For Immediate Release
Originally launched to provide day-care services for impoverished Jewish parents in the aftermath of the financial collapse in Argentina, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Baby Help program is helping to increase affiliation to the Jewish community in Buenos Aires. This year alone, 70% of the 600 participants in Baby Help have become involved in Jewish communal institutions, celebrations and religious activities.
“By helping to ensure that financially strapped families who could not fully focus on Jewish education reconnect to the Jewish community through their children, Baby Help opens the doors to greater Jewish identity,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.
Argentina is home to 200,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Latin America. In the aftermath of the country’s financial collapse in 2001, nearly one-third of Argentine Jews fell below the poverty line. JDC, with the support of the Jewish Federation system, provided multiple services, including the successful Ariel Job Center, to help the community get back on its feet. Baby Help, as part of these services, provides day care and diapers, formula, vitamins, and medications for young children, as well as holiday celebrations and basic Jewish education.
In Buenos Aires, one of the thousands of women served by Baby Help is named Cynthia, a young mother who was struggling to put food on the table and to purchase clothes and medicine. Cynthia says, “To see my daughter grow and learn at Baby Help reminds us of her grandfather, who as a child was in a post-Holocaust refugee camp. To belong to Baby Help means to continue our grandfather’s story and strengthen our values.”
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 www.JDC.org.