Mahaba Nursery and Preschool (MNAP), or “Kindergarten of Love,” located on the Lutheran World Federation campus is a ministry of the ELCJHL with over 40 years of service to children in Jerusalem. With its bright and well-equipped classrooms, new playground, and quiet location on the crest of the Mount of Olives, MNAP is a safe, exciting place to learn, offering services and facilities otherwise scarce in East Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Mahaba serves diverse Palestinian and international families, both Christian and Muslim. Teachers are dedicated to helping children develop holistically, attending to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. MNAP offers a positive atmosphere for each child to learn at their own pace through a variety of games, art projects, songs, and language activities.
Children ages 4 and under attend the preschool 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday. After graduation from Mahaba, children enroll in private and public kindergarten programs throughout East Jerusalem for an additional year before entering Grade 1.
In 1978, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) opened two kindergarten facilities just outside of the Old City in Jerusalem, one to serve Israeli children and one to serve Palestinians. After a brief stay in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, the kindergarten serving Palestinians relocated to the LWF Mount of Olives campus in 1980. The kindergarten changed its name to Mahaba in 1997, when the ELCJHL became the sole administrator of the preschool program.
About our Director
Mrs. Madlen Shammas has been working at Al Mahaba for four years. She has a rich background in early childhood education with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Hebrew University in addition to a Montessori Diploma. She herself is a mother of four kids, and has held several previous positions working with preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders. Mrs. Madlen says she loves spending time with the kids and offering them a space to learn through play together in a safe and welcoming environment.
Mahaba Preschool and Nursery Director and Educator Mrs. Madlen Boutros Shammas
c/o Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
PO Box 14076
Jerusalem, Palestine 91140 (via Israel)