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Our Mission

The Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center (UECC) is a non-profit organization located in the suburbs of Philadelphia in Jenkintown, PA.  Founded in 1980, UECC is a focal point of Ukrainian-American cultural life in the Delaware Valley.  The objective of the UECC is to preserve and promote awareness of Ukrainian heritage throughout the community. The UECC houses over 30 community, educational, scholarly and professional organizations and a Ukrainian Library.  Educational programs range from a nursery school to a twelve-year Saturday School that provides instruction in Ukrainian language, literature, history, geography, music and culture.

The Mission of the UECC is to establish and maintain the facilities; promote, support, conduct and maintain social services and educational programs; and act and function exclusively for charitable and educational goals.

Історія UECC

У 2020 році нам виповнюється 40 років.

Ми пишаємося тим, що з 1980 року позитивно торкнулися та вплинули на життя багатьох людей. Ми дякуємо незліченним прихильникам і волонтерам, які протягом багатьох років підтримували фінансово та фізично  наші програми, заходи та наша робота для української громади.


Ми обіцяємо й надалі працювати над нашою метою служіння українській громаді у районі Великої Філадельфії. 


Fall 1979

Parents Committee of the Ukrainian Saturday School initiated search for a permanent home.


Cedar Elementary School, was found by Mrs. Roma Salak and Mrs. Yaryna Telepko (Realtor)


December 15, 1979

Dr. Alexander Chernyk spearheaded the project

October 19, 1980

First UECC Board of Directors elected; Daniel Maxymuik Esq. appointed UECC's solicitor, serving for 20 years on a pro bono basis.


September 19, 1981

Official UECC dedication ceremony with Archbishop Metropolitan Stefan Sulyk providing the blessing


October 1981

16 Ukrainian organizations joined the UECC


1982 - 1983

Lottery for Building Renovation/Expansion raised $112,000 – organized by Board Member Christine Kulchyckyj


December 11, 1982

1st UECC Christmas Bazaar held with art exhibits of local artists



VISTA Social Services Federal Grant awarded for $65,000 due to the efforts of Vera Andryczyk, Orysia Hewka, Martha Tatunchak and Maria Kondrat

Ukrainian American Senior Citizens Association formed as a program of the UECC.  Social services of UECC obtained contract with Montgomery County Department of Aging to provide hot lunches for our seniors

UECC joined United Way


First UECC Newsletter organized by Dr. L. Onyshkevych and V. Andryczyk


Courses in folk arts offered at UECC

Mrs. Orysia Hewka appointed Executive Director by UECC Board


October 1985

Dr. A. Chernyk “Roast” held to benefit UECC.

5th UECC Banquet - $300K Mortgage Burned


1985 - 1987

Construction of new wing and atrium began at a cost of $850,000.00 USFCU contributed $154,000.00 for renovating the Main Hall


Social Services Bureau expanded to 1325 West Lindley Philadelphia – the branch continued to operate until 1994


February 22, 1986

Sen. M. Joseph Rocks (PA-R) honored as Man of the Year at 6th UECC Banquet. He helped secure a $50,000 grant for UECC Social Services.


​February 15, 1987

UECC & Ukrainian Community Committee took part in “We the People 200, Inc.”

Constitutional Bicentennial at Balch Institute presented an exhibit of Ukrainian heritage and customs


February 22, 1987

UECC formally incorporated and received nonprofit status

June 24, 1987

Celebration of the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine in the Capital Building Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA - UECC & Philadelphia Organizations

September 17, 1988

Ribbon Cutting and blessing of New Wing dedicated by Dr. Chernyk

Spring 1989

1st Phonathon held, organized by B. Zacharczuk to pay down UECC building expansion loan

October 1989

Borys Zacharczuk elected president.

February 24, 1990

Dr. A. Chernyk was honored for bringing many organizations to the Center

September 1990

Spearheaded by the UECC, “Ridna Shkola” and “Nasha Ukrainska Shkola” CYM united into one school “Nasha Ukrainska Ridna Shkola;” Alexander Lushnycky, Ph D. elected as 1st principal

1990 - 1991

Organized 1st performers from free Ukraine: Vika Rock group, Cultural Exchange, Leontovych String Quartet, etc


Ukrainian Library (Plast - Chortopolokhy) became program of the UECC

September 1991

11th UECC Banquet, Sen. Greenleaf named “Man of the Year.”

His efforts brought UECC a second $25,000 grant for Building Renovations.

October 13, 1991

UECC and other Ukrainian Organizations took part in “Neighbors in the New World,” annual “Columbus Day” Parade

December 1991

Philadelphia Electric Co. building proclaimed “Ukraine is Independent” on its rooftop lighted sign. The project was initiated by P. Sawchak and executed by Mrs. O. Hewka under the direction of Borys Zacharczuk.

May 2, 1992

1st Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk visits Philadelphia and the UECC

August 24, 1992

1st Anniversary of Ukrainian Independence celebrated at UECC

March 16, 1993

UECC presents distinguished Service Award to Eudokia Dyczko Blawacka (Ukrainian Radio program from ‘52 - ‘92) at the 13th UECC


B. Zacharczuk initiates UECC Radio program at station WNWR 1540 AM

February 26, 1994

UECC honors UNA at Centennial Anniversary – Supreme President Ulana Diachuk honored at UECC's Banquet

Fall 1994

UECC organized a protest against the defamation of Ukrainians in a CBS “60 Minutes” documentary called “Ugly Faces of Freedom.”  A monetary penalty was paid by CBS


UECC second newsletter – Quarterly was published with editors: Dzwinka Zacharczuk and Petrusia Sawchak

The Metropolitan Ballet Academy/School under the direction of Ms. Lisa Collins opened at the UECC.

March 9, 1996

16th Annual Banquet honored Dr. Julian Kulas and Pres. B. Zacharczuk.

Second Mortgage of $500,000. was burned at the banquet

1996 - 1998

UECC TV Programs produced and aired weekly Produced by B.Zacharczuk


The first contribution from Ann and James Ganley, non-Ukrainians from St. Louis, Missouri who became very generous donors to UECC, contributing more than $85,000.00 over a number of years

First One Hour TV program in conjunction with “KONTAKT” directed by B. Zacharczuk was aired​

April 5, 1997

UECC honored Editor Zenon Snylyk of “Svoboda” at their 17th Annual Banquet with special exhibits by the state of Pennsylvania and the PA Dept. of Agriculture

July 25, 1997

UECC featured Ukrainian Culture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Community Outreach program (1500 people attended)

October 1997

Mykola Lutyj elected 3rd UECC president


October 12, 1997

UECC Scholarship Pageant held. Natalka Sendecki was crowned “Miss Ukraine” of Greater Philadelphia


December 7, 1997

Ukraine proclaimed Independence!  UECC staff under Mrs. O. Hewka organized a motorcade and rally from 60th Street to Philadelphia Art Museum

March 28, 1998

UECC held a reception for Rep. Jon D. Fox who was instrumental in securing $225 million in foreign aid to Ukraine. Vera Andryczyk chaired the effort

Fall 1998

1st Annual UECC Report  prepared by O.Hewka. An annual report is now prepared before each Annual Meeting

October 1998

18th UECC Banquet, Pres. Mukola Luty welcomed and honored Ukraine’s  Ambassador to the U.S. Anton Buteiko


Spring 1999

Untimely death of UECC President Mykola Lutyj; Alexander Mychaluk became interim President

October 1999

Patricia Sawchak elected as 3rd UECC president

February 26, 2000

UECC 20th Anniversary Banquet held - Amb. Kostiantyn Hryshchenko & wife Natalia attended - Service awards presented to Borys Zacharczuk, Eudokia Sorochaniuk, and Senior Citizens Association

April 15, 2000

1st annual UECC Easter Bazaar held


2000 - 2002

UECC Social Service Bureau under direction of Mrs. O. Hewka assisted Ukrainians forced to work in Germany during WWII in claiming reparations.  More than 350 were interviewed and assisted.



P. Sawchak achieved sales tax exemption for the UECC and established a website and an email address

February 2001

At UECC 21st Banquet, President P. Sawchak presented recognition award to John (Ivan) Hynansky for his generous contributions in USA and Ukraine


Spring 2001

The UECC welcomed the crew of Ukrainian “Tall Ship” “Bat'kivschyna”

April 21, 2001

15th Anniversary of Chornobyl disaster commemoration held at UECC – proceeds earmarked for orphanages in Ukraine

June 9, 2001

UECC organized (P. Sawchak and O. Hewka) and presented “The Brave Rooster” a children’s operetta and political satire


August 8, 2001

UECC sponsored 2nd Mosaic of Ukrainian culture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

September 29, 2001

Gallery renamed in honor of Dr. Alexander B. Chernyk at a special dedication ceremony

March 2, 2002

UECC Banquet held to honor Archbishop - Metropolitan Stefan Soroka of Ukrainian Catholic Church, chaired by UECC Director Mrs. T. Katruk


October 2002

Borys Zacharczuk elected President of the UECC for a second time.



Concert and tribute reception for Roma Pryma – Bohachevsky

March 4, 2004

Sculpture of Taras Shevchenko by Vitaliy Simianciw unveiled during commemorative concert. It now stands in the UECC lobby

May 8, 2004

UECC 24th banquet honored the continued support of Ukrainian Self Reliance Federal Credit Union and Ukrainian Heritage Foundation (1st Security Bank)

September 17, 2005

UECC joined in co-sponsoring a Banquet and organizing a choral performance at the Philadelphia

Constitution Hall to honor Pres.Viktor Yushchenko in receiving the coveted Philadelphia Liberty Medal

Apil 2006

UECC 26th Banquet lauded Ukraine’s new Trade relationship and celebrated the Jackson-Vanik Trade Amendment. Sen. Rick Santorum and Ukraine’s  Ambassador to the U.S. Oleh Shamshur were honored

October 2006

Borys V. Pawluk elected President of UECC

April 21, 2007

First Cabaret-style night organized by Ms. L. Krywusha featuring Ukrainian born virtuoso Vasyl Popadiuk & his band “Papa Duke”

January 2008

First Malanka Cruise (7 day) to the Western Caribbean organized and chaired by Mrs. A. Zharovsky. More than $25,000.00 was raised for the UECC.


April 20, 2008

UECC 25th Anniversary Banquet with the Honorable Judge Bohdan A. Futey as a keynote speaker.


May 2008

Two new events organized for children - Den Ukrainskoyi Dytyny and a Cartoon Festivalchaired by Mrs. A. Zharovsky and Mrs. N. Firko


May 28, 2008    

UECC took part and assisted in commemorating the 75th anniversary of Ukraine's Famine 1932 – 33, and passed the Ukrainian International “Torch of Remembrance Day” to Mayor Michael Nutter


Fall 2008

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes organized by UECC and funded by Western Union


Ukrainian Greenhouse Association of Kyiv welcomed and hosted by Ukrainian Federation of America and UECC directors

September 2008

Tribute luncheon for Dr. Eugene Novosad for twenty-five years of service as president of the Ukrainian American Senior Citizens’ Association


September 12, 2008

First “Meet & Greet” Festival organized by Mrs. Natalka Firko, UECC Program VP  


September 30, 2008

UECC assisted the Ukrainian community in Philadelphia in voting in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada elections by organizing buses to New York City.

October 2008

Ukrainian Selfreliance Federal Credit Union local branch opened at the UECC

Spring 2009

Grant Committee reactivated – received $6,000 Grant from Western Union for ESL classes and $5,000 Grant from Congressman Josh Shapiro – initiated by Mrs. P. Sawchak

April 25, 2009

Ukrainian American NASA Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper honored at UECC banquet – met Ukrainian children/hromada over a two day


Fall 2009

Ukrainian Library celebrated its 50th anniversary with UECC and the Heritage School


Theater group formed by local new Ukrainian immigrants presented the first of a series of Cabaret-style shows “Lvivsky Vechir – Yazykata Dzhezva” chaired by Mrs. A. Zharovsky

Committee formed to celebrate the 30 year Anniversary of UECC chaired by Ms. Natalka Firko. A sub-committee, chaired by Mr. L. Pyrih,  was formed to prepare and publish a 30 Year Commemorative Book of the UECC’s

October 2009

Mrs. Orysia Hewka, Executive Director of the UECC for over 25 years retired. Announcement and accolades presented at the 29th Annual UECC meeting   


January 27, 2010

“Schedryj Vechir” co-sponsored by the UECC and New Ukrainian Wave Organization


Spring 2010

UECC organized 3-day HIV/AIDS awareness in Ukraine with the participation of Miss Universe, Justine Pasek

June 23, 2010

Mark Tarnawsky hired as New Executive Director.

September 25, 2010

30 Year Anniversary Gala Celebration held

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