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30 November, 2012

Friends of Bethlehem University Gather in Washington, DC

At a gathering in Washington, DC on Sunday, 4 November 2012, Bethlehem University welcomed friends of the University and members of the Bethlehem University Foundation Board of Directors from across North America to a special film screening and reception. The film, “Across the Divide,” was produced by Salt + Light TV of Canada, and shares some of the unique stories from Bethlehem University, including the widely publicized 2009 detainment and deportation within Palestine of Bethlehem University student Ms. Berlanty Azzam. Click here to view the short trailer of the film, and click here to view photos from the event. Brother Jack and guests at film screening

Sister Irene O’Neill, CSJ, Chair of the Bethlehem University Foundation Board of Directors, and Brother Jack Curran, FSC, Vice President for Development at Bethlehem University, welcomed guests and shared opening remarks before watching the film.

After watching the documentary, Brother Peter Bray, FSC, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, thanked guests for coming to the event, spoke of the university’s recent successes and initiatives, and answered some questions from the audience about Bethlehem University.

Brother Peter Bray encouraged involvement in Bethlehem University in three ways:

  1. Pray with us and for us.
  2. Stand in solidarity with us. Come visit us in Bethlehem! Tell others about Bethlehem University and the context in which it exists; consider hosting a screening of “Bethlehem University: A Beacon of Hope” for your family and friends. (This 15-minute video is available on our website or from our office in Washington or Bethlehem.) 
  3. Donate. As the video illustrates, there are many ways you can make a difference in the lives of these students. There are a variety of significant opportunities to support Bethlehem University during this historic time of growth, and you can explore these under “Support Us” on our website.   Friends of Bethlehem University

Several graduates of Bethlehem University joined us for this event, including Ms. Jihan (‘86) and Mr. Issam Andoni (‘86), Mr. Husam Hilal (‘11), and Mr. Eihab Isaac (‘09), who all live in the Washington, DC area, and Mr. Hani Imam (‘77), who lives in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Hani Imam was present as a new member of the Bethlehem University Foundation Board of Directors.

The Foundation Board of Directors convened their semi-annual meeting the following day at the Bethlehem University Foundation Office in Washington, DC.

At this meeting, Brother Peter Bray thanked Mr. Vince Shaw, of St. Louis, Missouri, who is stepping down after five years serving on the Foundation Board of Directors. Mr. Shaw has been deeply committed to Bethlehem UniveVince Shaw and Brother Peter Brayrsity, both as a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – Northern Lieutenancy, and as a financial supporter of many Bethlehem University initiatives for the past decade. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw were also instrumental in helping Berlanty Azzam attain her advanced degree from Fontbonne University following her 2009 detainment and deportation from Bethlehem.   

“It has been my honor to serve on the Board for the past five years,” Mr. Shaw said. “Bethlehem University serves a vital role in securing peace in the Mid-East, and my wife, Judy, and I will always respect the importance of your Institution and the part that the De La Salle Brothers give.”


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine