Search      Language 
     

Calling all Mission Corps Alumni (Article)
On the Front Lines (Article)
Dream Big (Article)
Regnum Christi Renewal Website Now Available in English (Article)
God Desires to Draw Us to Himself (Article)

Opening Doors in the Hospitality Business
ISRAEL | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Professional Promotion Hospitality Section at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center offers new opportunities for Palestinian and Armenian youth.

Students in the Culinary Arts program learn in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center kitchen.
Students in the Culinary Arts program learn in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center kitchen.

January 19, 2010. East Jerusalem, Israel. Before he graduated from high school, Armen knew he wanted to go into the hotel business, and he knew he had the smarts and skills to make it. His father, who has worked in hotels for the past 38 years, encouraged his son to go for his dream.
 
But as a Palestinian Armenian Orthodox, Armen knew he would be facing a horizon of limited options. Almost all of the hotel schools cater to the Israeli people, requiring fluency in Hebrew. Armen speaks some Hebrew, but his English is far better.
 
Once he crosses the educational barrier, he will face another challenge: the job market for Palestinians and Armenians is restricted to lower and middle-level jobs. No matter how smart, talented, and hardworking he might be, he will never be able to work his way up the ladder to a top executive-level position in an Israeli hotel or even in an Arab-run hotel. Israeli hotels simply do not allow it, and Arab-run hotels are mostly family businesses where non-family employees are not promoted to managerial positions.
 
This could be very discouraging for any young man or woman his age. But Armen has a plan, and the Professional Promotion Hospitality Section at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is helping him achieve it.
 
An open door
 
The Professional Promotion Hospitality Section (PPHS) at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center was established in September of 1990 with a clear mission: to serve and educate all people regardless of their religion, gender, and race, and to support skilled professionals in their social, moral, and ethical values and responsibilities.

In keeping with its commitment to universal service, the PPHS at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is the only
Students in Notre Dame Hospitality school.
The PPHS at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is the only hospitality school in East Jerusalem that offers classes in English.
hospitality school in East Jerusalem that offers classes in English. Young Palestinians of low-income backgrounds are also offered scholarships funded by organizations like Caritas, the St Vincent de Paul Society, and the National Christian Association. About 99% of the students, who range in age from 18 to 33, are from East Jerusalem. Many of them would not have been able to study anywhere else.

While opening the door to first-time students, the school also offers ongoing training to hospitality professionals who want to upgrade their knowledge and skills. The latter offering is necessary, since many of the Palestinian hotels are run by unskilled workers who do not have the same degree of training and preparation (for lack of opportunity) as their Israeli counterparts.
 
A training ground
 
A professional hospitality school like the PPHS is specifically focused on offering the theoretical and practical training that is needed to run every aspect of a hotel. Its hands-on approach requires teachers who are also professionals in the business, as well as an on-site training ground for apprenticeship. Both teachers and real-time training are made possible thanks to the PPHS’ location at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Guest House, an internationally renowned four-star hotel.
Students of culinary arts in particular reap the benefits of learning in the state-of-the-art kitchen of Notre Dame’s French cuisine restaurant, La Rotisserie, considered one of the finest in the city of Jerusalem. Notre Dame also has three additional restaurants for hotel guests, including a special section for fine pastries and cakes—an excellent opportunity for students specializing in this area.
 
The PPHS course offering is structured into four certification programs.
 
• The Higher Certificate Programs are two-year full-time programs offered in cooperation with Bethlehem University’s Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism and the Dublin Institute of
Notre Dame students
A professional hospitality school like the PPHS is specifically focused on offering the theoretical and practical training that is needed to run every aspect of a hotel.
Technology.

The first program is the Rooms Division Management, which aims at providing education and training to high school graduates seeking a job in the Rooms Division Department of hotel management. Courses include front desk procedures, night auditing, reservations, housekeeping management, sales and marketing, hotel accounting, communication and presentation skills, guest relations, languages, and more. 

The second is the Culinary Art of Food and Service, which aims at providing adequate theoretical and practical training to high school graduates who a seek a job in the Food & Beverage Department. Some of the courses covered in this program include menu planning, food production, Middle Eastern cuisine, pastry and baking, food safety and hygiene, and service-related skills, among others.

• The Continuing Professional Development Certificate offers ongoing professional training to men and women who are already in the workforce and who want to brush up their skills. It offers various subjects for certification, from the culinary art of food preparation and an introduction to business to specific training courses for administrative assistant positions, travel clerks, and accounting clerks.

• The Award of Excellence is given after completion of a series of English/Arabic translation courses.

• And finally, the Certificate of Attendance applies to any of the subjects listed above.

A leg up
 
For the past twenty years, the PPHS has succeeded in helping 90% of its students find work at leading hotels, such as The King David, The American Colony, The David Citadel, Jasser Palace Intercontinental, and Jericho Intercontinental.
 
“Studying here has given me some connections to the hotels that are involved in the network, and it helped me to find a job in a leading hotel in Jerusalem,” agreed Garo, an Armenian student at PPHS.

However, even with the preparation and connections they receive at Notre Dame, students like Armen still find that the fulfillment of their highest aspirations will be difficult.
 
“We have a big problem here,” he said. “We study here for two or three years and it’s good; we’re happy. When we go to work, our target is to reach for a good position in the future. But here, if you’re not Israeli, your options are more limited."
 
“It’s not easy for us to live here, as Armenians, as Palestinians,” he said simply.
 
In conversation with his father, Armen did find a solution. He will complete his education in Jerusalem and travel to the States or Europe to launch his career. He may eventually come back… or his visits home may end up being just that: visits.
 
It is not fair, but it is his reality. In the meantime, his experience at the PPHS is a good one, and he is grateful for the help it is giving him.
 
“They are Christian and I have good friends here. The atmosphere is good, and the teachers are experienced and professional. It’s a good opportunity,” he said.
 
To learn more about the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, visit the web site at www.notredamecenter.org.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2010-02-02


 
 

Related links

Altius Foundation
Immaculate Conception Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Anáhuac Network of Universities
Canyon Heights Academy
Clear Water Academy
Dublin Oak Academy


Follow us on:   
Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


Do you wish to addOpening Doors in the Hospitality Business to your favorites?
Yes   -    No