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Speaking with Don Horwitz

Today, Christians Care International has greatly expanded its operations to assist the impoverished Jews of the former Soviet Union. We are the only Christian organization operating in Ukraine that provides direct support services to Jewish children and adults. We have more than 1,700 Jewish orphans and underprivileged children in our care and have helped more than 87,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union make aliyah to Israel. Our senior programs provide daily meals, health care and stimulating activities to hundreds of elderly Jews and Holocaust survivors and our humanitarian aid program moves into action to provide life-saving food, medicine and assistance when lives are a stake.

I believe there are no coincidences in life. God led me to Christians Care International. Why else would a Jew be leading a Christian ministry?

PneumaReview.com: Describe for us what you see as the relationship between the Church and Judaism.

Don Horwitz: I see Christians and Jews as brothers and sisters – we are both part of God’s family. The Church, and Christians, are part of the house of Israel. This is something you see throughout Paul’s letters, that through believing in Jesus, the church has been “grafted in” (Romans 11:17) to the Jewish people, binding our destinies in the future and as co-heirs in God’s Kingdom.

While we should never diminish the very distinctive beliefs held by Christians and Jews, we must also remember that these beliefs are rooted in the same scriptures. We are both accountable to one another and share countless ethical concerns for others around the world.

So the relationship between the Jewish people and the Church should be characterized by mutual respect, mutual concern, dialogue and partnership when it comes to reflecting God’s presence to our world.

 

PneumaReview.com: What do you see as overt anti-Semitism? Is this on the rise around the world?

Don Horwitz: Anti-Semitism is rising around the world. Today in the U.S., we are seeing daily threats and vandalism against Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and community centers. In Europe, Jews are targeting and killed. In the former Soviet Union, anti-Semitism is engrained in the culture, and Jews remain prime scapegoats for the region’s troubles.

When I visit Christians Care International’s programs in the former Soviet Union, I see first-hand how anti-Semitism forces many Jews to hide their identity and heritage for fear of their lives. However, Jews are not alone in facing persecution; Christians are also being targeted and killed for their religious beliefs.

Christians and Jews must join hands now in support of each other. We must say, “No More!” to anti-Semitism and persecution.

By participating in the raising up of the Jewish people and the restoration of Israel, we are becoming the hands and feet of God. Israel is the very epicenter of God’s light and it is that light that will spread out to bring peace to all of humanity.

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2017

About the Author: Don Horwitz is the Executive Director of Christians Care International. As the grandson of Russian Jewish immigrants who fled for their lives from Ukraine in 1917, Don has always maintained a strong connection with his family’s heritage. After repeated visits to Russia and Ukraine, Don saw first-hand the countless children, orphans and adults left suffering from neglect and abuse. Don decided to act – adopting his three daughters from Russia, founding a charity in Moscow to help other orphans, and helping make documentary films about the humanitarian crisis facing vulnerable Jews of the former Soviet Union. It was his experience making these films for the organization that would become Christians Care International that eventually led to his answering the call to lead the organization as its Executive Director. For more about Christians Care International and Don Horwitz, see: www.christianscare.org/about.

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