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Jeel al-Amal Boys Home


Bethany was once home to Mary, Martha and Lazarus and only a “Palm Sunday” walk over the Mt of Olives from Jerusalem. The village is now in economic collapse, hidden from view behind the new Separation Security Wall.

A beacon of light is the Jeel al-Amal (Generation of Hope) School and Boys Home. Founded in 1972 by Christian Palestinians, Alice and Basil Sahhar, the project is now under the direction of their daughter, Najwa. Three hundred children are being educated in the primary school which is affiliated to the Palestinian Education Authority and which pays the teachers’ salaries, and one hundred boys live in the Home. The boys come from Jerusalem and from towns and villages in the Palestinian territories. Many are orphans or have endured terrible domestic problems.

Pilgrim Group Visits

Most McCabe pilgrim parties visit Jeel as part of their pilgrimage itinerary and receive a warm welcome. While there is little material wealth, the love and devotion of the staff are reflected in the perfect manners and sunny dispositions of the children. Jeel al Amal changes lives and many are the pilgrims who over the years have been moved and amazed by its work.