Christian donations save Jerusalem cancer center in Shtern's memory

Center established 10 months ago in memory late MK Yuri Shtern which has treated nearly 500 patients, was in danger of closing due to lack of funding.

yuri shtern 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
yuri shtern 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Three prominent Jerusalem-based evangelical Christian organizations have contributed $15,000 to a holistic center for cancer patients in the capital, enabling it to continue operating for at least another six months. The center, which was established 10 months ago in memory of the late MK Yuri Shtern and has treated nearly 500 patients since then, was in danger of closing due to lack of funding, said Marik Shtern, director-general of the Yuri Shtern Foundation. "It is very moving for me to know that the Christian organizations which were in very close contact with my father are at our side and are helping us perpetuate his memory," Shtern said Tuesday. Shtern's father, who passed away last year after a debilitating battle with cancer, was the founder of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus and spearheaded Israel's burgeoning relations with Christian supporters around the world. The three evangelical organizations, which contributed $5,000 each to the center, are the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, Bridges for Peace, and Christian Friends of Israel. "It is a privilege and joy to honor the memory of a wonderful man who was a patriot and loved his people dearly," said Rev. Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. "His premature death when he succumbed to cancer was a great loss to the country, and of course to the Christian community," he said. The center offers alternative treatments for cancer patients at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Hospital and Hadassah-University Medical Center at Ein Kerem. The treatments are provided free of charge by volunteer therapists, allowing patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds to benefit equally. In the future, the Yuri Shtern Foundation also plans to open a Yuri Shtern House offering similar treatments for non-hospitalized patients. The foundation was founded last year to promote environmental and immigrant absorption projects that were the hallmark of the work Shtern strove to fulfill.