Press Releases

Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation to Donate $5 Million to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

Special Trust Established Primarily to Aid Needy Jews in former Soviet Union


Michael Geller / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0849

For Immediate Release

JDC today announced that The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation, a Bermuda trust, will grant $5 million to help ensure the continuance of JDC’s 2008 welfare and relief programs in the former Soviet Union (FSU). The donation, coming just weeks after JDC approved a budget including a $9 million deficit for 2008, will help JDC continue to provide essential aid to over 100,000 Jewish elderly in more than 3,000 cities in the FSU who are not eligible for restitution funding. The donation marks a major, unprecedented increase in contributions received by JDC from European Jews to meet the needs of fellow Jews and complements the estimated $90 million received by JDC from the Federation system of North America annually.

JDC, in cooperation with its primary funder, the North American Jewish Federations, and with significant funds from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, World Jewish Relief and other donors, has been working to feed, clothe, and to provide medicine and homecare to the FSU’s impoverished elderly since before the fall of communism,” said Steven Schwager, Chief Executive Officer, JDC. “We are extremely grateful for The Wohl Foundation’s contribution, which will enable the continuation of vital services to those with no other lifeline.”

The gift will help fill JDC’s 2008 budget shortfall, which resulted in part from the completion of Operation Promise, the United Jewish Communities’ (UJC) multi-million dollar fund-raising campaign created in 2005 to provide resources to remedy the two-tier social welfare system for the elderly and to enhance critical funding needed for Jewish identity programs for the next generation in the FSU.

The Wohl Foundation was established in 1998 by the late British philanthropist, Maurice Wohl, and his wife, Vivienne. In addition to his support of JDC, Mr. Wohl was a significant benefactor of Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, The Jerusalem Foundation and Bar Ilan University and other Israeli organizations, as well as The National Gallery, The Royal Academy, King’s College School of Medicine and Jewish Care in London and other charitable organizations in the U.K. Vivienne died in 2006 and Maurice in 2007.

“The Wohl Foundation’s generous contribution demonstrates an admirable commitment by European Jews to helping fellow Jews around the world. We look forward to working with the UJC, North American Federations and other donors to help fill the remaining funding gap essential to providing aid to the FSU’s most vulnerable populations,” said Schwager.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

For more information, please visit

Subscribe to our RSS feed: Press Releases

An error occurred during your login.


JDC, Cookies, and Your Privacy

Cookies are small pieces of information sent by our web server for storage on your computer, to be retrieved when you return to this site. We use cookies to allow you faster, more convenient access, and to prevent you from being required to log in on every page of our sites.

For more information on JDC’s use of cookies, read our Privacy Policy.


An Error Occurred


Logging In With One of Your Social Web Site Logins

Instead of trying to remember a bunch of special username/password combinations to log in to different web sites that you visit, you can now link your account on this web site to your account on one (or more) of the social media web sites shown and log in with the same username/password combination that you use on that social web site to log in to our site.

To provide this connection in a secure manner, we use Gigya, a social network connection provider that works behind the scenes to make safe, secure connections between user accounts on different systems, such as popular social media web sites like Facebook and web sites like ours where you are actively involved in social issues and causes.

Each time you log in, Gigya uses special application programming interfaces (APIs) to establish the connection between the sites and validate your username and password. Neither our web site or Gigya receive or store your social network passwords.

In addition to reducing the number of logins you have to remember, connecting your accounts can make it quicker and easier to share an activity or cause you feel passionately about from our web site with your friends on your social web sites.

You can break the connection between your accounts at any time.