Mabrouk and congratulations to the 2015 graduating class of Talitha Kumi Lutheran School!
On Saturday, September 4th, Rolf Lindemann was installed as the new Principal of Talitha Kumi School in Beit Jala. Many were gathered to welcome Rolf and his wife, Gundula, in worship and in fellowship, in songs and in words. Bishop Younan preached and presided at the service.
Pictured here top row: Rolf Lindemann and Dr. Charlie Haddad, Talitha Kumi Orchestra, Talitha Kumi Student. Middle row: Talitha Kumi Choir, the Laying on of Hands in Installation, Talitha Kumi Brass Choir. Bottom row: Rolf & Gundula Lindemann, Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, & Guests. (Photos: © Elizabeth McHan, ELCJHL)
Large crowds and local dignitaries were on hand to celebrate graduation at the Lutheran high schools. In addition to the usual speeches by school and church officials, English and German speeches by students, and the distribution of diplomas, two Dar al Kalima graduates – Mohammed Teilakh and Yousef Al-Ramahi – performed a rap song to the delight of the audience. Dabka troupes also performed at several of the ceremonies.
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.
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.
It’s graduation season at the ELCJHL schools. Talitha Kumi School and the Ramallah School of Hope held their graduations last weekend, and Beit Sahour and Dar al Kalima will hold theirs this coming weekend. There are also graduations at the kindergartens, including Al Mahaba on the Mt. of Olives. High school graduation ceremonies have many speeches, music and three student speeches, one in Arabic, German and English. Senior Hania Halabi, giving the English speech at the School of Hope ceremony, shared her personal motto:
“Do what is necessary, then what is possible, and all of the sudden, you will discover doing the impossible. Keep the hope.” –Senior Hania Halabi from Ramallah School of Hope
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.