• Marina and her Hebrew class in Bila Tserkva | Photo: Christians for Israel
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The War in Ukraine is Never Far Away

Koen Carlier - 27 September 2022

We went on a working visit to the Jewish school in Bila Tserkva in the Ukrainian Kyiv Oblast. The school has nearly 200 pupils and toddlers. There we got to know Marina, the Hebrew teacher. It was only the second day she was teaching there.

Marina had fled from south-eastern Ukraine with her six-year-old son, Matvey. When the war broke out, she was living in the town of Mykolaiv. The town was shelled and Marina fled, together with her young son. They ended up in a rural village in the vicinity of Bila Tserkva.

“Marina had fled from south-eastern Ukraine with her six-year-old son, Matvey”

Chance doesn’t exist
Now what? She was out of work and all her money was nearly gone. It seemed a hopeless situation. By chance she met Natella. Natella is the headmaster of the Jewish school in Bila Tserkva. She asked Marina why she was wearing a Star of David and if she happened to know a little Hebrew.


Marina used to teach Hebrew lessons in Mykolaiv. The only thing missing at Natella’s school was a Hebrew teacher. The rest is history. Marina could start working at the school in Bila Tserkva!

In the meanwhile Marina is teaching Hebrew, her son is attending school there and she feels accepted into the family of teachers and children of the school. We were allowed to attend a lesson in Hebrew as well!

Our work in Ukraine
Although the groups of people that leave Ukraine are smaller, our team continues to help mainly Jewish elderly, mothers and children from the war zone via Moldova to Israel. Now that temperatures drop below freezing for many there will be a time to decide: “Will I try to survive without basic needs or do I choose to flee?” Especially for elderly it is hard to leave their familiar surroundings. We try to support them and encourage them to leave for Israel.
It costs € 135 / US $ 150 to assist a Jewish person from Ukraine to make Aliyah. Any amount is welcome!


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