Press Releases

JDC’s Argentina Job Center Program Launched in Economically Strapped Baltics


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

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

For Immediate Release

To help battle rising rates of unemployment and poverty among Jews in the Baltics, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, has launched two of its successful Ariel Job Centers in Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia. The centers—based on a pioneering model that continues to help Argentina’s Jews recover in the wake of that country’s economic crisis—provide seminars, classes and training on job hunting, interviewing, resume building, as well as computer and other professional skills.

“At a time when innovative, global solutions to overcome the financial downturn are in demand, we’re proud that our Ariel Job Center model could be easily transplanted and tailored to address the growing needs of Jews in countries suffering from some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. “Our centers are designed to operate and succeed during the toughest of crises and that’s why they are already helping people in Riga and Tallinn overcome their hardship.”

JDC has seen a rise in the number of Jews requiring welfare services, particularly in the Baltic nations which are the slowest European countries to recover economically. In 2010, JDC expects to be serving more than 7,000 Baltic Jews in need, an increase of 50% in one year.

One of the beneficiaries of these services, and of the Ariel Job Center in Riga, is Bella, a 38-year old divorced mother of two. She was recently laid off from her job retroactively without compensation because of the company’s dire financial straits. Her coach at the Ariel Job Center counseled her through the process and helped contact her employer to ensure Bella was given proper notification (one month as stipulated by Latvian law) and full compensation.

For more information about JDC’s Ariel Job Centers, the economic situation of the Jewish community in the Baltics or Argentina, contact Michael Geller at

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.

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