Bright Stars of Bethlehem NFP

Hope is what we do!

aka Bright Stars of Bethlehem   |   Chicago, IL   |  wwww.brightstarsbethlehem.org

Mission

OUR MISSION is to partner in growing hope in Palestine! OUR VISION: Support for educating the next generation of creative leaders in Palestine. We do this by supporting the health, educational, cultural and spiritual development of people in Palestine through Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture. Together, we help and empower college students, children and youth, young families and seniors.

Notes from the nonprofit

rom the first breath of life to the last, Bright Stars of Bethlehem partners to grow hope in Palestine by connecting people in the United States through awareness-raising and fund-raising, to these ministry efforts in the Holy Land:

Diyar Academy for Children and Youth
Dar al-Kalima University
Ajyal Senior Care Program

Ruling year info

2005

Visionary Leader

Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb

President/Board Chair

Mr. Jim Hooker

Main address

PO Box 771055

Chicago, IL 60677-1055 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

38-3685603

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (Q12)

Christian (X20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Partnering to grow hope in Palestine is addressing the situation that Palestinians live under occupation. This limits ability to move freely without restrictions and access to basic rights of what all Palestinians seek, both Christian and Muslim, and to reach for the stars through education and economic sustenance. Bright Stars of Bethlehem supports the programs and outreach that bring about the change needed for education through arts and culture and thus restores the dignity of a people and society. In supporting scholarships for youth and children, through scholarships at Dar al-Kalima University or for older adults, these goals are realized and thus creating a strong infrastructure of critically thinking leaders poised for contributing to peace and sustainability.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

General Support

Our vision is educating the next generation of creative leaders in Palestine!
We do this by supporting the educational, cultural and spiritual development of people in Palestine through the outreach programs of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, Palestine. Together, we help college students, young families and seniors.
Simply put… Hope is what we do!
Founded in 2003, Bright Stars of Bethlehem is a US 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides funding and support to initiatives spearheaded by the Diyar Consortium in the Holy Land. Bright Stars of Bethlehem promotes the many outreach programs originally part of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem that are serving the educational, medical, professional and spiritual development needs of people living in Palestine.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Artists and performers

Bright Stars of Bethlehem Grows Hope for the Youngest Palestinians
At fourteen, Loreen Manaa’ finds freedom and joy through the dance theatre program of the Diyar Academy for Children and Youth. “It means a lot to be able to dance Dabkah, our traditional dance, as well as more modern expressions,” shares Loreen. Youth under the age of 19 make up more than 50% of the Palestinian population. The Academy provides this tender age group a safe space to express creativity, promote culture and tradition, and embrace positive values.
Creativity and self-expression abound
The focus of the Diyar Academy for Children and Youth is to enhance self-worth, provide space for creativity and a safe, healthy outlet for expression. We do this through music, theatre, dance, art and sports. As these programs help develop the potential and capacities of children throughout the Bethlehem region, they build critical tools for expression, development and empowerment in the midst of occupation.
It is a necessity to grow hope for the largest segment of the Palestinian population
The Diyar Academy for Children and Youth gives children space for creativity to be nurtured. It promotes a culture of life and dialogue that celebrates a dynamic identity. It embraces positive values and rooted, but long forgotten, heritage and traditions. These values are critical to the growth of not only the Palestinian children, who make up more than 50% of the Palestinian population, but to the whole Palestinian community at large.
Protecting this aspect of the Palestinian culture is essential in the struggle for independence. It is a source of hope, a fuel propelling the Palestinians from the past into a more promising future. It reminds them they are more than their present circumstances: there is vibrancy in who they are as a people. In this way, the Diyar Academy for Children and Youth aspires through its music, drama and dance, art as well as its sports programs to bring together stories of celebration and accomplishments.
Equipping Children and Youth for the Future
Each student contributes to the financial cost of these programs, but they need your help to close the gap between what they can afford and the cost of delivering these high-quality ministries. To learn more about how you can help the youth of Palestine, please check out the scholarship support opportunities through Bright Stars of Bethlehem.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adults

Bright Stars of Bethlehem grows hope and helps build a future for college students in Palestine.
In a country with limited natural resources, Palestine's human resources are its most valuable capital. Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts & Culture, equips its students with vital skills for the 21st century job market, emphasizing creativity. Bright Stars of Bethlehem envisions that most of the country's future artists, musicians, actors, journalists, IT professionals, film-makers and the leaders of tomorrow are alumni of the college. Founded in 2006, Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture was the first higher educational institution in Palestine exclusively committed to arts and culture.
Dar al-Kalima University builds on the solid foundation and 160-year old educational and inclusive legacy of the Lutheran School in Bethlehem.
Diverse Student Body
The student body reflects the social, economic and religious diversity of the Palestinian community. While most students primarily come from different parts of the Bethlehem region including Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and nearby refugee camps, more and more students are enrolling from villages and communities throughout the West Bank. Generally, the student population is 60% Muslim and 40% Christian.
The faculty of the school reflect the diversity of the student body. The instructors are well-trained and use progressive teaching methodologies to bring art, music, acting writing, photography, film, tourism, information technology and a host of other skills to life.
More than half of the Palestinian population is under the age of 19. Current projections indicate that the overall population is expected to grow by at least 3.2% a year for the next 10 years. Should there be no expansion of the education system to absorb these growing numbers, a significant number of gifted young people in Palestine will have nowhere to further their education beyond the 12th grade and will have extremely limited opportunities in finding employment.
Dar Al-Kalima College is a direct answer to the current shortage of higher education institutions in Palestine. It is a beacon of hope for future generations. Dar Al-Kalima College is committed to building a culture of democracy, critical thinking, and free expression, thus contributing to the strengthening of the civil society in Palestine.
Academic Programs
Dar Al-Kalima College offers 2-year associate degrees in the following fields:
Arts, Multimedia Communications, Tourism Studies
If you would like to help grow hope and build a solid future for these college students, please consider a gift to help provide scholarships to these budding artists, film-makers, journalists, photographers and leaders. As of August 2019, Dar al-Kalima enrolls over 500 students and employs 30+ full-time and 70+ part-time faculty and staff, making it one of the largest employers in Palestine.

“I don’t want people who have passion to waste it, as I easily could have. I want to take every one’s passion seriously and reach out to people who could benefit from the college. Eventually, I want to teach art. I want other people to have access to the same experience I have had. “ – Rafat Rashaydeh, student

Population(s) Served
Adults

Bright Stars of Bethlehem grows hope for Palestinian seniors
Forced into early retirement after the wall was erected and checkpoints were enforced, Terez Saba found herself isolated, depressed and wondering what else could possibly be in her future. Then she found Ajyal. She says, "It was like a candle that shined my road again." Terez is now joining in monthly meetings, receiving preventative health services, enjoying yoga and rediscovering a long hidden talent for writing.
Ajyal “Generations” humble beginnings have quickly grown
What began as a pilot program within a single Bethlehem congregation more than six years ago, the Ajyal “Generations” Elder Care Program now serves seniors from all Christian denominations and the community at large. Ajyal is the first parish nurse program in Palestine and the Middle East. It combines spiritual, educational, recreational and health services to bring hope and healing to those age 65 and older in the Holy Land so that they may discover and share the richness of life.
This unique program offers its members:
Home and hospital visits by a parish nurse to offer basic care and companionship Weekly meetings featuring educational and spiritual activities and a joint meal Regular recreational gatherings and outings Health awareness programs
Ajyal members also serve their community by:
Visiting other seniors who are home- or hospital-bound to offer support and prayer Providing mentoring for young families Leading traditional crafts and story-telling workshops for children Preparing meals for special groups and events
Within the first six months of operation, the number of elderly served by the program grew from 14 to 140. In 2011, the program served 630 people and the projected growth in 2012 is to have at least 700 members.
Equipping Ajyal for the future
As demand for more programs and services increases, so does the need for Bright Stars of Bethlehem to increase support.
While each Ajyal participant contributes to the financial cost of their program, these seniors need your help to close the gap between what they can afford and the cost of delivering these high-quality ministries. To learn more about how you can help Terez and others like her, please consider a gift today.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Dollars donated to support advocacy efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dar al-Kalima University

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dar al-Kalima University

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average number of dollars received per donor

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

General Support

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Founded in 2003, Bright Stars of Bethlehem is a US 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides funding and support to initiatives spearheaded by Dar al Kalima University in Bethlehem and beyond. Bright Stars of Bethlehem promotes the many outreach programs of Dar al Kalima University and Diyar programs for children and youth and older adults through out the West Bank the now further in the whole of the Middle East that are serving the educational, medical, professional and spiritual development needs of people living in Palestine.

We do this by supporting the health, educational, cultural and spiritual development of people in Palestine through the outreach programs of the University and programs with degrees in the visual arts, music, theater, dance, film-making, culinary arts and authentic tourism. These degreed programs enable young adults and people of all ages to find viable vocation and employment and contribute to the greater Palestinian society. We seek support and funds from individuals, organizations, foundations, congregations and more in the US with a passion for the arts, justice and education. Together, we help and empower children and youth, college students, young families and seniors.

Bright Stars continues to grow and build hope in Bethlehem and beyond through the efforts and commitment of our Staff, Board of Directors, Area Representatives, Donors and Friends of Bright Stars. We enable volunteers and staff to seek support through regional and national events, direct mail, and many sources. Led by an Executive Director with a CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) delegation, the organization encompasses fundraising capacities through building awareness across the United States.

Bright Stars of Bethlehem is born out of the dream and vision of Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb. In 1995, Rev. Raheb began an outreach ministry in Bethlehem, Palestine from the congregation he serves, Christmas Lutheran Church. As this ministry grew, it attracted the attention of several supporters in the United States, including Wheat Ridge Ministries.

In 2003, Gregg Smith, Rich Bimler and Rev. Raheb began to work to create an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Bright Stars of Bethlehem was incorporated on November 12, 2003 under the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act “to support the health, education, cultural and spiritual development of the people of the Middle East in order to promote peace and harmony in the region."

Today Bright Stars of Bethlehem has an ever-increasing network of supporters in the U.S. Together we impact the lives of over 60,000 men, women and children in Palestine.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Bright Stars of Bethlehem NFP
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Bright Stars of Bethlehem NFP

Board of directors
as of 12/31/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jim Hooker

Entrepreneur

Jeanette Cool

Linda Edens

Mitri Raheb

Ed Cunnington

Andrew Watts

Susan Watts-Henderson

Carl Miller

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/27/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Unknown
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/27/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.