You are logged out -> Log in

February 16, 2010

Compassion, Service and Strength

University Community Reviews News and Mission in Spring Faculty-Staff Meeting

CompassionEach semester at Bethlehem University begins with a faculty-staff meeting in Sansour Hall. The meetings are a chance for University employees to greet fellow community members that they do not see on a daily basis, to meet new community members and to find out what they can expect in the coming semester. While the gatherings typically begin with a prayer or an opening address, this semester’s meeting began with a movement.

The Charter for Compassion, introduced by Coordinator of Institutional Values Brother Peter Iorlano, is a movement to reconnect people of various ideologies and faith traditions with a core concern for their neighbors in the global community. Like the Bethlehem University interfaith tradition, the charter suggests “treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.” Brother Peter highlighted the charter’s call “to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures.” By providing a clear, concise link between values and action, the charter provided a new perspective on the work faculty and staff members already do to make education a transformational force in the Palestinian community.

CompassionContinuing with this theme of the University’s role in the community, Dean of the Faculty of Education Mr. Rizek Sleibi updated faculty and staff members on his department’s multi-year project “Quality of Education for All through Partnership.” The project, funded by the Fundación Promoción Social de la Cultura and active since 2007, is designed to enhance the quality of education for Palestinian children and to support the transmission of democratic values in the teaching and learning process.

CompassionThe University also celebrated the bittersweet victory of Berlanty Azzam’s recent graduation, despite the refusal by Israeli courts to overturn her removal from Bethlehem to Gaza. While the outcome of her case was not what Berlanty and the University had hoped, her graduation is nevertheless a source of pride to the University and to her teachers. Berlanty, said Vice Chancellor Brother Peter Bray, is “a model of what we want students of Bethlehem University to be – to be resilient, strong, opinionated and to have this sense of wanting to be alive.”

Brother Robert Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs, concluded the meeting by welcoming new members of the University community. Together, and by association, the University faculty and staff look forward to another successful semester.


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine