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Learn about JDC's My Mitzvah Project
Jewish Summer Camp in Europe
Summer camp is such a big part of growing up and can be an unforgettable Jewish experience. But for Jewish teens just like you, who live in Eastern Europe and Israel, camp may be too expensive or too far away. That’s why Camp Szarvas was founded. Located in a beautiful, quiet town in Hungary, Camp Szarvas becomes home to over 1,500 Jewish campers from over 25 countries each summer. At Szarvas, they get to do all the amazing activities that Jewish campers love—cheering at lunch, hiking, living together in cabins, and so much more.
Disability Inclusion in Israel
Friends for Healthy Living brings people with disabilities together across Israel for workshops that promote health, wellbeing, safety, stress relief, and physical activity. The people running these workshops have disabilities themselves, so they serve as role models and speak openly about how healthy lifestyles are possible for people with disabilities. The program also involves joint sports activities for people with and without disabilities.
Life-Saving Support in the FSU
Today, over 100,000 elderly Jews live in unimaginable poverty across the former Soviet Union, in countries like Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. Around half are Holocaust survivors and all were victims of decades of discrimination under a communist regime. Despite it all, they became accomplished professionals — doctors, lawyers, scientists, and educators — but today, they are barely surviving on government pensions as low as $2 per day. Often, they must choose between heat, food, or medicine. Many are bedridden and have no family to support them. They are the poorest Jews in the world — and their lives are on the line.
Jewish Children Living in Poverty
Across the former Soviet Union— including countries like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and more—life for thousands of Jewish children is a daily challenge. Many people in these countries live in poverty, and very often Jewish families cannot afford to feed, clothe, or educate their children. JDC’s Children’s Initiative helps ease the despair of over 20,000 children in poverty, with food deliveries, medical care, winter clothing, and much more.
Clean Water Education in Ethiopia
In 2015, JDC partnered with the Israeli NALA Foundation to run the WASH: Water and Sanitation Health Education program in Ethiopia. The WASH program engages local villagers and schoolchildren in health education and hygiene awareness to convey the importance of clean water and sanitation in preventing disease. Working in schools and throughout the community, WASH teaches villagers important parasite prevention methods such as washing hands before eating, not walking barefoot through dirty waters, and not drinking from local rivers. Children receive water bottles, which they can refill with clean water each day at hand-pump wells located near their schools.
Jewish Literacy in Russia
You may have heard of PJ Library before—it is a groundbreaking Jewish literacy program, where families receive Jewish-themed books for free up to 10 times a year that are specifically suited to each child’s age and reading level. In 2015 (the very first year of PJ Library in Russia), over 1,000 books were sent to families in Moscow alone. In 2016, more than 4,500 books were distributed. PJ Library is on the move! And that’s why we need your support.