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Spring Fling 2023


On April 16 we look forward to Potluck Plus! to bring Ramallah Friends School into focus and to help BFM connect as a community in Light and Love and Spirit. 

  • Read below for event information and ways that you can help us continue to support Ramallah Friends School, which has been a beacon of Light for more than 150 years in a troubled location.

Spring Fling events and how to support Ramallah Friends School

April 16 at 11:00-12:00: 

  • Ibrahim S. (the Ramallah Friends exchange student attending Sidwell Friends this year), will meet with BFM First Day students.
  • Ibrahim will also attend the potluck lunch following worship. 

 April 16 at 12:15 p.m.: Join us for Potluck Plus!

  • Lunch will be outdoors. If it rains, we'll be in the Groome Building’s HEPA- filtered lunchroom. 
  • All are invited. Masks are welcome, not required. 
  • Bring a salad, main dish, or dessert if you think of it. If not, come anyway: potlucks never run out of food.

During April: contribute to our Ramallah Friends School fundraiser.

  • Bring a check or cash to the Potluck Donation Box.
  • Make checks out to Bethesda Friends Meeting with RFS in the memo line. Cash is okay. All donation decisions are private.
  • Donate online (PayPal or credit card) or by mailing a check. Click here for instructions. 

April 16 at 12:15 p.m.: Best Books of the Pandemic.

  • Exchange a book!  Did you have books of any vintage that helped you endure the pandemic? Bring them along!
  • Write your name on the inside cover if you need it back. Slip a two-sentence note inside (if you choose), explaining why you loved it.
  • Before you leave potluck, select from the book pool up to as many books as you brought.

The pictures in this quilt were drawn by the First Day School children in 2020. The drawings were transformed into this lovely quilt by Dot H. (BFM artist and quilter). We will auction the Quilt on April 16, and the proceeds will be donated to Ramallah Friends School. 

Please contribute generously to our Ramallah campaign! 

Ann P., a BFM Friend who is volunteering at Ramallah Friends School this school year, has sent us the following message:

In the midst of almost weekly acts of violence that close down all or parts of the West Bank, Ramallah Friends School continues its work to educate and nurture young Palestinians, grades PK through 12th. This beautiful campus is ushering in spring with the recent Junior/Senior Prom, blossoming almond trees, and the sounds of students on the basketball courts. This year’s seniors are embarking on mock IB exams, in preparation for the real thing in May. Our Writing Club has almost doubled in size and in output. My students are incredible writers. We plan to gather the best of our output in an anthology which we will do our best to publish. Between now and school’s end, we will issue the second edition of RFS’s arts and literary magazine, the Poppy. I am teaching a unit on Quakerism. As I walk across the campus and enter the old stone buildings that have nurtured and educated Palestine’s best and brightest for 153 years, I am aware of the intersection of Palestinian culture and Quaker values, and I am proud that BFM and individual Friends choose to support Ramallah Friends School institutionally and personally. There has never been a more important time to support Ramallah Friends School in this post-Covid period where so many institutions are doing their best to recover from revenue shortages.  I hope Bethesda F(f)riends will give generously to ensure that the school continues its work to cultivate ethical, moral, and spiritual values in young Palestinians.

Rotating photos of past spring fling gatherings

In past years

  • We cooked, baked, and ate delicious foods at a welcoming lunch. 
  • We purchased t-shirts, olive oil, wonderful plants, and amazing silent auction items.    
  • Members of our First Day School created art work for stunning quilts sewn by a gifted quilter. 
  • The result? We shared meals, museum tours, discussions, and movie nights. And we purchased cakes, shawls, dal, soups, art-work, and get-away trips to the mountains. 

As we remember our past events and contributions, we hope to continue this generosity

and sharing to support Ramallah students. 

  • Can you contribute again, either online or with a check?
  • If so, please see "how to donate" details here.

thank you.


  • Ramallah Friends School, founded by American Quakers in 1869 (more than 150 years ago!), is a co-ed K-12 school in the West bank (Palestine). Ramallah Friends School provides a first-class, peace-oriented education to children of all faiths and abilities.  
  • Spring Fling is a BFM fundraising event to provide scholarships for multiple students at Ramallah Friends School. For about 40 years, this school has been a main cause for our Meeting to support, and each year our goal is to raise money for as many full scholarships as we can.  
  • Ramallah Friends School is a leader in Palestinian education, with a high percentage of students graduating with an international baccalaureate degree.  They also promote a search for God to all human situations, and to cultivate ethical, moral, and spiritual values.
  • Download a flyer or an information sheet about Ramallah Friends School. 

"Go Palestine" summer RFS event

A Summer Experience for Diaspora

Palestinian Youth and Friends

For over a century, Ramallah Friends School has been a light of education in a land crossed by many cultures.

RFS sponsors the summer program "Go Palestine" as an opportunity for Palestinian youth and Friends, ages 14 to 17, in the Diaspora to experience and explore Palestine.

[See photo at left.] 

Reported by Frank Greve on May 30, 2021

Dear Friends,    Ramallah Friends School (RFS) survived the recent (2021) Israeli-Palestinian violence almost unscathed, reports Kelly Kellum, general secretary of Friends United Meeting (FUM), under whose care the school falls. He said  one RFS student, a 12th-grader who clashed with Israeli forces near a border checkpoint, suffered leg injuries, spent the night in jail, and was released the next morning.  And one RFS family visiting relatives in Gaza found themselves stuck for the duration of the conflict. The family returned to Ramallah when the cease-fire stuck, but as they did, other RFS families learned that kin in Gaza had suffered from Israeli missile attacks.

The Friends School's grounds were untouched, Kelly Kellum said, and peaceful demonstrations took place in downtown Ramallah last week.  That said, two experiences braced RFS students and disheartened some. 

  • One was the overall impotence of rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. These were generally foiled by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, which blew them out of the sky, sometimes within view of Ramallah.
  • The second bracing experience was the heavy news coverage by both sides of the casualties of school-age Palestinian and Israeli children.
  • To offset the second in particular, RFS head of school Adrian Moody, ordered students back to live classrooms as soon as it seemed the cease-fire would hold. Moody's hope was to return to normal as quickly as possible. Ramallah Friends was the first West Bank school to resume normal classes.

FUM's Kellum said that the school's educational quality and steadiness help to keep in Ramallah Palestinians who might otherwise accept exile. In a measure of that steadiness, Ramallah Friends'  graduation will be in-person next week. At its end, Moody will step down and be succeeded by Rania Maayah, a former Ramallah Friends student and teacher who's a parent of three alumni.

Bethesda Friends Meeting

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda MD 20824

Our Meetinghouse is on the campus of the Sidwell Friends Lower School at the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Beverly Road in Bethesda, Maryland

We are a member organization of the Religious Society of Friends
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