The Hebron School
- Hebron, Palestine
- Founded in 1954
- Grades K – 6
- Enrollment of over 400 students
- Boys and girls in attendance
- Arabic curriculum
The Hebron Evangelical School has been a part of the Hebron community for almost 70 years. In that time over 1500 children have been educated and empowered, many of whom have gone on to be effective leaders in government, business, and civil affairs. Today, children continue to be educated and nurtured. Hebron Evangelical School gives them a hope for a better future, and equips them for being productive members of their society.
Hebron has a rich biblical history. It is the location of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, known locally as the Ibrahami Mosque. As the burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah, it is an important landmark for Muslims, Christians and Jews alike. David ruled from Hebron for a time, and Israelite spies got as far as Hebron on their mission to spy out the land.
Twin sisters Ida and Ada Stoluzfus, from Morgantown, PA, arrived here in 1948, having been sent out by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC, from Akron, OH). Their mission was providing needy citizens with food and clothing. It wasn’t long before they focused on the needs of the children, who’s plight in this stricken land was particularly heart rending. They opened an orphanage for boys in 1952- the first in the area. The orphanage was expanded in 1954 to include a school. Their first class was 13 young boys. In the nearly 40 years they spent in Hebron, Miss Ida and Miss Ada made the Hebron School an integral part of the ebb and flow of life in Hebron.
They lost their original funding in the sixties and had a difficult choice to make. Follow a new assignment from the MCC or stay with the school and become independent. They chose to stay with the school and minister to “their children”. After a number of very lean and challenging years they met Ron and J.J. Armstrong, in 1982. The Armstrongs had just formed Holy Land Ministries and were looking for a school to help. The relationship between the Armstrongs and the sisters grew, and Holy Land Ministries eventually accepted control of the school. Their first priority was to repair and restore the physical plant, which had fallen into a state of disrepair.
While Ron & J.J. continued their efforts to support the school from here in the states, in 1999 Gregg and Rawda Doolittle became the on-site directors. Gregg and Rawda’s efforts have resulted in continued improvements in the quality of education, as well as a concentration on bolstering the spiritual life of the school. Enrollment has also been strengthened through this period, and there are now over 400 students in attendance (grades K – 6).
Through these years we have adjusted to the needs of the community. The original orphanage transitioned to a boarding program for a number of years, before being phased out in around 2020. There was also a Hearing Impaired program and a class for slow learners for a time. These programs have also been phased out due to changing conditions of the community.
Teachers on staff are all fully certified and demonstrate love and compassion to our students that are responsible for instilling new hope in each of these children. Many of our students have gone on to fill important positions of leadership in their community, and we enjoy a number of visits from former students on a regular basis.