Argentina is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish population, the 7th largest Jewish population in the world. A prosperous community for most of its history, which dates back to the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions, Argentina’s Jews were devastated by the 2001 economic crisis that turned middle-class families into “the new poor” virtually overnight.
JDC responded immediately and efficiently to the Jewish community’s sizeable needs, leveraging decades-long partnerships to expand existing relief services to aid those hardest-hit by the crisis. More than 10 years later, with the local Jewish institutions’ overall health largely restored, JDC has resumed its historic role in Argentina as a community-development expert.
Today, in collaboration with the local Jewish community, JDC:
- Saves Argentina’s poorest Jews, including families still struggling to recover the jobs, businesses, homes, and savings they lost during the economic crisis, particularly in smaller communities outside of Buenos Aires.
JDC provides destitute families with food through its pioneering supermarket debit card program. It also gives special assistance to at-risk mothers and newborns; vital care for seniors; and training, job placement, and new business loans for the unemployed.
- Revitalizes Jewish life by creating “Judaism without walls” initiatives, community holiday celebrations, and Jewish camping experiences for the new generation. JDC also helps leaders of local community organizations plan for a viable and vibrant future.
- Develops tomorrow’s Jewish leaders by providing practical training for professionals and volunteers, equipping them to lead effective Jewish institutions that respond to the community’s greatest needs.
See how JDC is helping young leaders like Kevin shape the future of Argentinean Jews.
DID YOU KNOW?
To aid poverty-stricken families battling hunger during Argentina’s economic collapse, JDC piloted its model supermarket debit card program, which has since been exported to the former Soviet Union to help tens of thousands of needy Jews purchase food with dignity each month.