Friends of Abuna Elias Chacour know that his longtime dream has been to offer schooling from preschool through University degree programs to Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Druze students together, and to do so within Israel. The Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibillin provide that schooling from age 3 through high school graduation.

Getting accreditation and building permits for the university, however, has been an elusive goal. For several years Israel allowed a branch campus of the University of Indianapolis to offer college degrees with classes based in Ibillin on the MEEI campus, but then in 2008 accreditation was denied for any branch campuses within Israel. Students then enrolled were allowed to complete their programs, but the last graduation of Mar Elias College occurred in 2010.

Nazareth Academic Institute

Thanks to persistent efforts by friends in both Galilee and internationally, a new institution of higher education received accreditation from Israel’s Ministry of Education with initial majors in chemistry and communications.  In November 2010 the Nazareth Academic Institute opened its doors with sixty students in these 2 majors.  “Peace Studies” and “Peace Leadership” constitute parts of the core curriculum for all NAI students.  For more information about the Nazareth Academic Institute, please visit the NAI website.

Contact Us

Executive Director:

The Rev. Joan Deming
608-241-9281 office/home
608-235-1046 mobile

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To donate by check, make payable to Pilgrims of Ibillin and mail:
     Pilgrims of Ibillin c/o Jitasa
     1750 W Front St, Suite 200
     Boise, ID 83702

Pilgrims of Ibillin is a 501c3 nonprofit and donations are deductible under US tax law. Our tax # is 38-3243253.
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