Dan Koshki – OCP News Service – 2/12/2020
As Christmas, the Feast of Nativity approaches, my thoughts turn once again to my former home of Bethlehem in the Holy Land. One beloved tradition I often participated in was joining the boarders of the Bethany Orthodox School for Girls and the sisters of the Community of the Resurrection of Christ as they made an annual overnight winter pilgrimage, on foot from Jerusalem to the Church of the Nativity, shortly before the Orthodox celebration of Nativity in early January. To see the girls and nuns walk hours through the cold damp night towards the Church of the Nativity as part of their preparation for the coming of Christ always reminded me of the journey of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and kept me motivated to continue working for the School throughout the coming year.
This year, the pilgrimage will not be possible, as the COVID 19 pandemic continues to be a serious threat in the Holy Land. The situation remains dire in Bethany. With donations from pilgrims and Orthodox communities almost nonexistent, increased expenses from electricity and heating costs to their concrete and stone buildings are presently adding more strain on their limited budgets.
Our current project is the payment of excess expenses from the renovation of the playground within the Community courtyard, donated by the Polish government, and used by the Boarders and students of the School. $7,500 USD will cover the shortfall of the project expenses which had to be taken from our very limited unrestricted funds. To date, $750.00 has been donated, with an additional pledge of $1,600. We are therefore in need of $5,150, with a goal of raising these funds by Palm Sunday of 2021. This amount will greatly ease the current financial pressure of the Boarding School at a time when every dollar is needed to meet the basic needs and living expenses of the community.
How To Donate
To donate via Paypal, visit the Steps for Christianity website and select Bethany Schol for Girls. A small percentage of all Paypal donations will be used towards the processing fee and the wire transfer; no funds are used for operational expenses. Please notify me of your donation by email at email@example.com.
For a tax-deductible donation from within the United States, you can make a direct donation to Bethany School via the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. To submit your donation, please send a US Bank check. When sending your check, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the donor amount.
Checks are written to:
Orthodox School of Bethany
Notation in check: Boarding Section
Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) Attn: Nicholas Ohotin
75 E 93rd St
New York, NY 10128
This Nativity season, I ask you to consider making a final 2020 donation towards Bethany School and to remember to see Christ and the Holy Family, who once journeyed to Bethlehem in hardship and difficulty. Please contribute towards the enduring light of the Christian faith in the Holy Land.
On behalf of Bethany School, may the light of the Star of Bethlehem shine unto you.
Dan Koshki – OCP News Service