Poland lies at the heart of Europe and has become the epitome of a changing continent. After joining the EU in 2004 its economy flourished but the global financial crisis dealt a heavy blow to many. The disparities between basic costs and pension and salary levels in Poland mean hardships for the elderly, single-parent and young families, and people with disabilities, all of whom are feeling the impacts of recent years’ cuts in social welfare subsidies.
After re-entering Poland to provide relief services during the Cold War era, JDC continues today the work it began in 1981 with the local community to help ensure the well-being of impoverished elderly and other vulnerable Jews. At the same time, JDC is helping Polish Jews reconnect to Judaism and secure a vibrant future for what was once Europe’s largest Jewish community.
Today, in collaboration with the local Jewish community, JDC:
- Saves Poland’s poorest Jews, including elderly and frail Holocaust survivors in cities and towns who depend on material support, home care, free meals at kosher kitchens, winter relief, and other services. To ensure the well-being of children and families in urgent need, JDC provides food and medical assistance and offers scholarships for summer camp and other community programs.
- Revitalizes Jewish life by promoting creative “JCC without walls” activities for Jews of all ages and backgrounds; helping the Krakow Jewish Community Center expand programs and services; and supporting winter and summer camps, a revamped network of youth clubs, pluralistic grassroots Jewish learning experiences, and holiday and religious activities.
- Develops tomorrow’s Jewish leaders through leadership development and training programs for youth leaders, regional institutes and seminars for young adults, ongoing training for communal workers, and tailor-made initiatives for key community professionals and lay leaders.
Find out how JDC empowered dedicated young volunteers to unite Polish Jews together for a record-breaking community learning fest.
DID YOU KNOW?
JDC’s Operation Second Chance offers Polish Jews who did not have the option to mark their bar/bat mitzvah or have a Jewish wedding the opportunity to learn about and belatedly celebrate these key Jewish lifecycle events.