The Global Jewish 9-1-1
JDC is the leading Jewish humanitarian organization, working in 70 countries to lift lives and strengthen communities. We rescue Jews in danger, provide aid to vulnerable Jews, develop innovative solutions to Israel’s most complex social challenges, cultivate a Jewish future, and lead the Jewish community’s response to crises. For over 100 years, our work has put the timeless Jewish value of mutual responsibility into action, making JDC essential to the survival of millions of people and the advancement of Jewish life across the globe.
Over 100 Years of Service to the Jewish People
“I Live. Send Help.”
JDC was founded during World War I, when, in 1914, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau, Sr. wired New York philanthropist Jacob Schiff to ask for funds to help Jews suffering in Ottoman Palestine. We were the first Jewish organization in the United States to give large-scale funding for international relief.
World War I left in its wake the seeds of many additional catastrophes—pogroms, health epidemics, famine, revolution, and economic ruin—and JDC played a central role in rebuilding the devastated communities of Eastern Europe and sustaining Jews in Palestine.
In Desperate Times,
JDC’s relief activities, emigration aid, and rescue operations were critical following the Nazi rise to power and the outbreak of World War II.
The war was devastating to the Jewish world. In its wake, JDC mobilized to support and resettle survivors, reconstruct the remnant communities of Europe, create a network of social welfare services in the fledgling State of Israel, set up an extensive assistance program for Jews in North Africa and the Muslim world, and provide discreet relief behind the Iron Curtain.
The Global Work Continues
With the fall of communism, JDC established cultural and educational programs to foster a sense of Jewish identity in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where Jewish life had been repressed, and developed an innovative welfare and relief system for the tens of thousands of elderly Jews, many of whom are Holocaust survivors, who were left with nothing when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Today, in 70 countries, we continue in the mission that began with a cablegram; our commitment to putting Jewish values into action remains as strong as ever.
JDC and Your Family History
Search over 500,000 names from historic documents in the digital JDC Archives. What will you find?
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Get In Touch
Our worldwide staff is comprised of dedicated professionals who represent some of the best practices within the fields of community development and social service. Check out our available opportunities.
Click here to download past annual reports, which provide in-depth summaries and highlights of our global work.
Officers & Board Members
For 102 years and counting, the devoted members of the JDC Board have been setting a standard of excellence that is still without equal, and we are sincerely grateful for their wise counsel and increasingly generous support.
Meet our CEO, the former Columbia Law School dean and committed Jewish community activist David M. Schizer.
We’re able to carry out our mission to help Jews in need globally thanks to the generous support of funders from North America and across the world. Click to learn who they are.
These are our compass on the ground — and without these, we would not be able to do our work as effectively as we have over the past 100 years and counting.