Evangelical Lutheran School Beit Sahour and Erich-Maria-Remarque Realschule School Sign Partnership

Shaking Hands
Signing the partnership
Evangelical Lutheran Beit Sahour School and Erich-Maria-Remarque Realschule
School sign partnership. (@ ELCJHL)

BEIT SAHOUR – On Saturday, January 4, 2014, a group from Erich-Maria-Remarque Realschule in Osnabrück, Germany visited the Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour to sign a school partnership. This partnership was signed by representatives of both schools in cooperation with the German Palestinian Association.

The goals of this partnership include the following:
• To build up a partnership between the two schools of Beit Sahour and Osnabrück.
• To promote and develop links between the schools by bringing together the students and staff from different backgrounds and cultures.
• To agree to a shared vision for collaboration through joint projects and regular visits.
• To provide further opportunities for the students and the staff from both schools to develop both personally and educationally through the participation in this partnership scheme.

We are thrilled to be in partnership with Erich-Maria-Remarque Realschule of Osnabrück, Germany. We look forward to building a strong relationship and close ties with the students and staff of this school. In addition, we will develop a student exchange program between the two schools. This exchange program will begin in the next academic year.

Shaking Hands
Shaking hands to make official the signing of the agreement. (©ELCJHL)

Bishop Younan Meets with German President Wulff

Boy in classroom at Talitha Kumi Evangelical Lutheran School (ELCJHL)

BEIT JALA, November 30, 2010 – German President Christian Wulff met with the Rev. Dr. Munib A. Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) on his recent visit to Bethlehem.

President Wulff and Bishop Younan together spent time visiting Talitha Kumi Evangelical Lutheran School, one of the four schools of the ELCJHL, which has a strong partnership with the Berliner Missionswerke (BMW). President Wulff congratulated Younan on his election to President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and thanked him for his partnership with the BMW at Talitha Kumi School.

President Wulff visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem’s Old City before visiting Talitha Kumi School, and was schedule to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later in the day.

Bishop Younan Plants Tree in the Luther Garden at Wittenberg

Bishop Younan plants a tree in Wittenberg and in Jerusalem

WITTENBERG, November 5, 2010 – It was the dove that came back with a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak and the sign of hope that must have been to Noah and his family that Bishop Younan reflected on as he planted a tree in the Luther Garden in Wittenberg, Germany in early November.

“When Martin Luther was asked what he would do if he knew the world would end tomorrow, his response was that he would plant an apple tree. For Noah, the world had actually come to an end. The mythological world of the early chapters of Genesis was now a thing of the past, drown in the chaotic waters of the flood. Yet the presence of a living tree announced the promised future of a world transformed in God. Not just any tree, but the freshly plucked leaf of an olive tree.”

And as Younan planted a tree in the Luther Garden, a garden that will be filled with new and abundant life, seeded by the churches of the Lutheran communio in these years building up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, olive trees were planted at each of the congregations, schools, programs, and partners of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the church in which Younan presides as Bishop.

In his reflection, Younan spoke of the hope for the future that the olive tree continues to embody for the people of the ELCJHL. “The olive tree can be surprising,” Younan said. “A single small shoot growing up from the bottom of an all but dead tree, can signify the beginning of a new era of abundant life, growing for centuries, and providing for generations of families not yet born.”

Younan spoke about how a single small shoot can enliven hope, and planted this new tree “as a visible symbol of the faith, love, and hope by which we pray that God may transform the world.”

Younan ended with verses 8 and 9 from Psalm 52:

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
I will thank you forever, because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.

Local church representatives, Mayor Eckhard Naumann of Wittenberg, and Minister-President of Saxony-Anhalt Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bohmer were among those present for the tree planting.

Talitha Kumi choir announces the Resurrection on German TV

Talitha Kumi Lutheran School choir on Easter

by Bernhard Scheurenbrand

For months, the evangelical German community in Jerusalem prepared for its Easter service, made special because of the 100th anniversary of the Augusta Victoria complex. The service was to be held on campus at Ascension Church and broadcast on the German television station ZDF. Organizers agreed from the first that the choir of Talitha Kumi School would enrich the service with two songs. Talitha Kumi School maintains a close connection with its German roots through its main sponsor, Berliner Missionswerk.

So everyone was organizing and practicing hard. But fearful questions remained: Will the 22 students get a permit to cross the checkpoint that day? Will the soldiers honor the permits?

A lot of people spoke up for us, so we get those permits in the end. We drove to Jerusalem for the final rehearsal on Saturday. Until we passed the checkpoint, the atmosphere was stressed. But everything went well and we drove singing, clapping and smiling to the Mount of Olives.

The next day, Easter Sunday, we were lucky and again allowed to travel to Jerusalem, to participate in a wonderful service. After the service ended and the cameras were turned off, the choir got spontaneous applause for minutes and a lot of positive feedback from the audience as well as people back in Germany.

Prince greets Talitha Kumi students

Among the many in Ascension Church that day was a special guest, His Royal Highness, Georg Friedrich Ferdinand. He is the Prince of Prussia and the great-great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm, the Prussian king who provided funding for building Augusta Victoria 100 years ago.

After the service the prince went to the playground, where the students were relaxing. He thanked them for their participation in the service and their great musical performance.

We are happy that the message of the Resurrection of the Lord was spread through the voices of our students – this time to millions of people.

Since March 2009, Bernhard Scheurenbrand has worked as Talitha Kumi School’s administrative director, a position created and financed by the Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst. A member of the Lutheran church in Reutlingen, Germany, Scheurenbrand also served as administrative director of the Jerusalem Foundation in 1990-1993.

German Bishops Denounce Treatment of Palestinians

March 6, 2007
by Eldad Beck

BERLIN – “This morning we saw pictures of the Warsaw ghetto at Yad Vashem and this evening we are going to the Ramallah ghetto.” Several hours earlier on Sunday you probably would not have heard German Bishop Gregor Maria Franz Hanke choose such a divisive analogy.

But then on Sunday morning he was still in Israel and the rhetoric was considerably different than the one elected by the German Bishops’ Conference once they crossed over in to the Palestinian Authority on Sunday evening. The visit of 27 members of the German Bishops’ Conference to Israel included a historic first-time visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem as well as guided tours of sites holy to Christianity and meetings with Christian congregations in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority.

During their time in Israel the bishops uniformly made moderate and balanced statements, but once in the PA they provided German reporters accompanying them with a plethora of harsh proclamations against Israel. Their criticism received widespread coverage in the German media on Monday.

While crossing one of the checkpoints into East Jerusalem the Archbishop of Cologne,Cardinal Joachim Meisner, told reporters: “This is something that is done to animals, not people.” Meisner, a resident of eastern Germany, said that the fence reminded him of the Berlin Wall and that in his lifetime he did not believe he would see such a thing again. As the Berlin Wall was brought down so will this wall be brought down, he said, adding that the fence served no purpose.

The delegation’s visit to Ramallah took place several hours after their visit to Yad Vashem and several of the bishops chose to equate the situation in the Palestinian Authority with the Holocaust.

“Cages in the image of ghettos,” said the Bishop of Augsburg of the territories. Augsburg was once under the spiritual leadership of Pope Benedict XVI, who was Archbishop of the Munich-Freising Archdiocese and his brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger still resides there.

“Israel has, of course, the right to exist, but this right cannot be realized in such a brutal manner,” said Bishop Hanke, who later stated that he intends to amend this year’s Easter message to German churches so as to include the delegation’s political impressions from their visit to the territories and a demand to change the situation.

Visitors from the U.S. and Germany Come to Jerusalem and Bethlehem

Bishop Emeritus Krister Stendahl, the former Dean of Divinity at Harvard University, USA, and his wife Brita visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem in February.

Two visitors from Germany recently consulted with Bishop Younan in Jerusalem: Dr. Cornelia Coenan Marx of Kaiserswerth in Germany and Rolf Peter Wiegard, the administrator of the Berlin Mission Work (BMW), Germany.

A delegation of four people from the Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona, USA, included an appointment with Bishop Younan as part of their recent tour. The group also visited the International Center in Bethlehem and the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.

Visit of the German President to Talitha Kumi School

On June 22, 2003 his Excellency Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany was welcomed to Talitha Kumi Lutheran School in Beit Jala by the students and teachers, Principal Willhelm Golller and Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan. He spent time visiting with children and touring the school complex. President Rau was very impressed by the school which the German government and related agancies help to support.