BU Vice-Chancellor Brother Peter Bray writes:
In 2023 Bethlehem University will be celebrating its golden jubilee as the first registered university in Palestine with a mission to serve the Palestinian people through education. This Catholic university persevered through many challenges over the past few decades. As we look back and gratefully remember the work and dedication of the many people who have enabled Bethlehem University to grow into what it is today, we look forward to the 50th jubilee and beyond.
The University’s story is one of perseverance and courage in the face of adversity and injustice. Despite being closed twelve times by Israeli military-imposed orders, the longest of which was for three years from October 1987 until October 1990, classes have continually been held on- and off-campus. The curfews, travel restrictions, military checkpoint harassment, and the negative impact of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, are factors faced by the University’s enrollment of over 3,000 students, most of whom are full time. Most of the Universities 17,000 graduates are serving the Palestinian society in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in various professions and leadership positions.
The Lasallian values of service, faith, and community continue to guide and inspire our journey as we grow and develop Bethlehem University into an excellent teaching and research institution. The University community works together to create a safe environment and to develop an atmosphere that provides an opportunity for our students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values they will need to live life to the full, despite the situation in which they find themselves. By creating such an environment where students feel safe and cared for in a predictable context, we help them build their psychological security. This helps them overcome the sometimes unpredictable challenges they face while coming to campus.
We have the opportunity now to continue to develop Bethlehem University so that it remains a nationally relevant and internationally known university. With your prayers and support, we continue to work to achieve Bethlehem University’s mission of providing quality higher education to the Palestinian people as a beacon of hope in this oasis of peace. Thank you for helping us do this!
With God’s continued blessing and with the generous support and prayers of our friends and benefactors throughout the world, we are inspiring innovation and creating a future of hope for the people of the Holy Land.Sincerely,
Brother Peter Bray, FSC, EdD,