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6 December, 2012

Education for gender equity, human rights, and democracy

A letter from Brother Jack Curran, Vice President for Development

Dear Graduates and Friends of Bethlehem University,

Greetings from Bethlehem!

This Advent, a time of preparation, is a time of hope. We celebrate our God coming among us -- each day and always!

Despite the tragic loss of life during the recent Israeli-Gaza violence, we know of no physical harm or injury among our 435 former students and graduates from Gaza -- and we are grateful to God. 

Last week, here in Bethlehem we welcomed to campus Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, the Grand MasEducation Building Dedicationter of the Equestrian Order, along with the Consul General of the USA and the Consul General of Spain -- and about 500 others guests and dignitaries. We gathered to dedicate the new Education Building at Bethlehem University. We also came together to express our gratitude to the Grand Magesterium and the German Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order, the people of the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Switzerland who together contributed more $4.5 million to construct this new state-of-the-art classroom building.

In addition, we celebrated the mid-point of the four-year Improving the Quality of Primary and Secondary Education in Palestine Project. Our website has more information about this education project, which serves more than 22,000 students and 1,100 teachers as well as 5,000 parents from 118 schools in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Hebron. Click here for more information and pictures.

This past month of November has also been a busy month for our Nursing and Health Sciences Faculty.Nursing CPR training

  • Together with personnel from Al-Makassed Hospital and Nursing CPR training Al-Ahli Hospital, Bethlehem University faculty provided cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to primary and secondary school children and their teachers.
  • Bethlehem University faculty took part in further training designed to enhance services to the handicapped as part of the Access to Physical Rehabilitation Services for Persons with Disabilities project of Handicap International. 
  • Educational workshops raising awareness about diabetes were provided to our nursing students as well as members of the Bethlehem area community.

Unfortunately, during November, we also lost one of our dear friends and benefactors. We Mr. Albert Hazbunmourn the death of Mr. Albert Hazbun, (10 January 1935 - 13 November 2012).  Mr. Albert Hazbun passed away at his home in El Dorado Hills, California after nearly a year of battling against leukemia.  Albert and his wife Lily have been wonderful friends of the Palestinian people and of Bethlehem University in particular. For instance, a few summers ago, Albert was the coordinating person for the USA Northwestern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre who helped to get the McGuckin Mentoring Internship Program successfully launched.  He recruited host families and host employers for a number of students to do career internships in the USA during the summer. In faith, we are confident that Albert is now at home with his God. We are honored that his wife Lily and their children Randa, Maya, and Waleed are working together with the USA Northwestern Lieutenancy to establish an endowed scholarship at Bethlehem University in memory of Albert Hazbun.

The holy season of Advent is indeed upon us, a time to prepare for and reflect upon the great feast of Christmas. Each day brings us opportunities to discover God already among us -- and here at Bethlehem University, through your prayers, pilgrimages, and generous support -- our students and faculty tangibly see God's love and concern for them. Thank you!

May you know God's blessings for you and your loved ones,

Brother Jack Curran, FSC, PhD
Vice President for Development


Snow at Bethlehem University

This Christmas, make a gift to Bethlehem University. Express your hope for a better future in the Holy Land.


Click here for more photos from the Dedication of the Education Building at Bethlehem University!

Education Building Dedication
US Consul General Michael Ratney, Brother Peter Bray, Cardinal O'Brien


Education Building Dedication
Brother Peter Bray


Education Building Dedication
Bishop Shomali, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lazzarotto


Education Building Dedication
Mr. Rizek Sleibi, Dr. Irene Hazou, Brother Peter Bray, Archbishop Lazzarotto, Mdm. Pilar Lara Alen, Mr. Alfonso Portabales, Mr. Michael Ratney, and Cardinal O'Brien


Education Building Dedication
Reception in newly landscaped waterfall area

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