The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Cookies and Camaraderie
Elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union are sometimes known as “double victims,” terrorized by the Nazis and persecuted under Communism. But nearly two decades after the Soviet regime’s fall, many have reclaimed their faith and are rebuilding their lives around Jewish traditions. A New York charity is helping them do so. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee spends $120-million each year, or roughly 40 percent of its budget, to assist impoverished Jews in Russia, Ukraine, and nearby countries. “These people were lost in the fall of the Soviet Union,” says Steven Schwager, the nonprofit group’s chief executive. “When Communism ended, state support of people and taking care of the elderly fell off the table.”
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
A Rwandan Charity Has Roots in the Holocaust’s Aftermath
When Rwandans commemorate the 15th anniversary this month, a group of students on a hilltop village in eastern Rwanda will be remembering in their own way. The 125 teenagers are students at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, a home for orphans of the genocide. The village is modeled after an Israeli community built in 1953 to serve children who lost their parents in the Holocaust. Agahozo was started by Anne Heyman, a former lawyer in New York. She recruited the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a New York nonprofit group to which she had donated in the past, to take on the project.
The Miami Herald
Rwandan boarding school is place for orphans to dry their tears
Fifteen years ago, the world was stunned by images of Nile River tributaries jammed with human bodies, victims of an ethnic bloodbath that claimed a mind-boggling one million lives in roughly 100 days. Tuesday, on a rural mountaintop, 125 orphans and their adult mentors will stop to weep for loved ones lost and for families and communities ripped apart.The children are students at the three-month-old Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a high school set in the Rwandan highlands that models itself after an Israeli village for Holocaust survivors. Founders Anne Heyman and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee stress that the $13 million project is much more than an orphanage or boarding school. The students here are adopted for life.
Boca Raton News
Witness Theater Unites Local Teens, Holocaust Survivors
Each week, local Holocaust survivors and an equal number of students from area public, private and Jewish day schools have been sharing their life stories to create a work of living history. Witness Theater has been highly successful for the past eight years as a project of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s JDC-ESHEL, the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel.
JDC Provides Lifeline to More than 170,000 Elderly Jews in Former Soviet Union
From St. Petersburg, Russia to Siberia, from Kiev, Ukraine to Kazakhstan, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) provides relief to more than 170,000 destitute elderly Jews in over 2,900 cities, towns, and villages across the vast cultural and geographic expanse of the republics that comprise the former Soviet Union (FSU).This piece appeared in more than 75 publications including Forbes.com,Los Angeles Times.com, StreetInsider.com, and USA Today.com.
The Jerusalem Post
Truly, a good Jew
For Abramovitch, who is slowly winding down more than 60 years of service at the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), those words have served as a driving force behind his efforts to aid Jews in the furthest reaches of the globe.
UJC to raise $10 million for relief effort
The United Jewish Communities announced Monday that it will raise the funds to augment humanitarian and social needs programs that its overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, already run in southern Israel, which has been under attack by Hamas missiles….
New Jersey Jewish News
A Jewish journey, from joy to sorrow and back
The Cuban-Jewish community has shrunk from 15,000 in 1959 to 1,500 today. In 1990, Castro relaxed the anti-religion attitude of the government, and many who had cast off their Jewish identity began to return. In 1992, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was given permission to assist with rebuilding the Jewish community.
Abraham Fund sponsors job fair for Israeli Arab women; More than 350 women participated in the job fair in Sachnin
…Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu, Co-executive Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives said, “The overwhelming turnout of women that came to participate in the job fair is definitive proof that Arab women are eager to get out of the house, integrate themselves into the job market, and contribute to the earnings of their families.” The job fair was made possible through the framework of “Sharikat Haya” (life partnership a project of the Abraham Fund) in cooperation with the Joint Distribution Committee….
Georgian Refugees Seek Return to Normalcy
“The Jews that live in Tbilisi and in Gori are the poorest that I saw, in really poor condition, the worst I’ve seen,” said Amir Ben Zvi, a member of the crisis team for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee that was flown in immediately after the conflict began. “It was easy for them to lose everything, and we had to make an effort to put them back on the standing where they were before.”
JDC: Funding intact for 2009
Despite the philanthropic turmoil facing Jewish charities and non-profit organizations, the American Jewish-Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced Monday that only a small portion of its $300 million budget for 2009 is likely to be damaged by the Madoff investment scam and the global economic crisis….
Rwandan genocide orphanage heeds holocaust model
…Agahozo Shalom is budgeted at 20 million dollars (14.8 million euros), funded largely by private donors, corporate sponsors and partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).”The genocide in Rwanda has hit a strong chord with Jews, who have compassion and understanding of the trauma involved and what is needed for reconciliation and to move forward,” said William Recant, Director of Disaster Relief and Development for the JDC….
Canadian Jewish News
Birthright alumni visit Ukraine
…Demberg visited the family in their one-room house that has no running water, bringing them warm clothes and food. The family receives food and medical supplies delivered by Hesed, a program run by the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) that is essential to their survival….
From Mumbai to Jerusalem
…Over Thanksgiving, my husband and I, who have spent considerable time working and living in Mumbai with JDC as a part of their Jewish Service programs, were glued to TV and the Internet….http://makom.haaretz.com/blog.asp?bId=108
Jewish Community Shocked by Mumbai Attacks
One of the targets in the Mumbai terrorist attacks was a Jewish community center, where at least six hostages were killed. Among the dead are Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, both directors of the center. Antony Korenstein, country director for India with the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee, speaks about their work with the Jewish community visiting and living in Mumbai.
Mumbai Jewish Center Hostages Perish as Death Toll Exceeds 150
…There are fewer than 5,000 Jews in India, according to the Joint Distribution Committee, a New-York based Jewish aid organization. Before the assault on the Jewish center, nine terrorists had been killed and one, a Pakistani, was arrested, said R.R. Patil, deputy chief minister of the state of Maharashtra. The attackers arrived in Mumbai by sea, Patil told reporters….
Dr. Rick Hodes Helps the Children of Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, there is one doctor for every 40,000 people and never enough medicine. In a nation with a per capita income of $220, modern treatment is reserved largely for the rich. But at Mother Teresa’s Mission, Rick Hodes, MD, devotes himself to healing the poor….
JTA's Blog, The Fundermentalist
JDC taps new head for Israel social policy center
…The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has named Dr. Dan Ben-David the director of its Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel. The center is an independent social economic think tank that analyzes and develops macro-level policy alternatives. Ben-David, who started at his new post Nov. 1, replaced Professor Yaakov Kop, who had headed the Taub Center since its inception in 1982.
The Jewish Week
Pink Ribbons In Once-Red Europe
…Four years after the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee joined the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in a series of pilot advocacy and educational programs in three former Iron Curtain countries, tens of thousands of women are learning to take their health, literally, into their own hands, leaders of the initiative say.
Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky Opens
…Roman Vishniac, a Russian-born Jew, photographed some of the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe before the conflagration of the 1930s and 40. Prompted by a commission of the American Joint Distribution Committee, Vishniac took over 16,000 photographs (2,000 of which survived the war) over a three-year period. His poignant works feature vibrant communities filled with life: men, women and children in their homes and schools, at their trades and in their streets, markets, and temples.