The Hebron School is in Hebron, which is approximately 20 miles south-southeast of Jerusalem. The Bethlehem Academy is in Beit Sahour, which is a neighboring village to Bethlehem. Both schools are in the West Bank and therefore come under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Our ministry began with the founding of The Hebron School in 1954, by twin sisters Ida & Ada Stoltzfus. They were sent out by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) of Akron, OH., and began by doing humanitarian work- distributing clothing and food. The needs of the children spoke to their hearts and they started an orphanage, which soon became a school. Their first class had 13 young boys. Holy Land Ministries accepted control of the school in 1982, and would grow enrollment to approximately 300 students.
The Hebron School began in 1954. The Bethlehem Academy opened in 2014.
The Hebron School:
K thru 6, with approximately 300 students and a total staff of about 30.
Pre-K thru 7 (academic year 2017/18), with approximately 180 students and a staff of about 25.
As of spring of 2021 we have Pre-K through 10th grade, with approximately 325 students. Bethlehem Academy will grow by one grade level per year until we reach 12th grade, with an estimated enrollment of 700 students.
Yes, we charge tuition at The Hebron School and Bethlehem Academy, but total tuition collected falls far short of the total cost of operating both schools.
The Hebron School: classes are taught in Arabic, although we do have a class to teach English.
Bethlehem Academy: Most classes are taught in English by our volunteer English speaking faculty. We do have Arabic-language classes so that the students retain, and improve upon, their Arabic language skills.
We are looking for both short term (1-3 months) and long term (1 year or more) volunteers. Our short term needs are quite varied, and the basic requirement is to be a Christian with a heart for children. We generally look for certified teachers for the long term volunteers, but exceptions can be made.
The Hebron School: As classes are all taught in Arabic, we use the standard Palestinian curriculum.
Bethlehem Academy: We use a mix of American curriculum:
- CSI- elementary and middle school science
- Singapore Math- all math classes
- Novare- high school science
- BJU Press- English
- Plus assorted high school curriculum from various publishers.
Violence in the West Bank is known mostly through the two Intifadas (uprisings) they have experienced. The first was from 1987-1991. The second was from 2000-2005. Since that time things have been relatively calm. There have been occasional flare ups- for instance the summer of 2014 when Gaza was shooting rockets toward Tel Aviv, but those have proved to be short term situations.
The Hebron School: All Muslim students.
Bethlehem Academy: A mix of Christians and Muslims. Both schools have a mix of boys and girls. Generally, most families are on the lower end of the socio-economic scale.
Both schools have a full wall around the facilities. We also have a full time guard on site for both campuses. Beyond that we take the normal precautions regarding visitor sign in so we know who is on campus and for what purpose.