Press Releases

JDC’s Dr. Rick Hodes Lauded in New Book and Documentary


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

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

For Immediate Release

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Medical Director Dr. Rick Hodes is now the subject of a new book, This is a Soul, by Marilyn Berger, and a new HBO documentary, Making the Crooked Straight, by filmmaker Susan Cohn Rockefeller. For more than twenty years, Hodes has overseen and delivered comprehensive medical services on JDC’s behalf for a variety of populations in Ethiopia.

“We’re proud to see that Rick’s life saving work—in many ways the epitome of what we do as the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization—has inspired the wonderful book and documentary now available for all to see,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.“Rick has made Ethiopia his home and immersed himself, with a full Jewish heart, in a mission to save the world one life at a time.”

As JDC Medical Director, Dr. Hodes has overseen the medical care for tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews and participated in Operation Solomon, the historic airlift more than 14,000 to Israel in 1991. As part of JDC’s non-sectarian work in Ethiopia, he is an attending physician at Mother Teresa’s Mission, working with children and others suffering from heart disease, diseases of the spine, and cancer. He manages programs which ensure Ethiopians receive vital heart and spine surgeries in Ghana and India.

Among his many accolades, CNN selected Dr. Hodes as one of its “CNN Heroes” in the “Championing Children” category and in 2008, the American College of Physicians awarded him the rare title of “Mastership” in recognition of “exceedingly stellar career accomplishments.”

For more information about Dr. Hodes and his work, visit

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

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