A Sacred Mission,
a Shared Responsibility
In 1914, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau, Sr. cabled American philanthropist Jacob H. Schiff with an urgent plea to assist the Jews of Palestine caught in the turbulence of World War I. In a now-iconic telegram, Morgenthau asked, “Will you undertake matter?”
The immediate reply was a YES. The long-term answer was the establishment of JDC.
Ever since, Jews and Jewish communities around the globe have called upon JDC in their hour of need: when they have faced physical danger, struggled to care for their own, or were unable to sustain the everyday necessities of Jewish life. Each time, JDC moved swiftly, motivated by the Jewish tenets of Chesed and Tzedakah — compassion and generosity — to respond when Jews cried out for help.
JDC's first century taught us that by working hand in hand with Jews in their local communities, we could steer the course of the global Jewish future — beyond the crises at hand and the demands of the day. By rebuilding individual communities bereft of Jewish life for generations, we were able to strengthen the Jewish people as a whole. And by nurturing a cadre of Jewish leaders rooted in Jewish values, we could elevate entire communities from instability to resilience, ensuring the perpetuity of Am Echad, one secure Jewish nation.