A faith-based ministry supporting the only Recognized K-12 Evangelical Christian School in Israel.
New FON Executive Director Selected
Tyson Lee
FON's Executive Director, Donna P. Chisam, plans to retire on October 31, 2021. The Board of Directors prayerfully, enthusiastically, and unanimously elected Tyson Lee as her successor during its January 29, 2021 Board meeting.

Tyson will spend the next nine months shadowing Donna and transitioning to the newly elected position.

He is currently the Co-Founder/Owner of Axis Wireless LLC in Bristol, TN.
Tyson has over 25 years of leadership experience, including non-profit oversight. He is an active member of Fellowship Chapel, a FON partnership church, in Bristol, VA. He also has a small non-profit, Wireless 4 the World, that recycles used cell phones for revenue and uses the revenue to ship Bibles around the world.

Tyson currently serves on the NEMA-FON Board as its Strategic Liaison. He traveled with NEMA-FON on its 2018 Spiritual Enrichment Journey and led a team of volunteers in 2019. Conditions permitting, he will lead a 2021 team from Fellowship Chapel to serve during the 2nd week of the NBS/FON VBS program.

Dr. Roger Mardis will continue to serve as President.

We invite you to welcome Tyson and pray for him as he transitions to this new role. His email is tyson@friendsofnazareth.org.
Update on Israel and Covid-19
Those in Nazareth are thankful that the restrictions associated with the third lockdown have been eased. Nazareth is an Orange area, one level below red. Therefore, schools are not allowed to reopen until the code is in a safer range. Residents of Nazareth can now travel over 1000 meters from their home, they can order food from a restaurant for pick-up or delivery, they can visit nature parks, and they can congregate in groups of five or fewer while practicing social distancing and wearing face masks.

Parents are very hopeful that the students can return to campus soon. Many parents are unable to return to work until the schools reopen. It is expected that schools will open first to K-4th grade and 11-12th graders.

Israel's vaccination program is aggressive. Since December 9, 2020, when the first shipment of vaccines arrived, more than half of the population have received the vaccination(s). In comparison, America has vaccinated about 10% of its population. Israel has gained the title of "the most vaccinated country on Earth." While cases continue in Israel, mostly due to weariness, mutations, and ignoring protocols, the severe case situation is lower as is the death rate.

FON has yet to learn how this will impact its ability to host summer teams. NBS has not learned whether the Ministry of Education will approve programs such as VBS. We hope to learn about the government's plans no later than April 15, 2021. Our prayers are for the summer programs to be opened while ensuring the safety of all.
Photo Journal
Shaden Khlief
Meera Sakran
NBS sent FON lovely and heartfelt messages thanking the donors for their meaningful gifts to support and improve the school. Two students, Shaden Khlief and Meera Sakran, videotaped messages of appreciation that were posted on FON's Facebook page. Others on the Administration team also sent videos that are posted on Facebook.

FON is honored to represent NBS in America and be a part of Building the Rising Generations - Glorifying Jesus Christ through Distinctive Education. You are invited to visit Friends of Nazareth on Facebook.
Malak Lahham, NBS 2018 graduate, has been awarded first place in the Middle East Storyteller's Competition. She wrote about visiting her grandmother through a glass window during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Congratulations, Malak!
When is testing a welcomed event? During Covid-19! High school students were required to take their National testing for Hebrew, Arabic, math, and English on campus. Students were separated into small capsules, required to wear masks, and be socially distant. The students were excited to be together in person for the first time in months.
NBS is using the Covid-19 time to work on cataloging and displaying its heritage. The displayed poster shows graduation classes 50 to 66. Since its inception, NBS has graduated 3,564 students. The school was started in the 1935-36 school year. Future graduating classes will be added.
Mona Aboud, NBS' Sports and Health teacher, led the 11th-grade students in an informative class in honor of World Cancer Day. Students heard lectures on cancer awareness and prevention. Following the digital class, each student was asked to prepare a project about practicing a healthy lifestyle. Remah Abdou, NBS Counselor, coordinated an effort where students presented their projects to students in other Nazareth schools.
Dr. Amal Khazen, former Director of the Nursing School at the Nazareth Hospital, addressed parents of 7th - 12th graders. She helped them learn to identify when their child might be in a crisis situation and offered tools to help them nurture their students through a difficult life event.

NBS seeks to offer a holistic approach to learning by involving parents in the academic process.
Summer 2021 Registration
Registration is open for VBS Summer service opportunities. See www.friendsofnazareth.org to register.

Potter's Wheel registration is on hold until final decisions in light of Covid-19 can be made.
If you are interested in joining a FON team, please visit our website. Some trips are limited in size and departure location. All participants must have received a Covid-19 vaccination and present their vaccination records. It is expected that travelers must also have a negative Covid-19 test result that is no older than 72 hours.

All participants must attend scheduled training with their respective teams.
Support the FON Ministry
Praise, Prayer and Plans
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. James 5:13


  • Israel is the world's poster child for vaccine implementation.
  • High School Students were able to return to NBS in-person to take their Bagrut (National) exams.
  • The new fiber optic line and computers are greatly appreciated, especially during exam times!
  • A productive and exciting FON Board meeting on January 29, 2021.
  • Plans remain open for the VBS summer program.


  • For continued Covid-19 protection among NBS staff.
  • FON is moving forward with plans for Summer 2021. Please pray for our partners and for these programs to glorify Jesus Christ.
  • For wisdom for National leaders as they take steps to reopen Israel's schools and economy.
  • For the teachers to remain flexible and engaged in distant learning protocols. Give them stamina, creative and effective teaching approaches.
  • For FON summer volunteers and SEJ members to be able to get their vaccination.
  • Spiritual awakening in the Holy Land.
  • 2022 engagement with Student Leadership University. 2021's program has been postponed.

PLANS - 2021

  • July 6-24. VBS/Day Camps. Praying for full approval by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
  • August 3-21. Potter's Wheel Retreats. On hold until the Ministry of Education provides guidelines and approvals.
  • October 11-23, 2021 Spiritual Enrichment Journey (SEJ)
Registration is Open
Registration is open at www.friendsofnazareth.org. The SEJ originates in Atlanta on the afternoon of October 11, 2021. Other origination points are available; however, there may be a difference in cost. From Atlanta, the group will travel to Frankfurt and then straight to Tel Aviv. All passengers must depart together from Atlanta or Frankfurt. We invite you to join us for this life-altering journey.

In order to travel, all participants must have received a Covid-19 vaccination, met the recommended waiting period after the vaccine, and present their vaccination records. It is expected that travelers must also have a negative Covid-19 test result that is no older than 72 hours.
Peaks and Pits by Dr. Roger Mardis

Congratulations to FON President, Dr. Roger D. Mardis, on the publication of his third book.

Friends of Nazareth is honored that Dr. Mardis is assigning all book proceeds to our non-profit organization that supports the Nazareth Baptist School, Nazareth, Israel. Each of the 1000 students, plus staff, send their thanks and congratulations to Dr. Mardis.

Mailing Address
Please mail donations and correspondence for Dr. Roger Mardis to:

Friends of Nazareth
219 Simpson Street
Florence, AL 35630
Visit Friends of Nazareth on Facebook
Friends of Nazareth
Friends of Nazareth (FON), A Nazareth Educational Ministries Association (NEMA) Corporation, is a n0n-profit corporation. It is operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax code. Our tax ID is: 59-3800059.

FON reserves the right to withhold up to 5% of designated donations for administration.
Stock Donations:
(Donated appreciated stock may reduce one's taxes)

Please contact the NEMA-FON broker for assistance.
John Dupuis
Wells Fargo Investments
201 N. Court Street
Florence, AL 35630


Consider setting up a fundraiser on Facebook to benefit Nazareth Educational Ministries Association (Friends of Nazareth). Simply search donations on Facebook. Click on Facebook Shortcuts, Fundraisers. Create your post. Invite friends to participate and post on your homepage.

Facebook does not take a fee for charitable gifts. Therefore, all of the donated funds come directly to NEMA-FON.
Friends of Nazareth
219 Simpson Street
Florence, AL 35630