Talitha Kumi School
Talitha Kumi School
The German Evangelical Lutheran School Talitha Kumi draws its inspiration from the story of Jesus resurrecting Jairus’ daughter from the dead: “And taking the child by the hand he said to her, “Talitha Kumi!” which means, “Little girl, I tell you to get up.” (Mark 5:41).
With deep roots in the German Lutheran missions that were the first to educate girls in Palestine and a history of adapting to the changing conditions of the twentieth century, Talitha Kumi’s ministry is still a beacon of hope and opportunity for the community it serves.
Today, Talitha Kumi sits on a beautiful, wooded campus above the town of Beit Jala, adjacent to Bethlehem. As in all of the ELCJHL schools, Talitha Kumi provides a top-quality education to all students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.
The school is proud of its educational traditions and relationship with the German churches, most notably the Berliner Missionswerk, the main financial sponsor. Talitha Kumi has recently begun offering students who excel in languages the chance to take the German DIAP exam, broadening their horizons for college and careers.
Theodor Fliedner, the founder of the Diakoniewerk in Kaiserwerth, Germany, and four deaconesses established an orphanage in Jerusalem for Arab girls in 1851, the first educational program for girls in Palestine. As the years progressed, enrollment of Arab, Jewish, and Armenian girls increased to a total of 500 girls, boarding at the new school building. The First World War disrupted the activities of the school, but it was reopened with a new vocational training program in 1925.
In 1933, home economics, sewing, and kindergarten programs were added to the existing elementary and secondary school programs.The outbreak of the Second World War again brought the work in Talitha Kumi to a halt.
According to the armistice agreement in 1949 after the Jewish-Arab War, Talitha Kumi was part of Israel, which took control of the land and building in Jerusalem. Work continued in the modern-day West Bank, which was then administered by Jordan. The Jerusalem Society transferred its parish in Beit Jala to the Kaieserwerth deaconesses as the base for a new Talitha Kumi. Arab refugee children living in difficult conditions were accepted as students as a new elementary and secondary school, including a vocational building, were constructed.
Two kilometers from Beit Jala, a new Talitha Kumi opened officially in 1961. In 1975 the Jerusalem Society transferred its work to the Berlin Mission. Coeducation began in 1980 with the enrollment of boys. Vocational training began in 1995, and in 2000 Talitha Kumi received the official PNA License for Community Colleges. In 1997 the school became part of the UNESCO – Schools network.
Gender: 57% boys, 43% girls
Religion: 29% Christian, 71% Muslim
Teachers and Staff: 94
Meet Our Principal
Mr. Matthias Wolf began his position of principal of Talitha Kumi school in 2018. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in High School Teaching for English and French from the University of Giessen in Germany, and an M.A. in School Management from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. Mr. Wolf is passionate about his work because, “Education helps to broaden people’s horizons and is a gateway into new worlds (geographically and mentally)”.
Beit Jala, Palestine