American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
JDC was founded during World War I, when prominent U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau, Sr. wired New York philanthropist Jacob Schiff to ask for money to help Jews suffering in Ottoman Palestine. They were the first Jewish organization in the United States to give large-scale funding for international relief.
World War I left in its wake the seeds of many additional catastrophes—pogroms, health epidemics, famine, revolution, and economic ruin—and JDC played a major role in sustaining Jews in Palestine and rebuilding the devastated communities of Eastern Europe.
JDC’s relief activities, emigration aid, and rescue operations were critical following the Nazi rise to power and the outbreak of World War II.
After the war, a crisis of staggering proportions for world Jewry, JDC mobilized to support and resettle survivors, help reconstruct the remnant communities of Europe, create a network of social welfare services in the fledgling State of Israel, set up an extensive assistance program for Jews in North Africa and the Muslim world, and provide discreet relief behind the Iron Curtain.
With the fall of Communism, JDC established cultural and educational programs to foster a sense of Jewish identity in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and developed an innovative welfare and relief system for needy elderly and Holocaust survivors.
Active today in some 70 countries, they work to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Their reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing high-impact disaster relief and long-term development assistance worldwide.
To execute their mission, they abide by the principles of:
-Non-Partisanship and Non-Denominationalism: They do not identify with any political positions and are respectful of diverse Jews’ beliefs and decisions to live wherever they choose.
-Collaboration: They work closely with their partners, striving to strengthen local leadership and infrastructure to foster community growth. They forge strong alliances between lay leaders and professionals, recognizing the distinct and mutually strengthening roles of each.
-Sustainability: They work to ensure Jewish communities are strong and independent, capable of responding to their neediest members and creating diverse opportunities for Jewish life.
-Professional Excellence: They engage expert staff and develop leadership to the highest levels of professionalism to maximize their effectiveness around the globe.See more