On August 31, 1914—96 years ago today—two men, Jacob Schiff and Henry Morgenthau, exchanged an urgent cablegram in an effort to help Palestinian Jews who faced an existential crisis due to resources from Europe being cut off with the outbreak of World War I. Little did they know (or probably even imagine) that this single action would give birth to the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization that today comprises hundreds of staff working in more than 70 countries, and ensuring that just shy of $1 million per day goes to helping needy Jews everywhere.
The correspondence that sparked our organization is always on display right next to the front door of our NY headquarters. Like most pieces of our daily routine, it starts to blend into our surroundings, but not for its lack of importance. As is customary for anniversaries, we are celebrating our inception and are highlighting some of our earliest and most unique achievements. Join us for a look back at the organization’s impact through the decades by visiting JDC’s Through The Years web gallery of compelling images.
This is a thank you to all those who have supported us over the past 96 years, on behalf of the millions of people whose lives we have changed. As we near the century mark, our hope is, of course, that conditions facing Jews around the world improve enough to put us out of work. But until then, anywhere in the world a Jew is in need, JDC will continue to be there.
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