December 2nd:- Today our 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students participated in the class screening of the English Bowl. The English Bowl is a competition of two-minute, English, formal presentations. In this first round of mini-talks, students self-selected a topic with which to present. All students spent the last week preparing, practicing, and editing their work in order to put forth their best effort for the class screening judges. The class screening judges included Mr. Salameh Bishara, Deputy Principal Salim Jaber, and Mrs. Chelsey Crary. The categories the judges used to evaluate each presentation included items such as content, organization, grammar, pronunciation, and poise. From each class, five students were selected to participate in the upcoming Internal Bowl, which will take place on March 14, 2014.
December 2nd – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem hosted a Christmas Bazaar for the Lutheran 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, hand-sewn embroideries, and other items. The bazaar was a hit, and it was especially exciting to see many of the visitors impressed by the work of the students.
December 5th – Pastor Ashraf and an older student from the 11th grade dressed up as Santa Claus. They went from class to class ringing bells, singing carols, and spreading joy and cheer by putting smiles on the faces of the students. Every class, from kindergarten to the twelfth grade, was greeted with a Christmas blessing and delicious chocolate treats. This is one thing we like to do every year for our students to brighten their moods during exam time and the last few weeks before the holiday. The whole event was accompanied by the German TV called ARD. They recorded an interview with our principal and pastor about the situation in the Palestinian Land and the Christmas atmosphere at the school.
December 6th – There was a drawing competition which was organized by the HCEF. Some of our students were interested in participating because they want to put their artistic skills to the test. We support our students’ creative interests and we are always 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 of music. Our students have been working with this group all year and it has been a great experience for them. It is important for our students to learn musical skills because it is an expressive outlet for them to build on their artistic side and creativity. This year, they will have another chance to perform during the Christmas party at the church.
December 17th – Students from the kindergarten through the third grade were invited to watch an interactive play about Christmas Season. It was a fun event for the children who were excited about the holidays. It is obvious that our school enjoys helping our students get into the spirit of the Christmas season with many kinds of entertaining and joyous events.
December 19th – 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 both gave speeches to the group. The teachers were also given a gift of appreciation and respect. The event was a nice way for the parents of our students to thank our teachers and celebrate all of their hard work throughout the year so far.
December 21st –There was a party at noon for all of the teachers to come together in the School Hall to eat peanuts and drink wine. Retired teachers and principals were also invited to celebrate and join the event with our current teachers, YAGM and volunteers. It was a time for fun, fellowship, and sharing in the Christmas spirit.
December 23rd – We held a Christmas service at 5:00 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 very proud of our students for their participation in the service.
December 23rd – We had a Christmas party at 8:00 p.m. (after the Christmas service) at the Ararat Hotel restaurant in Beit Sahour. It was a party for all of the Lutheran schools in the Bethlehem and Ramallah areas. It was fun to get together to celebrate before the holiday. We had a wonderful turnout including all of the teachers, administrations, German and American volunteers (YAGM), and many families and friends of the schools and churches. We all ate a delicious dinner together, and it was a wonderful way to end this part of the school year.
December 24th – Our choir of the school participated in the Beit Sahour event called ‘The Annual Christmas Shepherded Nights,’ when they sang many Christmas hymns and songs. The audiences were pleased to hear these songs and it was a very special event. After that, all the people of Beit Sahour and others walked in a procession of lights to the Downtown grocery store, where everyone helped light the town Christmas tree.