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 6th, with approximately 300 students and a total staff of about 30.

Bethlehem Academy:

Pre-K through 12th grade. Full enrollment is about 700 students, with 55 staff members.

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.

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This young lady has overcome many challenges in her young life, including her mother having been through the ordeal of fighting cancer. With that, and other family issues to deal with, Joelle often felt a bit adrift in school. She didn’t quite know where she fit in, struggled with grades, and had trouble finding friends. Early high school was hard. With the help of some kind teachers, and lots of hard work, Joelle found her stride as a junior. She discovered a love of art and literature, and excelled at both. She hopes to become an author someday, or be involved in the film industry. Joelle was one of Bethlehem Academy’s first graduates, and did very well taking her CLEP exams her senior year. She’s an excellent example of a student who left BEA with a great deal of hope for a productive and gratifying future in her post BEA years.


Hamza dealt with a blow that is hard to imagine for many of us; his father was killed in a workplace accident. Rather than tell him the truth, his family told him that his father had gone abroad for a job opportunity. He is an inquisitive kid and it wasn’t long before he knew something was not right. After persistent questioning, his family finally told him the truth. The loss of his father, along with the deception, caused a downward spiral in his grades and behavior at school. The school administration along with the entire staff poured themselves into this young man’s life and he began to slowly recover from his loss. Hamza still misses his father every day, but with his friends and teachers encouragement he is beginning to find his smile again.  


Ziyad joined us in kindergarten, and was a normal, happy boy. His life got challenging though when his mother was diagnosed with some severe mental health issues, fighting a battle with anxiety and depression. Life at home became a challenge. She got the help she needed, but it was hard on Ziyad. Our teaching staff was aware of this situation and came along side to love and encourage him as much as they could. With their extra care and attention, he was able to cope successfully with this situation. Ziyad is now doing well and is actively developing a newfound love for art. He has also developed many close relationships with his classmates. (We understand his mother is doing much better as well.)