December 12, 2021

Community of the Resurrection of Christ in Bethany. School and orphanage for girls

Gethsemane is an area located on the hills of the Mount of Olives, which is a continuation of the legendary Gethsemane Garden. The main attraction of this area and the entire hill is an idle seven-domed church built in honor of Mary Magdalene.



The appearance of the monastery at the temple is associated with the participation of two Scottish nuns who converted to Orthodoxy. This event happened during the visit of the nuns on their way to India to Palestine. Here they got acquainted with the amazing feat of life of the legendary Princess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and later, they had lengthy speeches that dragged on at night with a very interesting person, the ascetic Varvara. At that time, she was in charge of the Russian section in Gethsemane, where the missionaries stayed. She was personally acquainted with Princess Elizabeth, who from childhood predicted her spiritual path.


With the blessing of Archbishop Gribanovsky, the sisters decided to organize a school in this amazing place with the money of their relatives, where 70 children studied. They also opened an icon-painting school and a weaving workshop for blind girls, as well as a medical outpatient clinic for the local population. Matushka Martha, who was a physician by education and had a decent experience as a medical worker, remained in Bethany, and Matushka Maria, until her death, led the Russian women's community in Gethsemane, who moved from Bethany. Through her efforts, a wall was erected on the territory occupied by the community and a residential building for the sisters was built.


From the very beginning the community was universal. Among its inhabitants were Russian emigrants, some of them, while still in Russia, embarked on the path of monasticism, the rest were already in a foreign land. In addition, various sisters from Europe came together, many of them were Orthodox Arab women. The confessor of this monastery was Archimandrite Seraphim, a former officer in the tsarist army, who once personally knew Princess Elizabeth.


In 1948, hostilities began in Palestine. Maria refused to leave the country so as not to leave the monastery. In 1988, on the occasion of the centenary of the consecration of the church of St. Mary Magdalene, the Gethsemane community was transferred to the rank of a monastery.



About the school in Bethany


Local children began to apply to the school. Sisters Martha and Maria also later opened a hospital here, which received sick children.


During the development of the school grounds in Bethany, a rectangular stone was discovered that looked like a slab. An inscription was visible on it that in this place Martha and Mary heard from the Savior the word about the resurrection of the Son of God from the dead. On Lazarus Saturday, the church clergy began their service here, which was accompanied by the blessing of water and the procession of the cross.


In 1937, a Russian school and an orphanage were opened. The buildings that were here were not quite suitable for this institution. The sisters managed to build a new spacious building with spacious classrooms.


In addition to the humanities and exact sciences, the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures and the history of the church were studied at this school.


In the 80s, the institution was on the verge of closing due to the lack of Christian students and the political situation. Further, it was decided to transfer the school to private management. From that moment, Muslim girls began to study here. On the one hand, life here sparkled with new colors, but on the other hand, Christian children sometimes had a hard time.


It is worth noting that local Muslims have always sought to send their girls to this institution, since the level of education here is much higher. Children of Palestine are taught a general education program in accordance with the traditions of Palestine, in-depth study of foreign languages, mathematics and history.


In the East, the education of boys and girls is fundamentally different. Basically, they are given a basic level of education in private schools. Over time, the amount of tuition increases, and older girls go to state institutions. 


The school in Bethany to this day remains one of the best in the region in terms of its status. The classes are small. A total of 22-24 students, which is ideal for both the teacher and the student. In kindergarten, preschool and elementary grades, there are two grades each, and starting from the fifth, only one.


In addition to traditional studies, the girls were engaged in painting icons, embroidery, music, and sewing. Mother Mary highly appreciates the work of her students. She says that it is very important to instill in children a love for work and for uplifting beauty.


In 2013, the Islamists began to independently seize the lands that belonged to the Orthodox community, including the Russian spiritual mission. Christians here often suffer because they are persecuted. Often, because of such a hard life, they leave here. Many Christians accept Islam.


It is worth saying that the Bethany community gave this world many noble nuns who scattered almost all over the globe. So, for example, in Chile a monastic monastery was founded in the likeness of Bethany.


Today, many years later, many Gethsemane novices are obedient in Bethany. Orphans and children from troubled families live in the orphanage. By the Will of God and the generosity of benefactors, Orthodox girls study and live in an orphanage with full financial support.


Give to God and you will be rewarded!



Donations are the desire to bring good to the neighbor, which is filled with grace and sacred love. For a Christian, benevolence is an integral part of his service to the Almighty, together with temple worship, prayers and the fight against sins. Believers give to the poor what the Lord himself sent to them, since he treats his wealth as a gift received by the will of the Lord.


The value of a donation is measured not by the amount of alms, but by the heart of the giver. Charity does not consist in giving, but in giving with a sincere feeling of charity.


“Give to each one according to his own heart without vexation and without coercion, for the Lord loves those who give generously.”


Donations are the responsibility of every believer, which was written in the Holy Scriptures. "Do not refuse the needy when you can help him."


However, donations must be made wisely. Some shepherds say that it is better to help those who definitely need help. A good example is orphans. Remember that an ill-conceived donation can cause serious harm to the person to whom it was given.


If you want your donations to be good, it is important to know exactly where you are sending your funds. Never contact unverified organizations that cannot provide reports.


Our charitable foundation conducts fully transparent activities. We are raising funds for the construction and renovation of Orthodox churches, churches, orphanages and schools. In addition, we take care of the financial support of such institutions. Today we call on you to help the Bethany School orphanage. We believe and know for sure that by joint efforts we can contribute to the development of poor children, providing assistance and support.


Taking care of the renewal of Orthodox objects, our foundation makes a significant contribution to the revival of high spiritual and moral values.

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