US Christians assisting Ukraine Shoah survivors

The city of Bila Tserkva in talks to open first Western-style assisted living facility in Ukraine for Holocaust survivors and the elderly.

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Mark Langfan,

Don Horwitz with Mayor Dikyi
Don Horwitz with Mayor Dikyi
Greg Menken

In a one-of-a-kind deal, a global Christian ministry is in talks to partner with the city of Bila Tserkva in central Ukraine to open the first Western-style advanced assisted living facility in Ukraine for Holocaust survivors and the elderly.

The idea came from what might seem an unlikely source – a Jewish-American man by the name of Don Horwitz.

Horwitz serves as Executive Director of Christians Care International (CCI), the only Christian charitable organization that provides a full continuum of direct support services to impoverished Jews in the former Soviet Union (FSU), and has helped more than 87,000 Jews make aliyah.

Through his work with CCI, Horwitz frequently travels to Ukraine to oversee many of the programs that CCI runs, from emergency shelters for children to senior centers. Horwitz returned from his most recent trip just last week, and reports that since the current civil strife began in Ukraine, conditions there have deteriorated drastically for thousands of impoverished Jews.

Horwitz determined seniors needed more support if they were to survive.

“The situation for many Holocaust survivors and elderly in Ukraine is terrible,” explained Horwitz. “Our new assisted living facility will help these poor people who live alone in dire conditions get the world-class elder care they so desperately need.”

Horwitz met with the Mayor of Bila Tserkva, Gennady Dikyi, to discuss the partnership. The city woul donate a building for the facility, and CCI would hire and train the medical and psychological staff who will provide advanced Western-style care for elderly residents.

CCI expects the facility to open in about one year. It will operate in accordance with the highest standards of Westernized care.

According to Horwitz, none of it could happen without the love and support from Christians around the world, who provide the funding to make CCI’s work possible.

How did a Jewish man come to lead this global Christian ministry?

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” says Horwitz. “It was God that led me down this path.”