The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)*
Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic Schools Join HCEF Child Sponsorship Program
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is pleased to announce that two new schools in the Holy Land have joined HCEF's Child Sponsorship Program. St. Dimitri Greek Orthodox Patriarchate School and Peter Nettekoven Greek Catholic Patriarchate School now have the opportunity to receive scholarship funds from Americans who sponsor children through HCEF's program to support Christian education in the Holy Land. Thus far, over 400 scholarships and $60,000 have been made available to Holy Land children through this HCEF program this year. "Our goal is to sponsor every child in Christian schools in the Holy Land," said Sir Rateb Rabie, President of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation. "The sponsorship program has proven to be a success in fostering solidarity between American and Holy Land Christians and helps to provide much needed financial support for school systems facing grave circumstances and hardship," President Rabie added.
St. Dimitri Greek Orthodox Patriarchate School is located in the Old City of Jerusalem and is headed by Metropolitan Isychios, principal and Mrs. Amal Behnam, assistant principle. The School was founded in 1982 and at present there are 460 students and students. The Child Sponsorship program will be expanded to five other Greek Orthodox schools once sponsors are found for the children at St. Dimitri School.
Peter Nettekoven Greek Catholic Patriarchate School is located in Beit Sahour, the town famous for its Shepherd Fields, and next door to Bethlehem. The school, named after Bishop Peter Nettekoven who was instrumental in setting up its establishment, was opened in 1966. There are 658 students enrolled in the school from kindergarten to 12th grade. In 1990, his Beatitude Patriarch Gregory III built an addition to the school to expand its facilities.
HCEF has two main missions: To inform American Christians about the suffering of Arab Christians living under Israeli military occupation and to raise funds to provide humanitarian assistance. Arab Christian Palestinians are the "forgotten faithful" who have had a continuous
presence in the Holy Land since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago. HCEF is engaged in a number of projects that provide hope and support for the remaining Holy Land Christians. HCEF encourages Christians to remain in the Holy Land in order to continue the Christian legacy in the land where Christianity was born. HCEF provides funds
received from donors to support education of Christian children. HCEF also encourages pilgrimage to the Holy Land and has thus far arranged two Christian pilgrimages during 2002. Military occupation and the Intifada have resulted in the collapse of the tourist and handicrafts industries in the Holy Land. HCEF creates markets in the United States for olive wood
and mother of pearl.
* The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a tax exempt, non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of Christians in the Holy Land by developing bonds of solidarity with Christians in the United States. HCEF, PO Box 6687, Silver Spring, MD 20906. (301) 951-9400, Fax (301) 951-9402. www.hcef.org
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