As we write, 17 Penn State Hillel students are prepping for an unforgettable Shabbat in Lithuania. This latest group of JDC Short-Term Service participants is experiencing first-hand the community’s economic struggles and the cultural vibrancy of Jewish life in the Baltic states. Share their adventure and learn more about JDC in the region.
It’s not every day women are celebrated for their contributions around the globe—but it is at least once a year. International Women’s Day, celebrated today and every 8th of March since 1911, is the perfect opportunity to showcase JDC’s Eshet Chayil program, one of dozens of JDC projects empowering women worldwide. First piloted in Israel in 1994 and currently part of JDC’s cutting-edge TEVET employment initiative with the Government of Israel, Eshet Chayil orients immigrant women from Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, and beyond to the Israeli workplace, helps them acquire job readiness, and teaches them to harness the power of networking to successfully enter—and advance in—the working world. Happy International Women’s Day!
Molly, the 2009-2010 recipient of the Roslyn Z. Wolf Cleveland – JDC International Fellowship, is also the first Jewish Service Corps fellow to work in Berlin, Germany. Here she shares a few thoughts on Jewish life and recent Purim festivities hosted by the JDC-supported Bambinim program.
Wedding anniversary celebrations, children’s recitals, Bubbe going grocery shopping…sound like a typical day in your local Jewish community? Actually, because of the work of JDC it’s a typical day in reemerging Jewish life in Ukraine. Watch this video by Graham Cannon (JDC’s new AEVP, Global Marketing and Communications) that captures his experience visiting our extensive programs in Dnepropetrovsk and Krivoy Rog, Ukraine–a trip that proved both eye-opening and heartwarming.
JDC Haggadah Recalls History of Rescue and Renewal
In Every Generation: The JDC Haggadah is hot off the presses in time for your Passover seder. This new haggadah retells the biblical tale of Jewish freedom and redemption utilizing newly released photographs, letters, and documents from the celebrated JDC Archives.
JDC’s Next Generation program is spanning the globe to introduce young leaders to JDC from new perspectives. And just this week, Inside Jewish Morocco, JDC’s first-ever National Jewish Young Professionals Trip to North Africa, got underway!
Numerous partnerships, two field missions, and more than $5.7 million raised encompass JDC’s ongoing response to the January 12th earthquake that devastated Haiti. Our work has been captured in a video depicting scenes of heartbreak and glimpses of hope—hope made possible by JDC’s generous supporters.
For many, this winter delighted with beautiful snow showers, bonus days-off for sledding, and glimpses of stellar athletes giving their all at the 2010 Winter Olympics. But in the former Soviet Union, there are many Jewish children who must go without, whose lives are deeply impacted in a different way by the cold, harsh winter and a frozen economy.
Memories of Sarajevo prompted Yechiel B., now JDC Country Director for the Czech Republic, Tunisia, and Algeria, then JDC Country Director for the Former Yugoslavia, to reflect on his work during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Violetta, a New Yorker who is JDC’s Ralph I. Goldman Fellow working with the Jewish community in Odessa, recently had the opportunity to blog about her heartening reunion with her great-aunt, an Odessa resident. This family visit presents another reminder about the importance of JDC’s Jewish renewal work in the former Soviet Union and how one Jewish family, oceans apart, view their identity and traditions. Young Jews are increasingly interested in global service and Violetta, through JDC’s prestigious Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship, has become one of many who are heeding the call to serve those in need through JDC programs.
JDC’s Next Gen mobile giving campaign, launched at a Haiti earthquake fundraiser attended by young professionals, was just featured in The Jewish Week. Text “JDCHAITI” to 8-5-9-4-4 to donate $10 via cell phone.
In his capacity as JDC executive vice president and CEO, Schwager travels extensively to such diverse locations as Australia, Ethiopia, Morocco, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine—a sure reflection of the scope and reach of JDC programs assisting Jews and others in need around the world. He’s logged so much flight time on behalf of JDC, in fact, that Schwager was recently inducted into the “million miles club” of an airline he frequently travels with.
“Nothing had prepared me for what I witnessed in Haiti during the four days on the ground.” Heartbreak and hope filled the sights, sounds, and smells of JDC’s recent field mission to Port-au-Prince. Listen to Sam, a member of JDC’s Haiti team reflect on his experience.
While all of the people of Haiti were affected by the January 12th earthquake, children are among those in greatest need. Helping to ensure their daily nutrition, JDC supported convoys carrying milk to Haiti through Chabad-Lubavitch of the Dominican Republic. Mandie, one of JDC’s team members on the ground, was on site as trucks were loaded before they left for Haiti.
The situation in Haiti has certainly unleashed heartwarming generosity across all spectrums of age, income, and faith. There’s no question that it has set their creativity soaring, as well—especially when it come to raising money. Check out this article from The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio about unusual, but heartfelt, student-driven charity. Matthew Rodier, a seventh-grader at Columbus Torah Academy and a black belt in tae kwon do, brainstormed a martial arts exhibition to raise funds for Haiti relief.
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