Picture of Founder

Minutes of Schneller Alumni and Friends Association (SAFA) June 22nd- 24th get-together in Niagara Falls, Canada

1.       We started the meeting with a moment of silence and reflection upon those who have departed: Taroub Neaimi George Haddad Rev Al Roberts.  
2.       Aziz Shalaby thanked the attendees for coming and cited the history of our gatherings with the added dimensions:  from a start of 12 men, then adding our families to our meetings, so we can foster the ties between the families and Schneller, to our international settings of getting attendees from Australia, Germany, Lebanon, Canada and the United States. Our latest dimension is a group of highly accomplished individuals in medicine, theology, sciences and education, in addition to many successful business men in transportation, finance, real estate, insurance, restaurants, beauty salons, employees of international organizations and retired individuals.
3.        Aziz Shalaby communicated the written and verbal messages form Rev. George Haddad, Ghassan Shehadeh, Samir Akel, Samir Sayegh, Abdo Khanashat, Hans Schneller and Rev.Klaus Maurer. Copies of the written messages were distributed.
4.       Aziz Shalaby pointed out jlss.org as the schools web site and encouraged the attendees to visit it and learn about the school, its mission statement, employees, students and activities. Samples of the news were distributed such as Dr. and Katerina Aghabi’s visit to the school and the handing out of the scholarships.  Aziz talked about the new completed projects in the school such as the guest house.
5.       The short term thrust for fund raising is the science lab. As of now with the donations and the pledges for the science lab we have US$4,300, AUS$500 and CA$400.00. Our objective is $30,000. The endowment fund is our long term project. We currently have over $10,000 in this fund. We hope with bequests and donations we can grow this fund to where it’ll make a difference in the school’s budget.  Aziz informed the attendees about the German endowment fund and indicated that, after discussions with Klaus Maurer, for legal reasons the two funds need to stay separate.   Donations drawn on banks outside the US need to be in cash. Checks have been very expensive when deposited for collection. 
6.       2008 get-together will be in Niagara Falls. 2009 get-together will be in Lebanon Inshallah. Many thanks to Rafik Elfar and his wife Angie for doing a great job in coordinating and hosting the alumni and friends. Sydney was suggested as a get-together location thanks to Charles. Hopefully one year we’ll be there. 
7.       John Naim fell ill. He could not attend the meeting where Aziz highlighted the financial situation relative to the contributions, from US and Canada, to the school, about 50% of which are coming now from the alumni.
8.       Nimr Haddad made a slide presentation that took us all back to the school, bringing wonderful memories. We all looked young and handsome at that time, in comparison to the white hair of today, or for some, no hair at all!  Nimr has been kind enough to make a short oral history for every alumnus. Most of the attendees shared in a three minute oral presentation:  who they are, where they are now and how Schneller contributed to their success.
9.       Dr. Basil Rischmaui discussed the Schneller-geist- the Schneller spirit-. When you meet a Schnellerite, there is no guessing, you know exactly their true character, their caring, their loyalty, their commitment and their love for the Schneller institute.
10.   Yeghia Yeghiayan, a rarity, I stood corrected by Charles, Charles’ Mom, at 94 years old is the oldest Schnellerite alive from Jerusalem, Yeghia is 88 years old. We are assuming he is number two. Yeghia brought laughs and smiles to our faces. He told us about the Jerusalem buildings and the history of Schneller in Palestine.  
11.   Nick Neaimi delighted us, as usual, with his Qasidi. Nick reflected with a lot of fun about how we were fed, treated and raised during his days at Schneller. “Watch out for the keys.” Every verse elicited a long laugh.
12.   Dr. Hanna Aghabi encouraged us to volunteer for the school, have a structured organization, treat Schneller Amman and Schneller Khirbet as one entity, and do more fund raising in the main stream.
13.   We had open discussion about many issues. The three dominant issues were Schneller Amman, structured organization and board members. We will be exploring more ways to make some progress in these areas.
14.   Dr. Hartmut Brenner closed the meeting with an Arabic hymn, thanks to attendees and God’s blessings.
15.   Donations: On the social side we want to thank Dr. Hanna Aghabi and Katrina for the breakfast, their generosity in opening their Suite for photo opportunities and above all opening their hearts and their commitment with sincerity and dedication to the children of Schneller.  Katrina’s words were moving. I hope I covered all major points.
See you next year in Niagara Falls.
Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860