For those interested, my wife, a friend and I voyaged to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and various parts of the West Bank of Palestine. We stayed in Jerusalem at my favorite hotel in all the world. This is the "American Colony." We went to the religious sites in the city, The Holy Sepulcher, St. Anne’s church, etc. More importantly we were on a fact finding trip for the church group to which we belong. The group financially supports schools for Arab children and young people in Israel, Palestine and Jordan and from time to time someone must go and "have a look." Bethlehem University continues to be a marvelous institution, admirably run by the Christian Brothers. (See website) They now have about 60% Muslim students and are educating a new generation of leaders for the Palestinian people. In the far northwest of the West Bank at Zebabdeh, we visited a parish school set in a beautiful, mostly Christian, village. The school is grades 1-12 and is immaculate in its maintenance and cleanliness. It has several hundred students taught under a largely lay faculty of whom some are Christian and some Muslim. A very hard Working East Bank Jordanian priest supervises this and his parish with the help of three Arab nuns. The students are about 20% Muslim. In the nearby town of Jenin, there is a university (The Arab-American University of Jenin?) The graduates of the Zebabdeh school are much sought after by the admissions office at this university. The school is in need of money for a new physics and biology lab as well as a lot more books for the library, but it is altogether an admirable institution. We drove to Jordan and visited a school located in a poor district of Amman that is now filled with Iraqi refugees, many of whom are Chaldean Christians. This school was in very bad condition. The building was inadequate and in poor repair. There was not enough of anything and many of the children are, of course, quite poor because they have, at least for now, lost their country.
We went on to Rome to reoprt on findings and then came home. By the time of our return we were all suffering from a nasty chest flu bug.
I would recommend to you any or all of the institutions mentioned above.
The easiest thing for those who wish to contribute money to these schools would be the following:
"Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260
The Order is a 501 (C)(3) organization under the I.R.S. Code.
Gifts to the Order should be made payable to: Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Donors may direct their gifts to a particular project."