together to celebrate before the holiday. We had a wonderful turn out as all of the teachers, administrations, German and American volunteers, and many family and friends of the schools and churches attended for dinner. It was delicious and a wonderful way to end this part of the school year


November Newsletter 2012

Knowing Your Country Program – The three Lutheran schools organized trips to Jerusalem for all classes from the Kindergarten to the 12th grade. Every Monday and Wednesday in the month one grade from each school went to Jerusalem. The program is important for the students to visit the historical/religious sites in their country and understand the significance of where they live. Next semester there will be a two-day excursion planned for each class to another city in Palestine.
November 1st – The school applied to the Bethlehem Directorate of Education for an initiative of “e-learning” with the schools of the Bethlehem area. It was one of five schools to receive the initiative and we will use the new system next term in the Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology lessons in the classes.
November 3rd – Our Choir was invited to participate in a Music Festival in Abilene Village in the North of Palestine. The audiences were fascinated by the performance of the group. The choir is a source of pride for the school and they work very hard to be able to be invited to such events.
November 10th – There was a visit by the American Agriculture and Forest Department to the school. They took a tour of the school and were also shown some of the projects of the school’s Environmental Club. For example, they saw what the club did in regards to recycling car tires and how the school uses them to plant flowers etc.  They also learned how to recycle paper and use it again.
November 14th – There was a school assembly held in honor of the Palestinian Independence Day, which is on November 15th. There was a school holiday on the 15th because of this. The assembly included several speeches and readings by students from many grades. There was also a musical performance by the school choir and the school’s Dabkah dancing group. The event was filled with patriotism and energy, and the students were excited to have such a special time to honor their country.

November 24th – A group of 40 people from Sweden visited the school. They took a tour around the campus and learned about the school’s history and its development throughout the years. Also, they visited some of the classes to experience the different programs that we implement in the school. They were delighted to hear about the success of the school.
November 20 – December 3 – Our school’s Dabkah dancing group went to Italy to perform overseas. It was a good trip because they were able to share our culture with people elsewhere in the world, and at the same time they absorbed some of the European culture. It is wonderful to allow our students to have the opportunity to travel at such a young age. It broadens their ambitions and their world understanding.
November 27 – We had the school’s screening for the annual Spelling Bee. Each student in 8th-10th grade was given a list of about 100 words to know how to spell. During the respective classes in the morning, we judged the students on spelling with the official format and rules of the Bee. The screening was exciting and showed off just how impressive the students were at spelling the English words. We chose 8 students from each class to move on and in a later screening we will choose 2 from these 8 to represent the school in May’s Spelling Bee.
November 30 – The Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour arranged a tournament for the matches between the four Lutheran schools. Each team played each other once and the results were compared throughout the group. Beit Sahour came in first place! There was a large crowd to support the teams. It was good to see our students cheer for their football team with excitement and school pride. All of the students and teachers who participated in the tournament had lunch afterward. It was a joy to host this annual tradition that has been held every year since 1984 at The Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour

Sept. 2012 Newsletter

The school did some construction work in the playground. We removed the wall which separated the football playground and the basketball playground and added three steps. The idea is to have a space for the students to sit under the trees away from the burning sun. Moreover, we can use them when doing activities, events and other ceremonies.

Sept. 4th:

The Berlin Mission Work (BMW) visited the school. Dr. Charlie Haddad gave a speech about the mission of the church and schools for 20 min. They joined the principal, Mr. Shawki Hawwash, and Deputy Principal, Mr. Salim Jaber, in a tour around the school. They got a good idea about the programs that the school provides to students, especially the extracurricular programs.

Sept. 11th:

A Music Therapy program started in the school. It is a six week program including teachers and students from the kindergarten through the sixth grade. The program is run and conducted by two teachers from Wales University, who are specialists in the field.

Sept. 14th:

The leadership training with the Peer Coaching Program began and it will last for three years. This is the second time we have given it to four teachers from the school. Three teachers have graduated from this program.

Sept. 23rd:

: A German group of 14 students and 3 teachers are visiting the school. They will stay for one week. They will have a program and join German and English language classes. Also, the school has arranged a scheduled to visit Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. This group is from the city of Xanten, Germany. There is a twinning between the two municipalities – Xanten and Beit Sahour – and also with their school and ours (ELS).

Sept. 21st:

A new environmental program starts in the school with the Environmental Club in the school. The idea of it is to let the students be responsible for the environment they live in. This program is sponsored by the American Agriculture and Forest Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There will be three field trips for the students. Also they will work in recycling car tires for planting and beautified them.

Teaching music:

A music program started in September and will end in May next year 2013. We will teach students how to play musical instruments especially, the brass instruments. A group from Germany called “Brass for Peace” is leading the program. This is their third time doing it and there are 30 students participating in three different levels.

October Newsletter 2012

Oct. 6 2012: The election of the Student Senate – We had the election for the student Senate. There was a debate between the candidates, during which each one gave a presentation in front of the whole student body. Eleven members were elected at the end of the day and the students were very delighted to practice the democratic process in their school

Oct. 7 2012: The Freedom Race – The Scouts and the Evangelical Lutheran Church organized a running race (a 5k run) for people from different schools, businesses, etc. in the area. The goal was to raise money and awareness for steadiness in the country. There were hundreds of participants and the streets were full of multi-colored runners. The race was fun, the people were energetic and overall the event was a great success

Music Therapy session for all teachers – With the six-week Music Therapy program coming to an end, we had a meeting for all of the teachers to experience the methods of the therapists. The teachers gathered in the music room and acted like the students for a one hour session. They played the instruments, conducted each other, and learned first-hand what Music Therapy can do for the students. Hopefully this will help the teachers work together in continuing this therapy after the visiting professionals leave


Oct. 11 2012: The election of a new Parent Council for the school – We had a meeting on Thursday the 11th at 4 p.m. and the parents and teachers met in order to discuss the programs of the school and to vote for a new Parent Council at ELS. There were a good number of people in attendance and the election was successful. Twelve parents were elected for the parent Council by the others

Oct. 13 2012: Visit from the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) – A group of 13 consultants from the NCA in Norway visited the school. The NCA supports the Lutheran Church and its schools in Palestine. The visit was important for the relationship between the Lutherans in the two countries. It is support from groups like this that keep our school running so efficiently

Oct. 15 2012: Chinese visitors from Finland – A Chinese group from the Lutheran Church of Finland were visiting the Holy Land for a week. Part of their program was to visit the church and school in Beit Sahour so as to get an idea about what the role of the Lutheran Church is here. They toured the school and learned about what the school offers the students, both academically and in an extracurricular way

Oct. 16 2012: Chess Championship – The Evangelical Lutheran School participated in the Chess Championship which was organized by the Directorate of Education in Bethlehem between all schools, public and private. Our team came in first place. Chess is just one of many extracurricular activities that our school offers for our students

Oct. 17 2012: Soccer Match – The school had a soccer match between the 11th and the 12th grade classes. The whole student body attended and filled the seating areas around the field. The 11th grade team was exciting early, with an early goal and some solid defense; however, the 12th grade stormed back with some skillful attacks and won the match 5-2. The match was fun, but it was also good for the school’s morale

Newsletter May 2012

1. The Director of Education Office  sponsored a General Education Event that was prepared throughout the entire
  2011/2012 academic year and culminated on May 5, 2012. All four Lutheran
  schools participated in the various competitions, which included a Fourth Grade
  Question and Answer competition, an Arabic Bowl, an English Bowl, and an 
  Eleventh Grade Question and Answer competition. Planning involved various
  brainstorming and organizational meetings between educators and the DEO, as
  well as  training for judges, volunteers, and teachers.
      Students went through aseries of screening competitions at their schools or were nominated by their
  teachers. After the student Finalists were selected, they prepared by studying,
  reviewing, and practicing their knowledge and skills both in class and at home.
  Students learned new skills on presenting information and increased their base
  knowledge. All competitions worked off of information that students had been
  learning and working on over the past academic year. The day of the event
  involved many guest speakers, including ELCJHL Bishop Dr. Munib Younan and
  Director of Education Dr. Charlie Haddad, and featured speeches and musical
  performances by students from all four Lutheran schools. Students, teachers,
  administrators, and visitors enjoyed the event and expressed their desire for
  such an event to continue in years to come, citing the benefits of the skills
  learned and the discipline that resulted from students needing to prepare and
  work together with students from other schools