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Our last three years newsletters.
Come celebrate our 50th Anniversary with us. Find our inside!
A wonderful story of how we started.
What does Rawdat El Zuhur mean?

The School Buildings
Teaching peace is around and within us.

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Our graduates continue helping.
Teaching peace is an important life meaning at Rawdat El Zuhur.

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P.O. box 19796, Jerusalem 91017
Tel. 02-628-2062, FAX 02-6287842


The School Program

Current technology enhances learning.          In general, the school follows the same curriculum offered in the schools under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.  The language of instruction is Arabic, but English is taught as a second language as of the first grade.  French, an extra foreign language, is taught as of the second grade. Teachers work to discover the talented children to train in string instruments and oriental instruments at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. 

A safe nursery provides quality learning experiences.          Program and staff development is a continuous process at Rawdat El-Zuhur.  Along the years,  the  following projects and programs have been accomplished, and our target group has become the whole family and not only the school children. 

  • The building and furnishing of the second floor on the rented premises of the school.
  • The renovation of the school yard, kitchen and bathrooms and enforcement of one of the class rooms.
  • The renovation of the kindergarten section
  • The renovation of the drinking fountains.The upgrading of the school equipment and installation of e-mail service.
  • The establishment of a More about the Computer Labcomputer laboratory
  • Adding a course in debating to the curriculum
  • Adding the French language to the curriculum
  • The establishment of an More about the Alumni Clubalumni club.
  • Providing training in musical instruments to talented children, and upgrading the teaching of art.
  • Participation of a number of children in summer camps at the YMCA and Helen Keller School.
  • The establishment of a special programMore about Farah Joy“Farah” (Joy) for the mothers which developed into a wider project to guarantee a continued relationship between home and school.  Through that project the following activities have been introduced:
  • Testing of all students to identify children with special learning needs, ( such as dyslexia, dysgraphia ----) and providing a remedial program.
  • Special programs for the mothers for building awareness regarding a variety of issues.
  • Counseling for the children and the parents
  • Special courses offered to the mothers according to their request like French, and aerobics
  • The participation of mothers in fund raising activities for the school.

  • The Computer Lab
             As early as 1991 the planning for a computer laboratory started.   Unrestricted funds from friends went towards  that project until  the dream was realized.  With a substantial contribution for the amount of Technological maturity comes with supervised learning. ECU23,300 from  The Palestinian Centre for Microprojects Development (PCMD), the laboratory was inaugurated on graduation day in June 1996.   A special teacher was appointed and all the staff got special training that summer. In September 1998, and with a special donation from Mr. George Buchanan the computers were upgraded with disc drives.  In June 2001 a grant of $20,000 from ANERA made it possible to get ten new computers with a network system and access to the  internet and e-mail. It was a good opportunity to install the Future Kids special program at this time.   The computer teacher and the science teacher got special training for that program during the summer holidays,  and all the school children from ages 4-12 continue to  get training in computer skills and are being very creative in producing nice material. 


    Teaching small groups plays an important role in education.            With the limited space at the school for many years, the children never dreamed of having a science laboratory.  But with the extra space provided on the second floor in 1991, one of the rooms was allocated for a science laboratory. For five years the children had the opportunity to enjoy that facility until the difficult decision had to be taken when the computer training project was realized.  The fifteen computers needed space, and an innovative solution was found for the science laboratory.  Not ideal, but when was the school working under ideal circumstances? A mobile laboratory was designed. The equipment is now stored in a closet in one of the classrooms, and the experiments of every day get  rolled into the various classes. 
               The Principal tries every effort to facilitate matters for the science teacher and the children to make up for their lost science haven. A variety of instruments, microscopes, charts,  and science videos are available, and the children are encouraged to be creative as they work on science projects. 


              Since the development of the program of Rawdat El-Zuhur into formal education, it was realized that establishing a library was one of the priorities of the school.  But unfortunately with the limited space that was available the only option The Library as it was years ago.was to have the books in closed closets in one of the corridors and to have the children check out  books  at certain hours either to take home or to read during specially allocated hours for reading in the class rooms.  Mrs. Aniseh Kreitem who had been recruited to work at the school had been a librarian at the British Council.  So in spite of the limited facility the books were classified, and checked out professionally. 

    A larger and well used Library stimulates learning. We need more space.          In 1991, and with the inauguration of a second floor to the school building, a library was made available.  A small one but with open stacks, tables and chairs for the children to have the  opportunity to sit and read and browse into reference books.  Aniseh helped in training the senior  Arabic teacher Basimah Abu- Libdeh  who also attended  short courses which qualified her  to become in charge of the library. 

    Robert and Carolyn Peterson             The Library was dedicated to the memory of Robert and Sophie Peterson from  the USA who were friends of Rawdat El-Zuhur and personal friends of its  founder, the late Elizabeth Nasir.  The Petersons had left a legacy to the  school for the amount of $12,290 , and  the  dedication took place  during the inauguration ceremony of the building. The presence of the  children of the Petersons, Alan Peterson and Carolyn Ericson made the occasion very meaningful.  Alan and Carolyn were specially moved at the choice of the library for the memory of their parents as their  mother Sophie had been a librarian.  They also made a generous contribution on that occasion for the library. 

                    The library holds 3583 books: 1625 Arabic, 1602 English, and 356 French.  The reference books are five sets of encyclopedias, three in English, and two in Arabic.  While the periodicals are three, two in English and one in  Arabic. There are never enough books or magazines in the  library, and there is a continuous need for new books and specially attractive for  children.   The school welcomes any book or magazine  gifts. 

    Music & Art

     video clip

              Ever since it was established, Rawdat El-Zuhur gave special attention to music.  The first piece of equipment that the founder, the late Elizabeth Nasir bought in 195 2 was a   manual record player.  She  focused on music appreciation and dancing  to help the  girls overcome the misery of their destitution.  As the organization developed its program to formal education there has always  been  someone to teach singing to the children.  Very often they were volunteers. 
              The children love singing and love performing to school guests in Arabic, English and French, and on special occasions like Mothers’ Day and the Music has the power to lift the spirits.graduation of the sixth grade.    During the last few years and in cooperation with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music,  talented children have been training in string instruments, and oriental instruments.  In April 1999 the ANERA Middle East Leadership Team presented the school with six violins and a cello.  The School has two pianos, one in the kindergarten section, and the other in the all-purpose hall. 
              The first, a Yamaha,  was donated by the Norwegian Refugee Council in the early seventies,  and the second, a Kawai,  was donated by the Japanese International Volunteer Center in 1999. We continue to hope that one day the school will have its own musical ensemble.  In the meantime master Simon keeps the children happy as they sing and hop around. 
    The Qanoun, an oriental instrument.
              For two years, 1997-1999 Rawdat El-Zuhur was privileged to have the  volunteer art teacher Lori Hayes  from the USA work with the children.  She loved the children, and they loved her and her art lessons as well.  There was a new focus on art  as a result of the experience with Lori. Palestinian artist and teacher Taleb Dweik continued to teach on part time basis with Lori for the rest of her term. 
               Lori left a very meaningful art legacy, “Bright Wings” a book of  the children’s art with photos and text by Lori herself.(see link)  It was sponsored by the Global Ministries: a common witness of the Division of Overseas Ministries, Lori Hayes and Salwa ZananiriChristian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Wider Church Ministries, United Church of Christ, 800-537-3394 who were sponsoring the volunteer work of Lori.  As of the fall of 2000 Mrs. Aya Jawharieh, a retired art teacher has been working at the school as a full time art teacher.   She has been combining art, with music and drama in a remarkable manner, and is preparing a special program for the 50th anniversary  in April 2002.

    Thank you for visiting.
    May God bless your days and nights,
    while also
    Blessing this  ministry to children

    Web Author E-Mail:info@rawdat.org
    Begun in 1997, updated Summer 2001