December Newsletter 2015

This week the high school juniors of ELS watched the award-winning documentary, The Wanted 18.  The film, a combination of clay-motion, interviews, original footage and re-enactments, is about a group of Beit Sahourians who, during the first Intifada, bought 18 cows with the intention of starting their own dairy farm in order to bypass having to purchase Israeli dairy products.  It was priceless to watch the students’ faces light up as their neighbors and relatives filled the screen to tell of their ingenious acts of civil disobedience during the first Intifada here in Beit Sahour. Following the movie were two days of discussions.  We combined discussion of the film and the first Intifada with the situation happening now that is greatly impacting this generation of students.  As one of the leaders declares at the end of the film, “We were able to achieve with our human values and non-violence huge things that no army in the world could achieve.”  It was inspiring to hear the students’ struggle with how to carry on this legacy in a time when hopes are dim


Monday 6th:- Santa Claus visited the school and students. He 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

Tuesday 7th   and Wednesday 16th:- Students and Teachers of Helen Keller Institution visited ELS.  First was a short description of the school and its activities by Deputy Principal Salim Jaber.  Then students of various grades sang, performed Dabkeh, and played sports with the visitors


Saturday 12th:- The school was invited to celebrate the Teachers Day by the General Secretariat for Christian Educational Institutions


Monday 14:- The four Lutheran schools celebrated the Palestinian Teachers day at Talita-Kumi School – Beit Jala, in the Sport Hall. A speech were made by Dr. Charlie Haddad, the Director of Education Office, were he welcomed the teachers in this special event and thanked them about their distinguish role in educating the students. All teachers and employees celebrated the event by playing volley ball at the Sport Hall. The Teachers Team of ELS won the game. After that, all were invited to have lunch and enjoy the rest of the day at the Guest House

December 16th:– 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 participate in 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 22nd:- There was a party at noon for all of the teachers to come together in the School Hall to eat peanuts, drink wine and pack peanuts for students. 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 6:00 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’ participation in the service through acting and singing for Christmas and the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Brass for Peace musical group performed during the Christmas service at the church for our participating students. They played their instruments in a ten 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 their artistic side and creativity.

 December 23rd:– We had a Christmas party at 7:30 p.m. (after the Christmas service) at Dar Al-Nadwa restaurant in Bethlehem. It was a party for all of the Lutheran schools and institutions in 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 volunteers, 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, where everyone helped light the town Christmas tree