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Nostaljik Takılan Yahudi Serisi :History of JDC
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MessageSujet du message: Nostaljik Takılan Yahudi Serisi :History of JDC
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Nostaljik Takılan Yahudi Serisi :History of JDC

or more than one hundred years, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)—also referred to as “the Joint”—has exemplified globally the principle that all Jewish people are responsible for one another.

Cable from Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, to philanthropist Jacob Schiff, calling attention to the plight of the Jews of Palestine and asking for $50,000 in aid (1914).

The first shipment of kosher pickled meat for the starving Jews of Poland, loaded aboard the SS Ashburn in the presence of JDC leaders and supervising rabbis (1919). This was one of the eight shipments of food, clothing, and soap that were sent by JDC to Central and Eastern Europe in 1919 alone.

Two Jewish orphans, newly arrived in Jaffa, Palestine, on the first boat of refugees from Russia (1921). In the wake of World War I, JDC took over the tasks of caring for more than 4,000 orphan children in PAlestine, subsidizing 12 homes, and setting up trade schools and training facilities in cities and on farms to encourage self-support.

Waiting for aid in front of the relief office in Jerusalem (1921). In Palestine, after the wartime emergency period, JDC instituted stricter measures to control and supervise the distribution of relief funds to widows, orphans, the handicapped, the elderly, and other needy recipients, with the goal of encouraging self-help and reconstruction.

A blind student examining a relief map in a class at the Jewish Blind Institute (Beit Chinuch Ivrim) in Jerusalem, a home, school, and workshop for the blind supported by JDC (1921). Founded in 1902, when eye diseases were rampant in Palestine, the institute produced a variety of Hebrew books in Braille for use both in and outside the classroom.

Orphans lined up for aid in front of the JDC office in Sighet, Romania (1919). In the aftermath of World War I, JDC helped support some 58,000 Jewish children orphaned by war, disease, or pogroms in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.

Patient in JDC-supported hospital in Poland, recovering from wounds inflicted in the turbulent period following World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1920s).

Torah scrolls in Demiev Synagogue in Kiev, Soviet Ukraine, vandalized during one of the many pogroms that brought death and destruction to the city’s Jews (1920).

Waiting for the opening of JDC’s soup kitchen in Aleksandrovsk (Zaporizhzhya), Soviet Ukraine (1921). Responding to a Russian appeal for famine relief, JDC joined the ARA (American Relief Administration), setting up a massive feeding program in an area devastated by drought and after years of war, insurrections, pogroms, and bandit raids.

Distribution of relief supplies to the needy in JDC warehouse in Kremenchug, Soviet Ukraine (1921). Kremenchug, formerly a wealthy factory and mill town, was ravaged by the violence and disease of the postwar years in Ukraine, where 500 Jewish communities had been abandoned and half a million Jews economically ruined.

JDC’s first medical unit upon arrival in Paris, with instructions to care for the sick and the disabled, especially children, and the set up a comprehensive medicosanitary program in Poland (1921). This team of doctors and public health experts worked with Jewish medical organizations in Poland to set up, rebuild, or finance almost 500 institutions and facilities: hospitals, dispensaries, nurses’ training schools, milk centers, well-baby stations, public baths, and the like.

Doctor examining an orphan in Sighet, Romania, as part of JDC’s extensive medical and welfare program (1919). JDC supported local medical committees and helped establish, reestablish, and equip hospitals and clinics throughout Romania.

Jewish children waiting for examinations at the JDC-supported clinic in Kremenchug, Soviet Ukraine (1921). In the postwar period, JDC support for medico-sanitary activities enabled medical institutions, hospitals, and clinics to combat widespread disease and improve health conditions significantly in the U.S.S.R., Poland, and Palestine.

Villagers completing repairs on the bathhouse in Labun’, Ukraine, with funding from JDC (1923). In Ukraine, the American Relief Administration (ARA), with JDC cooperation, implemented a massive campaign of inoculations against cholera, typhoid, and smallpox; installed and reopened bathhouses; improved water supplies and sanitation in cities; and rehabilitated medical institutions.

Early residents of the old age home in Nikolaev, Ukraine, maintained by the local aid society with JDC assistance (c.1928). In the Soviet Union, JDC helped rebuild and support more than 60 homes for the aged, serving over 2,000 elderly.

Children at a summer colony in Wlodzimierz Wolynski, Poland (1920s). JDC’s war-orphan care grew into general orphan care and then expanded into general child care with the help of local organizations such as the Polish CENTOS (Federation of Orphans’ Care Societies), founded and supported by JDC.

Hebrew school in Debica (Dembitsa), Poland, supported by the Committee for the Relief of Polish Jews (1920s). JDC played an important role in establishing a modern educational system for Jews in Eastern Europe, helping organize schools and cultural institutions and improve their facilities, sanity installations, and medical supervision.

Yeshiva students in Warsaw (1926). JDC’s support for rabbinical schools, yeshivot, teachers’ seminaries, and Jewish research institutions helped restore and strengthen Jewish institutions of higher learning throughout Europe.

Orthodox youths in a weavers’ workshop attached to their yeshiva in Sighet, Romania (1920s). JDC set up training programs for weaving and carpentry in two yeshivot in Romania to open up new job opportunities for yeshiva students. [Photographer: Stern]

Sorting oranges grown in Palestine for shipment to the market. After World War I, JDC helped set up the Central Band of Cooperative Institutions, which financed agricultural projects in Palestine and played an especially important role in the growth of the citrus industry.

Working the village fields in Palestine (1927). With JDC support, loans to agricultural cooperatives were authorized for general farm improvements, the building of houses and barns, and the purchase of livestock and equipment in Palestine.

Meeting of the Association of Jewish Credit Cooperatives in Riga, Latvia (1929). JDC’s network of cooperative credit institutions - loan kassas - for small businesspeople and artisans and free loan kassas for the working poor made it possible for Jews in Central and Eastern Europe to reestablish themselves economically and for Jewish communal life to survive.

Settlers from a colony in the Krivoi Rog District, Ukraine (1926). In 1924, JDC set up the American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation (Agro-Joint) to settle Russian Jews on the land and to organize a reconstruction program that would include medical care and welfare services, vocational training, and loan funds for artisans, workshops, and cooperatives.

A family of settlers with their tractor in the fields of an Agro-Joint colony in the Ukraine (c. 1925). By 1936, some 215 Agro-Joint colonies with 20,000 families were engaged in farming in the Ukraine and Crimea.

Youngsters at an agricultural hachshara (pioneer training) camp in the Neuendorf, Germany (1934). As the largest foreign contributor to the budgets of local relief organizations in Germany after Hitler’s rise to power, JDC helped finance the training and retraining of workers excluded from their former professions, including the specialized training of young emigrants bound for Palestine.

German Jewish refugees departing from Bremerhaven, Germany (1938). From 1933 to 1939, some 110,000 emigrants from Germany received assistance from JDC-supported organizations.

JDC-supported refugee shelter in Diepoldsau, Switzerland (1938). Following Kristallnacht and the annexations of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938, refugees streamed into Switzerland, and the JDC allocations swelled to meet their needs.

Elderly refugee, expelled from his home in Slovakia, protecting his grandchild from the frost, in a camp along the border between Czechoslovakia and Hungary (1938). Several thousand refugees, stranded in about a dozen camps in no-man’s-land along the frontiers of Central and Eastern Europe, received JDC aid.

Polish Jewish refugees in Vilna, Lithuania (1939). After the Lithuanian seizure of Vilna from Poland in October 1939, JDC instituted an emergency relief program, providing food, housing, medical care, aid for children and the elderly, educational activities, and vocational training for the 60,000 residents of Vilna and some 25,000 from other parts of Poland.

Jewish settlers at Sosua, in the Dominican Republic (1940s). In 1938, in response to the invitation of President Trujillo, JDC seized the opportunity to provide a safe haven in the Caribbean for Jewish refugees and established a unique agricultural settlement at Sosua under the auspices of JDC-funded Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA).

Chanukah celebration in the kindergarten of the Miraflores Children’s Home for refugee children in La Paz, Bolivia, run by the JDC-supported Society for the Protection of Jewish Immigrants (SOPRO) (1942). JDC funding enabled the institution to continue its work throughout the war.

Marriage ceremony of two Jewish refugees in Shanghai (1941). JDC set up steam kitchens capable of feeding 10,000 a day and organized an extensive relief program that enabled many of the impoverished Shanghai Jewish community of 21,000 to survive the war.

Polish orphans in the care of a constable, enjoying homegrown oranges in Palestine (1942). With immigration certificates secured by Hadassah from the British Mandate and with transportation financed by JDC, some 1,000 orphaned Polish children, who had been evacuated from Siberia to Tehran, were finally allowed entry in Palestine.

Packages of clothing from Palestine readied for shipment via Iran and Iraq to refugees in Soviet Russia (1943). JDC’s extensive parcel service provided food and clothing - purchased in Palestine, Iran, India, and South Africa- for thousands of Polish Jews who had fled to Asiatic Russia during World War II. [Photo “Rex” Tel Aviv].

Passengers in Lisbon boarding the SS Nyassa, for a special JDC run that ferried almost 800 Jewish refugees to Palestine at a cost of almost half a million dollars (1944). The Nyassa was one of the series of transatlantic vessels on which JDC, headquartered in Lisbon during most of the war, purchased blocks of passenger space for Jews seeking refuge in the Americas, in Palestine, and in other countries.

Children from Romania arriving in Palestine on a special transport from Istanbul (1944). In cooperation with the Jewish Agency, JDC was instrumental in bringing almost 10,000 Jewish refugees from Romania, Hungary, and the Balkans to Palestine.

Some 25,000 pounds of goods collected in a one-day drive in San Diego, organized by JDC-supported SOS (Supplies for Overseas Survivors) (1948). JDC’s vast postwar supply program shipped close to 227 million pound of food, clothing, medical supplies, and other necessities from U.S. ports alone.

Inside the barracks of a camp for displaced persons (DPs) in Salzburg, Austria (late 1940s). JDC organized supplementary feeding programs, provided essential health and welfare services, and created educational and recreational facilities for some 250,000 survivors in the DP camps of Germany, Austria, and Italy.

JDC doctor examining a young patient (c. 1948). An infusion of newly hired overseas and local personnel enabled JDC to et up an extensive postwar program of medical aid and to support a network of facilities that included hospitals, dispensaries, dental clinics, convalescent homes, and maternity wards.

Jewish children on their way to school in the Duppel DP Center compound in Berlin (c.1947). By the end of 1947, in the American Zone of Germany alone, JDC was supporting 67 schools, 47 kindergartens, and 75 religious heders and Talmud Torahs.

Two former inmates of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp learning a new trade in the DP camp established at the same site (c.1946). At Belsen-the largest DP camp in Germany until 1951- JDC worked closely with the survivors’ Central Committee and with UNRRA (the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), the Jewish Agency, and other groups, such as ORT (the Organization for Rehabilitation and Training).

Jewish refugee in Munich with shmurah matzah for Passover (late 1940s). Responding to the religious and cultural needs of the survivors, JDC organized the baking and distribution of millions of pounds of matzah-and flour for the baking of shmurah matzah for Orthodox groups; supplied ritual and holiday articles such as Torah scrolls, tefillin (phylacteries), prayer shawls, shofars, and the like; and printed hundreds of thousands of prayer books, Passover Haggadot, rabbinic works, textbooks, and primers.

Polish Jewish mothers and children at a JDC-supported emergency transit center in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, en route to the western occupation zones (1946). JDC provided hot meals, medical care, clothing, and immigration counseling at a number of way stations for refugees fleeing from Poland, Romania, and Hungary after the pogrom in Kielce, Poland.

“Infiltrees” at a JDC-supported camp near Bratislave, Czechoslovakia, waiting for transport to Vienna through the Bricha network (c. 1946). JDC provided Bricha with critical funding and supplies and used Bricha’s diplomatic contracts to keep borders open to Jewish refugees escaping from Eastern Europe to DP camps and Mediterranean seaports and form there on the Palestine.

Waiting for aid at a JDC distribution center in Hungary (c.1947). After the war, JDC assisted some 120,000 Jews in Hungary by subsidizing hundreds of institutions-including homes for the aged, feeding canteens, and children’s homes-and proving cash relief, food packages, and clothing for the needy.

Children in a dining hall in a JDC-supported home in France (c.1947). In 1947, JDC was helping 122,000 Jewish children in Europe out of a surviving 180,000, including some 25,000-mostly orphans-in more than 300 JDC-supported institutions.

Youngster at a hachshara (pioneer training) camp in Hungary for prospective emigrants to Palestine (c.1947). In 1947, JDC maintained 49 hachsharot in Hungary, providing agricultural training for almost 6,000 youths.

First group of Jewish internees leaving the British detention camp at Xylotymbou, Cyprus, for Palestine (1949). Operation Liberation brought to an end JDC’s Cyprus relief program, which provided supplementary food and clothing, medical and dental care, educational and cultural activities, and vocational training-at a cost of some $2 million- for some 55,000 Jewish refugees who had been denied entry into Palestine.

Yemenite family in Aden waiting to depart for Israel through JDC’s Operation Magic Carpet (1948-49). In the Hashid transit camp in Aden-administered and staffed by JDC in cooperation with the Jewish Agency-medical and social welfare personnel set up one of the most successful medical aid programs of modern times.

Yemenite refugees preparing to board a plane for Israel (1948-49). Called the largest human airlift in history, Operation Magic Carpet-organized and financed by JDC at a cost of about $3.5 million- ferried some 48,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel.

Jewish refugees from Kurdistan, in northwestern Iran, in a JDC-supported transit camp in Tehran (c.1951). Anti-Jewish outbreaks drove thousands of Kurdish Jews across the mountains to Tehran, where they received food, shelter, and medical care from JDC while waiting with emigrants from Iraq to depart for Israel.

Egyptian Jewish refugees arriving in Piraeus, Greece, on the SS Mecca (1957). During the first half of 1957, Greece was the first landing point for thousands of Jews expelled or fleeing from Egypt, who were cared for by JDC, the local Council of Jewish Communities and the Jewish Agency before immigrating to Israel.

Youngsters being fed at a JDC-supported kindergarten in the ghetto of Tripoli, Libya (c. 1951). In 1949, JDC began intensive feeding and health programs in North Africa to combat malnutrition and disease in an area with a staggering rate of infant and child mortality.

Young girl with shoes and clothing distributed by JDC in Tehran (c. 1951). In 1951, JDC allocated nearly $2 million for welfare services, medical care, and other activities in Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Iran, and other Moslem countries.

Waiting for milk in front of the JDC-supported OSE dispensary in Tunis, Tunisia (c. 1951). Milk depots played an important role in JDC’s public health program, with more than 1 million bottles of sterilized infant formula distributed in 1951 in Tunisia alone.

One of the 70 children being fed at a day nursery subsidized by JDC in Constantine, Algeria (c. 1951). JDC supplied hot lunches, plus morning and afternoon snacks, for some 30,000 schoolchildren in Moslem countries.

Daily baby-bathing program at the OSE clinic in Tunis for mothers from homes without running water (c.1959). In 1953, with JDC support, Operation Baby-Wash introduced the practice of infant bathing to poverty-stricken areas in North Africa, providing training for mothers, bathtubs, hot water, soap, towels, and other equipment.

Training course in hairdressing and cosmetology at the JDC-subsidized ORT school in Tehran. (c.1959) Vocational training programs offered Jewish young women independence and the opportunity to join the workforce.

Elderly man in the mellah (Jewish quarter) of Marrakech, Morocco, with bread from the JDC-subsidized Soupe Populaire (c.1960). In 1959, JDC was serving more people in Morocco than in any other single country in the world, with the lion’s share of the budget earmarked for the feeding program.

Jewish refugee from Tripoli, Libya, with new crutches at a Malben hospital facility (c.1952). In 1949, JDC joined with the Jewish Agency and the State of Israel to create Malben, a network of institutions and services for handicapped, elderly, and chronically ill immigrants. JDC assumed full financial and administrative responsibility for Malben in 1951.

Yemenite Jew sorting bananas at Kfar Zkenim, a unique Malben village for the aged at Ein Shemer (1950s). Built on the site of a former British Air Force base, which was converted to a facility for elderly Yemenite immigrants brought to Israel through “Operation Magic Carpet,” the village was opened in 1953, with a projected capacity of 1200 residents.

Youngsters suffering from tuberculosis, mostly immigrants from North African and other Moslem countries, at the Eitanim Children’s TB hospital in Jerusalem (1952). Malben’s extraordinary success in treating thousands of TB patients in the early 1950s helped bring Israel’s number one health problem under control.

Medical care at a Malben facility for physically disabled residents (c.1954). Providing much-needed therapy, prosthetic appliances and special equipment, vocational training and job placement, Malben’s rehabilitation program helped handicapped newcomers become useful members of society.

A Polish immigrant, who lost both legs in a pogrom, operating a motorized “wheelchair” furnished by Malben, in Ein Shemer (c.1954). Malben also provided hospital care, fitted the patient with artificial legs, and advanced him the funds to open his own café.

One of the Yemenite residents of Kfar Uriel, the JDC village for the blind near Gedera, at a weaving loom (1951). At Kfar Uriel, some 85 blind men and their families, mainly immigrants from North Africa and Yemen, supported themselves by weaving mats and baskets and making mattresses, wicker chairs, brooms, brushes, and carpet beaters.

Working mother in a Malben sheltered workshop in Lydda (Lod). Under the supervision of medical personnel, hundreds of handicapped and chronically ill workers were employed in JDC-subsidized sheltered workshops that produced goods for the Israeli marketplace.

Handicapped immigrant working in his grocery, set up with Malben assistance, in Tel Aviv. By 1955, Malben’s rehabilitation loan fund had helped in the opening of over 4,500 small businesses, providing an independent income for some 19,000 people.

Yemenite resident of Malben’s Kfar Zkenim at Ein Shemer working on a traditional embroidery project (c.1952). At Kfar Zkenim, the elderly residents developed a sense of independence and pride by working in the kitchens and dining rooms, staffing the clinics, running the post office, and engaging in gardening, handicrafts, and administrative duties.

Hearing-impaired youngster in the JDC-supported school run by Micha, the Israel Society for Deaf Children (1968). Programs for children with special needs received particular attention in the 1960s; JDC provided financial and technical assistance to voluntary agencies for handicapped children, including Micha and Shema for the deaf and hearing-impaired, Akim for the developmentally disabled, and Ilan for children with neuro-muscular disorders.

Yemenite seder at Malben’s Ein Shemer home for the elderly (1960). Reflecting Israel’s ethnic diversity, the Yemenite community kept up its religious and cultural traditions, which were encouraged and fostered by JDC through its Malben institutions.

Testing conducted at the JDC-supported Dr. Harold and Anna Weinberg Child Development Institute in Tel Aviv (c.1975). Starting in the 1960s, JDC helped to establish a countrywide network of Child Development Centers to diagnose and evaluate physically and develpmentally disabled children.

A student at the School of Communicative Disorders at Tel Aviv University’s Medical School works with a hearing impaired student. Tel Aviv, Israel; 1970.

Playing dominoes at the Malben Day Center for the Aged. Ramle, Israel; 1970.

Mothers attended a class in infant nutrition at the Oeuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE) dispensary, supported by JDC funding. OSE is a French Jewish humanitarian organization that saved more than a thousand Jewish refugee children during World War II. Casablanca, Morocco. 1970.

Clients call at Social Service Center to collect monthly cash relief. Casablanca, Morocco; 1970.

A Community Seder. Belgrade, Yugoslavia; 1970.

Children play outdoors at the Jewish community kindergarten, supported by JDC. Rome, Italy; 1972.

Two young girls who are recent arrivals from North Africa at the Belleville Youth Center. Paris, France; c1972.

OSE Neighborhood Center; serving lunch to children (mostly recent arrivals from North Africa). Paris, France; 1972.

Young people learning Hebrew at the Lubavitcher Summer School program for children. Tunis, Tunisia; 1976.

La Goulette Home for the Aged; an elderly resident holds a photo of her family taken many years before. Tunis, Tunisia; 1973.

JDC canteen for both Jews and non Jews; people line up to receive meal tickets (after the earthquake). Iasi, Romania; c1977.

Kindergarteners playing. Tunisia; 1973.

Armenian earthquake victims at a community center in Israel. JDC provided a non-sectarian earthquake relief. Israel 1989.

Women on line at food depot from the central kosher kitchen. Hungary, Budapest; c1980.

An exercise class for the residents of the ESHEL Home for the Aged. Afula, Israel; 1980s.

A luncheon at Hirsh Jewish School. Paris, France; 1980.

Refugees from Cambodia. Thailand; 1980.

Soviet Jewish Transmigrants. Italy; 1980.

A kosher Kitchen in Jewish quarter of Budapest, Hungary located adjacent to the Orthodox synagogue. Budapest, Hungary; 1980.

The Beit-Pomerantz (Shmuel Ha-Navi Community Center) children’s summer camp. Jerusalem, Israel; 1980.

Yom Kippur services. Budapest, Hungary; 1980.

Celebrating Hanukkah. Bucharest, Romania; 1981.

JDC in Ethiopia helps distribute seven tons of clothing shipped from New York to aid famine victims. Gondar region, Ethiopia 1984.

A Water system provided by JDC as part of a non-sectarian recovery and development program in Ethiopia. Gondar region, Ethiopia 1984.

Maccabi games. Bulgaria; 1992.

Community seder in Sofia organized by JDC. Sofia, Bulgaria; 1994.

Vocational training for Ethiopian immigrants. Israel; 1993.

Essential food packages stored in a warehouse in St. Petersburg for JDC’s non-sectarian programs. St. Petersburg, Russia; 1992.

A JDC-established library at the Miklos cultural center in Moscow. It is one of 20 JDC-created Judaic libraries in the FSU. Moscow, Russia.

Opening of Beit David, a synagogue and cultural center at the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation-JDC International Summer Camp at Szarvas, Hungary. Szarvas, Hungary; 1998.

Jews in Yemen. Yemen; 1990s.

Evacuation from Sarajevo to Split. Sarajevo; 1993.

An Ethiopian refugee in Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival to Israel. Israel; 1991.

Hot Kosher meals served daily to the elderly in Warsaw. Warsaw, Poland; 1992.

Ethiopian and Russian immigrants together in Israel. Israel; 1993.

Hillel Club members in Lvov, Ukraine use puppets to entertain at JDC-supported Hanukkah celebrations in eight Shtetl communities. Lvov, Ukraine.

Elderly woman whose parents were murdered by the Nazis in Ukraine eats a meal provided through JDC’s network of Hesed welfare centers in the former Soviet Union (c. 2006). JDC’s massive welfare relief efforts—food, medicines, medical care, home care, and winter relief—are a lifeline for destitute, aging Jews throughout the FSU who struggle to survive day to day on eroded pensions.

An Israeli dance group performs at the JDC-supported YESOD Jewish Community Center in St. Petersburg, Russia (2007). Established in 2006, YESOD is a flagship center of JDC’s efforts to revitalize Jewish life in the FSU. It provides a majestic roof for four community organizations and has inspired the development of new educational and cultural initiatives for the city’s Jews.

Parents join their children in reciting the blessing over Shabbat candles at a JDC-sponsored family retreat in Kharkov, Ukraine (2007). Among JDC’s Jewish renewal activity throughout the FSU, each year thousands of people participate in family retreats, where they explore their Jewish identity, learn traditions, and make lasting connections with other young families from their community that are maintained throughout the year via JCC programs.

Kabbalat Shabbat is celebrated with the recitation of Kiddush and the singing of songs at the Baltics Limmud conference (2007). Since making its way to the Baltics for the first time in 2004—marking the first-ever Limmud conference in Central and Eastern Europe—this grassroots studyfest has drawn growing crowds of participants to Vilnius, Lithuania each year longing to teach, learn from one another, and explore their Jewish heritage.

Young leaders from JDC’s Balkan Black Sea Gesher region lead hundreds of their peers in Jewish song at an annual gathering in Halkidiki, Greece (2006). Support from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation enables JDC’s regional networking structure in Europe to bring together Jews from countries with similar geographic and cultural backgrounds to exchange ideas, experience Jewish life, and create lasting personal connections to the broader Jewish community.

A little boy plays with an educational toy at the Baby Help Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008). Established by JDC and the local community in the aftermath of Argentina’s December 2001 economic collapse, Baby Help (Tinok) responds to the uniquely difficult situation encountered by vulnerable pregnant women and toddlers. Baby Help provides basic needs such as food, milk, vitamins, and diapers; equipment such as strollers and cribs; otherwise unaffordable Jewish circumcision (brit mila) or baby naming (Simchat Bat) ceremonies; and an opportunity for young families to reconnect with the Jewish community through holiday celebrations.

Survivors of the 2004 South Asian Tsunami struggle to regain a sense of normalcy following the devastation (2006). Raising more than $19 million for its Tsunami Response Program in the four impacted countries—India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—JDC provided emergency assistance to internally displaced persons while helping victims reestablish their livelihoods and rehabilitating local communities through the creation of model villages and community centers. Psychosocial support services and children’s activities have been a cornerstone of JDC’s program, including the construction of playgrounds and primary schools, teacher training, and healing camps.

Volunteer clown entertains children confined to a bomb shelter in Israel during the Second Lebanon War (2006). When residents of northern Israel were caught in the month-long barrage of rocket attacks during the 2006 Lebanon War, JDC, with funding from UJC’s Israel Emergency Campaign, harnessed its infrastructure, partnerships, and expertise to bring vital relief to the region’s most vulnerable: distressed families, the elderly, and the disabled. Many services were delivered through volunteers from JDC’s AMEN program, which engages youth in community volunteer work.

Israeli seniors get a reprieve from the stresses of the Second Lebanon War through a respite in the interior of the country (2006). JDC leveraged existing partnerships and expertise in working with Israeli society to bring critical services to vulnerable citizens in Israel’s north during and after the attacks. In addition to respites, JDC-ESHEL tended to the unique needs of the elderly, providing them with emergency kits, food, medicines, and social contact through existing programs such as Supportive Communities.

Young girl cares for a stuffed animal as part of a kindergarten-based program designed to help Israeli children cope with trauma (2008). This Hibuki program is one of a number of age-appropriate therapeutic programs developed by JDC to help Israel’s children confront their experience of living under fire with the aim of minimizing the impact of the conflict on their healthy growth and development.

Judge Ellen Heller, JDC President and Arnon Mantver, JDC-Israel Director, accept The Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Special Contribution to Society and the State of Israel on behalf of the organization (2007). The award—the Jewish State's highest civilian honor—is presented each year to individuals, and occasionally, institutions that have made outstanding contributions to Israeli society. JDC’s long history of partnership in Israel has engendered volumes of programming to strengthen the nation’s most vulnerable citizens and connect them with resources critical to their integration into Israeli society.

A woman stands amidst the physical devastation left by the Russia-Georgia conflict (2008). Leveraging its expertise in emergency relief and its infrastructure in Georgia, JDC mobilized immediately with staff and humanitarian aid following the eruption of the conflict. Working through its Hesed welfare network, including a center in Tbilisi, JDC assisted in the absorption of Jewish refugees and provided immediate assistance including food, water, medicines, clothing, winter relief, and financial help to repair the homes and ease the struggle of the neediest families.


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