JDC Expo Aimed At Promoting Inclusive Employment In Israel

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) will hold a unique expo here on Thursday, July 23rd introducing employers to programs aimed at facilitating the integration of people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds into Israel’s work force. Dozens of major private-sector companies –Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Teva, Migdal Insurance, The Fishman Group, the Ashdod Port Authority, WIZO, El Al — are set to take part in the special private-third sector collaboration organized by Tevet, JDC’s employment advancement partnership in Israel, and hosted by Bank Hapoalim. “This is a unique opportunity for the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds to come together to help underemployed and disenfranchised segments of Israeli society ,” said Sigal Shelach, CEO of JDC TEVET and Senior Deputy Director of JDC’s overall Israel operation. “By the end of the event, we hope to raise awareness to the myriad ways companies can work with NGOs to improve employment practices, advance individuals from underprivileged backgrounds and offer jobs to people.”Among the innovative initiatives being launched at the expo are: The Apprenticeship Program which offers vocational training to employees through their employer together with classroom study and certification from Israel’s Ministry of the Economy. The Kidum initiative aims to help working poor obtain higher-paying positions and strengthen their family’s socio-economic status through a job-training course.As one of the greatest challenges facing Ethiopian Israelis in the job application process is screening tests — often inherently biased against them — EMET is an initiative studying employee screening practices used by human resources departments and working to develop tools and practices that employers can use to hire more fairly and diversely. And finally, the Mentorship program teams vulnerable Israelis with accomplished professionals with the hope of advancing their careers.In all, six intervention processes will be shared in order to foster best practices and employment advancement within participant companies. JDC’s TEVET employment initiative — formed in partnership with the Government of Israel and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in 2005 — has helped more than 140,000 chronically unemployed Israelis through services such as job training, skill enhancement, and the securing of employment. About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, visit www.JDC.org

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JDC Resilience Conference: European Jews Must Be Prepared For Challenges As Vast Majority Remain In Place

Immediate Concern over Continent's Economy Highlighted by Participants

In a year of growing challenges and threats to European Jewish communities and with immediate concerns over the impact of a potential Greek default, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) concluded an international conference in Barcelona on Monday, June 29 aimed at strengthening Jewish community resilience in the face of adversity. Dozens of Jewish leaders, experts, and professionals from across the continent took part in the two-day gathering that focused on bolstering crisis management and response, community security, and streamlining inter-communal cooperation. The conference was co-organized with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation and European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC).

“As a variety of challenges threaten European Jews, it was critical for us to provide a forum for Jewish community leaders to engage in a healthy, robust conversation on challenges they face and present specific, concrete ways of overcoming them,” said Diego Ornique, JDC Regional Director for Europe. “I’m certain many of the skills and tools will be utilized by community leaders in the immediate future, maintaining the balance between thriving Jewish life and an uncertain European socioeconomic landscape.”

Keynote speaker, renowned French academic Dominique Moisi, delivered an analysis of the current state of Europe and the challenges ahead. Historian Diana Pinto strongly rebutted the oft-cited argument that the only option for European Jews is to leave the continent.

“The story of the Jews in Europe isn’t yet ready to be relegated to museums,” said Pinto.

Workshop leaders included David Gidron, a social psychologist and expert in community resilience and crisis management who has worked extensively with JDC.

“The message of responsibility, sustainability and development — that’s the real security,” said Gidron. “That’s been present throughout the conference and it’s the whole story.”

Other speakers included Eric Ghozlan, a psychologist and project manager for the Psychodrama and Resilience Unit, OSE, France, and Taly Levanon of the Israeli Trauma Coalition. Ghozlan talked about lessons learned from the attacks in Paris while Levanon spoke about psycho-social preparedness and building response systems within communities.

“What the JDC is doing here — and I think it’s a wonderful thing — is to bring Jewish leaders together, [where] we can exchange best practices,” said Rabbi Michael Melchior, the chief rabbi of Norway and a former Israeli cabinet minister. “Some of the broader thinking for the preparedness of communities — not just in an emergency situation but in a broader sense of where Europe is going — I’ve learned a lot from that.”

Delegates from dozens of nations participated including Benjamin Albalas of Greece and a leader of the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC); Jonathan Arkush, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; French academic Dominique Moisi; Peter Kreko, Director of Political Capital Institute in Hungary; Spanish Jewish community leaders David Hatchwell and Uri Benguigui; and Josh Spinner of the Ronald. S. Lauder Foundation.

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On World Refugee Day, JDC Urges Support for Ukrainian IDPs

Group also aids Syrian refugees in Jordan and others throughout 100-plus year history

Ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20th, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) CEO Alan H. Gill called on the Jewish and international community to redouble its efforts to aid Ukraine’s million plus internally displaced people, including thousands of displaced Jews who like their neighbors have fled fighting between the Ukrainian government and separatists in the east.”At a time when refugee and internally displaced populations are surging worldwide, we call on people of good will to join us in our ongoing efforts to address the plight of Ukraine’s internally displaced, a critical humanitarian crisis that has fallen from the headlines. As we know from our work with displaced Ukrainian Jews, there is no end in sight to their suffering — and the suffering of millions of others impacted by conflict, persecution, and disaster — and we must reaffirm our dedication to their well-being and put into action the ancient Jewish ideal of arveut, mutual responsibility, for the most vulnerable.”According to the United Nations, there are currently 16.7 million refugees and 38 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around the world — the highest figures since World War II. In Ukraine, over 1 million are believed to have been displaced by the political and economic crisis that started there last year.Facing many challenges — including the need for food, housing, medical care, employment, severe trauma, and discrimination from potential employers or landlords — JDC is currently caring for more than 2,800 displaced Ukrainian Jews, connecting them to local Jewish life and to a sense of normalcy. JDC has provided them with a full aid package including food, medicine, medical care, stipends for accommodation, temporary shelter, post trauma support, and other basic needs. They also have been provided Jewish holiday programming, summer camp experiences, and other opportunities with local Jewish communities.In addition to Ukraine, JDC is also a founding member of the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan and the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, a coalition of humanitarian and faith-based organizations helpingSyrian refugees in Jordan who fled their country’s raging civil war.JDC has a long history helping refugees and displaced persons: It played a pivotal role helping Jews flee Nazi persecution in Europe; cared for hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors in Displaced Persons camps in Europe; resettled Jewish populations from around the world to Israel, the U.S., and other countries; and assisted in rebuilding Jewish communities in countries devastated by Soviet oppression.Additionally JDC provides its expertise and assistance to a broad range of refugees and IDPs in times of crisis. During the 1990s, it cared for thousands of Kosovar and Rwandan refugees offering them free treatment at medical clinics and other humanitarian programs. JDC also assisted thousands of IDPs in India and Sri Lanka whose homes were destroyed in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.JDC’s Ukraine crisis work is generously support by its Board, individual donors and foundations, and our esteemed partners, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations of North America, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.

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Genesis philanthropy group, JDC Entwine partner to engage in next generation of Russian-speaking Jews in international service

Partnership increases number of Russian-speaking Jewish young adults in Entwine programs, creates leadership cohort

In a first initiative of its kind, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) and JDC Entwine — the growing younger adult platform of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) — announced a partnership to develop and launch the first global Jewish service program uniquely crafted for Russian-speaking Jewish young people. The partnership will increase the number of Russian-speaking Jewish college students and young professionals involved in JDC Entwine’s overseas Insider Service Trips and Learning Networks in North America. Recognizing the critical importance of the next generation of Russian-speaking Jews in the future of Jewish community life, the initiative is geared toward engaging this demographic with global Jewish issues, from Jewish identity-building to ending Jewish poverty to connecting Jewish communities globally. “We are excited to see the ever-increasing role that volunteerism and service play in engaging younger generations of Russian-speaking Jews,” says Ilia Salita, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group. “Accordingly, Genesis Philanthropy Group is also increasing our support of organizations that engender such activism. As a leader in this field, Entwine is a natural partner in widening the opportunities available, and we are thrilled to work together to bring more Russian-speaking Jews to learn from and impact Jewish communities around the world.” The partnership enables JDC Entwine to develop a cadre of Russian-speaking Jewish young adult leaders in the JDC Entwine network, encouraging them to become more represented and integrated in the larger movement of young Jews. The initiative will strengthen these young people’s commitment to global Jewish responsibility, while also developing greater awareness of Russian-speaking Jewish life and culture within the Entwine network. JDC, with the support from GPG, has hired a Project Coordinator to develop and implement the Russian speaking-specific overseas Insider Service Trips and Learning Network events. The partnership will target and include dozens of young Russian-speaking Jews in JDC Entwine trips, volunteering hundreds of hours in a global Jewish community where JDC operates. The partnership will also exponentially increase the number of participants and programs focused on Russian-speaking Jewish life or led by Russian-speaking young adult leaders in five key Entwine Learning Network cities that have a concentrated population of Russian-speaking Jewish young adults. The first Insider Service Trips are focusing on Jewish life in Argentina and China. The first cohort of students traveling to Argentina just returned last week, and young professionals will go to Argentina in August and then China in November. Local Learning Network programming has already taken place in New York City and Washington, DC, with future events planned for Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. “We’re thrilled by the opportunity to partner with Genesis Philanthropy Group and bring Entwine’s platform of global service, education, and leadership opportunities to Russian-speaking Jewish young adults. By engaging an increasing number of Russian speakers with global Jewish issues, drawing on their talents and passion, we can both catalyze a growing movement of young Jews who see global Jewish responsibility as core to their identities and actions and ensure this important cohort of young Jews is part of it,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill. A Jim Joseph Foundation grantee and Slingshot Fund 2014-2015 grant awardee, JDC Entwine engages more than 12,000 young Jewish adults each year through its quickly growing platform of service, educational and leadership opportunities that involve these young adults in global Jewish issues while simultaneously creating a re-charged Jewish identity. In addition to its continuum of international service experiences -; including short, mid, and long-term options for young Jews to impact global challenges in Jewish communities, Israel, and in developing countries where humanitarian needs exist -; JDC Entwine’s Learning Networks in New York City, Boston, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, and London create volunteer-led events that feature meaningful, peer-to-peer education, combined with socializing and networking. About Genesis Philanthropy GroupGenesis Philanthropy Group’s mission is to develop and enhance a sense of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union, North America, and Israel, where up to three million Russian-speaking Jews reside. The foundation is committed to supporting and launching projects, programming, and institutions that are focused on ensuring that Jewish culture, heritage, and values are preserved in Russians-speaking Jewish communities across the globe. GPG believes that informed and engaged Russian-speaking Jews will contribute to the cultural enrichment of their communities, strengthen the Jewish community and support the betterment of humanity. For more information, visit www.gpg.org. About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, visit www.JDC.org.

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One Month After Nepal Quake, JDC Aiding Tens of Thousands

Focus on Nepali women, teachers, and community leaders alleviates poverty and trauma

A month after Nepal was hit by the biggest earthquake in 80 years, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is providing aid to to tens of thousands of survivors; conducting post trauma counseling and training for teachers and women leaders; and launching a livelihood restoration program for women vulnerable to extreme poverty and trafficking. The organization’s second deployment of development experts will also depart for Nepal and focus on early and long term recovery in the face of widespread fear of another quake, the impending monsoon season, and worsened conditions from a second deadly earthquake. “While the challenges in Nepal remain great, we have already ensured life-saving support to devastated survivors, remain dedicated to the future of this slowly recovering country, and call on the Jewish and international community to join us in our ongoing efforts,” said Mandie Winston, director of JDC’s International Development Program. “That future will depend on the fortitude and resilience of its citizens — especially women, teachers, and community leaders — who must strengthen and protect families and communities in the difficult months and years ahead.” JDC, in cooperation with partners on the ground, have already delivered shelter supplies, hygiene items, medical supplies, clean water, and food to over 36,000 people. Its staff experts have aided remote villages, ensuring critically needed basic goods, reinforced local structures, and secured supplies for the monsoon season. Together with the Israel Trauma Coalition, JDC provided one week of psychosocial training and burnout support for teachers and women community leaders who are now using those skills in schools and in women’s collectives in hard-hit areas. The organization has also secured and provided more than 20,000 pounds of medical and shelter supplies for localhospitals and other humanitarian actors in Nepal.JDC’s Nepal partners include: the IDF Field Hospital, Tevel b’Tzedek, UNICEF, the Afya Foundation, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Sarvodaya – Teach for Nepal, Israel Trauma Coalition, Heart to Heart International, and Magen David Adom. JDC provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions. JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli agencies, and the UN coordination mechanism OCHA. To Make a Contribution: Online: https://www.jdc.org/nepalearthquake By Phone: 212-687-6200 By Mail: JDC Nepal Earthquake ReliefP.O. Box 4124New York, NY 10163United States Please make check payable to “JDC Nepal Earthquake Relief”

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JDC Assessing New Nepal Quake Damage, Renews Urgent Call for Aid

With news of another major earthquake striking Nepal today, this time near country’s eastern border with China, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) called on the Jewish and international community to renew its efforts to ensure more aid to the beleaguered South Asian nation. JDC was immediately in touch with its representatives and partners on the ground, located in western Nepal -; site of the greatest damage from the April 25th quake that killed thousands and impacted more than 8 million people -; and in India, to assess damage and needs emerging from the new disaster zone. “This latest earthquake is a heart wrenching reminder of the urgency for the continued flow of aid to Nepal, a country that has not even begun to heal from the wounds of the first quake two weeks ago. This new development exacerbates existing challenges on the ground and renews deep fears and widespread trauma. Our hearts once again go out to the people of Nepal at this time of disaster and sorrow,” said Mandie Winston, Director of JDC’s International Development Program. JDC and its partners have aided thousands since the first earthquake struck, ensuring medicine, food, water, hygiene products and shelter to survivors in Kathmandu and in remote villages in Western Nepal. The organization was preparing fragile communities ahead of monsoon season and drawing up long term rehabilitation plans when the new 7.3 magnitude earthquake emanating from a point near Mt. Everest occurred. JDC has carried out a three-pronged plan in Nepal to date: the deployment of its expert disaster relief team to Nepal; the support of locally-based partners to ensure medical care and relief supplies within days of the first quake; and the packing and shipping of medical and humanitarian supplies from the U.S. JDC’s partners in Nepal include the IDF Field Hospital, Tevel b’Tzedek, UNICEF, the Afya Foundation, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Sarvodaya – Teach for Nepal, Heart to Heart International, and Magen David Adom. JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli agencies, and the UN coordination mechanism OCHA. To Make a Contribution: Online: https://www.jdc.org/nepalearthquake By Phone: 212-687-6200 By Mail: JDC Nepal Earthquake ReliefP.O. Box 4124New York, NY 10163United States Please make check payable to “JDC Nepal Earthquake Relief” About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, visit www.jdc.org

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One Week Later, JDC Urges Continued Support to Nepal

JDC disaster response team delivers relief; Aids thousands together with partners

A week after Nepal was hit by the biggest earthquake in 80 years, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is aiding thousands of survivors through its relief efforts with partners on the ground and is dispatching its disaster relief team from Kathmandu to remote villages to deliver aid and assess emerging needs in hard-hit areas. The team will assist in the delivery of first aid and shelter supplies, hygiene items, oral re-hydration solution, food packages, and other supplies to 1,400 families over the coming days. “Even while we’re helping survivors to heal throughout Nepal, we know more must be done and urge the public to continue its generous support of critically needed relief in this devastated country,” said Mandie Winston, director of JDC’s International Development Program. “Millions of Nepalese are facing harrowing conditions and the need for their immediate care, recovery, and reconstruction efforts is required to secure Nepal’s future. Our efforts are focused on that path and to ensure the dignity of every human life along the way.” To date, JDC has operated on three fronts in Nepal: the deployment of its expert disaster relief team on the ground; the support of locally-based partners to ensure medical care and relief supplies within days of the quake; and the packing and shipping of medical and humanitarian supplies from the U.S. These efforts have ensured life-saving medical treatment, food, clean water, and shelter for Nepalese victims still reeling from the unprecedented natural disaster. It has also enabled the assessment of needs and delivery of aid in real time, in tandem with changes on the ground, and the coordination of JDC’s network of local and international NGO partners working in Nepal. These partners include: the IDF Field Hospital, Tevel b’Tzedek, UNICEF, the Afya Foundation, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Sarvodaya – Teach for Nepal, Heart to Heart International, and Magen David Adom. JDC provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions. JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli agencies, and the UN coordination mechanism OCHA. To Make a Contribution: Online: https://www.jdc.org/nepalearthquake By Phone: 212-687-6200 By Mail: JDC Nepal Earthquake ReliefP.O. Box 4124New York, NY 10163United States Please make check payable to “JDC Nepal Earthquake Relief” About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, visit www.jdc.org

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JDC Sends Urgent Relief To Nepal, Partners with IDF Field Hospital

JDC Disaster Team Heads to Nepal to Deploy Response

Following the deadly earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is providing relief and medical supplies -; including shelter, nutritional items, sanitation, and water -; for survivors of the tremor that killed at least 2,200 and injured 5,800. JDC will once again partner with Israeli Defense Forces field hospital in Napalese capital Kathmandu through the provision of equipment, including neonatal incubators. JDC previously partnered with the field hospital in Philippines, Haiti, Sri Lanka, and Japan. In the coming days, JDC’s disaster relief team — including its veteran crisis experts, an emergency field medic, and its India country director — will arrive in Nepal and assess needs and ensure an impactful response for survivors. “As we ensure that aid crucial to the survival and wellbeing of victims in the first days following a disaster are secured and distributed, our team will begin to lay the foundation for our longer term efforts to help the Nepalese people recover from this unprecedented crisis,” said Mandie Winston, director of JDC’s International Development Program. “Given the dire conditions on the ground, and challenges that existed before the earthquake, we are focused on ensuring that the most vulnerable -; women, children, the elderly, and people with special needs -; are protected and cared for now and in the future.” In addition to the IDF Field Hospital, JDC’s partners in Nepal include: Tevel B’Tzedek, an Israeli humanitarian group with longstanding presence in Nepal and UNICEF, which JDC has partnered with on many previous disasters including in the Philippines and Haiti. JDC has also activated its network in the region and is coordinating with more than a dozen existing international and Asia-based partners to prioritize aid and address critical and emerging needs. JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli agencies, and the UN coordination mechanism OCHA.

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JDC Responds to Deadly Nepal Earthquake

In the wake of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has begun collecting funds for emerging relief efforts. Amid a quickly rising death toll and widespread destruction in Kathmandu and the surrounding region (including northeast India), JDC’s staff experts in India are consulting with the local authorities, the Nepalese and Indian governments, and global partners to assess the unfolding situation on the ground and ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed. “We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the Nepalese people at this time of heart-wrenching tragedy. Together our network of global partners, we are drawing on our vast experience and standing presence in South Asia to ensure relief to survivors in their time of need.” said Alan H. Gill, JDC’s CEO. “Today, as we have done many times in the past, we are standing as one with all humankind by deploying a Jewish response to a crisis impacting millions.” The earthquake -; which flattened buildings, triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, and has resulted in a death toll of more than 1,000 people -; is one of the worst in Nepal’s recent history. The Hindu-majority nation, which is known for its mountainous terrain and hiking tourism, is a popular travel destination for Israelis, who are reported to be among those impacted while visiting the country, and is home to a Chabad House. JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions. JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli agencies, and the United Nations.

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Highly Competitive Program Offers 12-month Opportunity To Engage In Jewish Needs Worldwide

Applications for the 2016 Ralph I. Goldman (RIG) Fellowship -; an annual paid, professional opportunity to live overseas and engage in the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s work addressing Jewish and humanitarian needs -; are now being accepted at through May 31. Each year, a RIG Fellow is chosen in a highly competitive selection process to gain exposure to the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people in some of the more than 70 countries where JDC operates. Past fellows have worked on Jewish identity cultivation in Hungary and Argentina, emergency relief work in the Philippines, and international development in Ethiopia. Eliran Douenias -; this year’s Fellow and the first person to receive the fellowship after the death of Ralph I. Goldman (z”l), the towering Jewish leader for whom the program is named -; is currently in Berlin where he is focused on further strengthening Jewish community services for Germany’s expanding community. “Our beloved Ralph Goldman dedicated his life to the Jewish people, Israel, and bettering humankind, especially by cultivating visionary young people. There is no more fitting testament to that legacy than to have Eliran Douenias, deeply dedicated to these efforts, to serve as this year’s RIG Fellow. There’s a wondrous reciprocity there that I know Ralph would have loved,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill. “At this time of tremendous change in the Jewish and wider world, the need for bright, young Jews who can take on future challenges is paramount and we know the RIG Fellowship is critical to building this cohort of Jewish leadership.” Douenias served as an officer in the IDF for 7 years; led Young Ambassadors delegations to the UN Headquarters; co-founded Olam, an Israeli social enterprise organization; and was selected to participate in Kriat Kivun, a unique program of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office for young leaders in the public sector. In 2014, Eliran received his Master’s Degree in Law at Bar-Ilan University and was appointed as Vice Chairman of Youth Division for The Israel Communication and Press Association. “Whenever you enter a JDC space, you feel the saying kol yisrael arevim zeh la’zeh come to life.” said Douenias. “In many ways, that was Ralph’s vision about being a Jew–to be responsible for one another, to be always there for every Jew around the world. That’s the mission statement of the organization. I think it’s Ralph’s legacy, to continue this fundamental statement, to be there, and to make sure that every Jew wherever they are, can still stay a part of this global Jewish community.” The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship (RIG), established in 1987, is named after JDC’s honorary Executive Vice-President, who served as the organization’s top professional leader and was instrumental in the establishment of the State of Israel. Fellows participate in JDC’s global programs through a range of unique assignments that respond to the changing needs of Jewish communities around the world. The RIG Fellowship is an initiative of JDC Entwine, a one-of-a-kind movement of young Jewish advocates, influencers, and leaders, who seek to make a lasting impact on the global Jewish community.

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On Both Sides of Ukraine Ceasefire Line, Thousands to Attend JDC Passover Events

Organizational Volunteers to Distribute Tons of Matzah to Jews in Need

Even amid a crippling humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) will hold a variety of Passover-related activities -; from Seder feasts to matzah baking and Passover cooking workshops -; for thousands of Jews at JDC’s 32 Hesed social welfare centers and JDC-supported Jewish Community Centers on both sides of the ceasefire line throughout Ukraine. In addition, JDC volunteers and staff will deliver nearly 48,000 free packages of matzah, the unleavened bread traditionally consumed on the holiday, to needy Ukrainian Jews.

“As we engage in our annual Passover activities around Ukraine this year, we are reminded of the holiday’s timeless message of deliverance and our duty to ensure a small taste of hope and joy to those facing despair and an uncertain future,” said Michal Frank, Director of JDC’s Former Soviet Union operation.

In Donetsk and Lugansk, cities severely damaged during fighting and now under separatist control, JDC will hold matzah-baking classes for children, Seders (the traditional Passover feast) for the elderly, and workshops on Passover foods and customs. In Mariupol, a rocket-stricken town just outside the rebel-held area, children will make matzah and a special women’s Seder will be conducted. Similar events will take place in Zaporozhie, Artyomovsk, Kramatorsk, and Krovoy Rog.

Away from the frontlines, thousands of Jews -; including hundreds of displaced Jews making new homes away from the separatist-controlled east -; will also attend Passover activities. In Kiev, Kharkov, and Odessa, Seders for the elderly will be held at “Warm Homes”–apartments or other facilities where groups of seniors gather together to socialize, engage in cultural activities, and celebrate holidays. Kiev’s Beiteinu Center will include families at risk and displaced Jews in a special Passover picnic.

In Dnepropetrovsk, a special “Pesach University” will be organized to teach young people how to conduct a Seder. And in Odessa, Passover cooking classes with be part of Seder activities at the Beit Grand JCC while in other cities in the region — Nikolayev, Kherson, Kirovograd -; visits by young volunteers to isolated elderly and the displaced will be part of community-wide festivities.

Since the crisis in Ukraine began, JDC has deployed emergency services assisting thousands of Jews caught up in the conflict, including: extra food, medicine, and medical care; crisis-related home repairs; extra winter items such as warm bedding, clothing, utility stipends, and space heaters; and a full aid package and emergency housing for displaced Jews. As the crisis has worsened, 2,700 people have been added to JDC’s aid rolls, many who never needed JDC assistance in the past. These include working or middle class Jewish families who find themselves struggling with conflict-related unemployment and general economic distress.

JDC’s work in Ukraine is undertaken in cooperation with the local Jewish community and groups like Chabad. JDC’s work is generously support by its Board, individual donors and foundations, and our esteemed partners, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.

JDC has four major offices and operates and supports a network of 32 Hesed social welfare centers serving more than 70,000 Jews in need in more than 1,000 locations across Ukraine. JDC’s long history of working with Ukrainian Jews includes its work with the American Relief Administration in 1921 to administer an aid program for Ukrainians impacted by war and famine, including the Jewish community. Additionally, Agro-Joint, established in 1924, created Jewish agricultural colonies and industrial schools in Ukraine and Crimea.

About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, visit www.JDC.org

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Jim Joseph Foundation Awards Nearly $24 million in Grants at Winter Board Meetings

Grants Reflect Wide Range of Jewish Learning Experiences for Varied Age Groups

The San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation announced grant awards from its two winter board meetings totaling nearly $24 million to organizations and institutions engaged in Jewish education. The Foundation focuses on creating effective and compelling Jewish learning experiences for youth and young adults in the United States. “These two rounds of grant awards reflect an especially exciting moment for Jewish education and the grantees with which we partner,” says Al Levitt, President of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “Whether in Israel education, teacher preparation, Jewish camping, service-learning, or other well-conceived efforts to engage youth and young adults, there are many new opportunities to both deepen and create more dynamic Jewish learning experiences.” A full breakdown of the Foundation’s grants is included in its Portfolio Analysis. More information can be viewed in the Foundation’s recent biennial report. Major Grants Awarded American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: JDC Entwine (2015-2017)Total Awarded: Up to $3,000,000Purpose: To support the expansion of Entwine, JDC’s young adult service division, including to increase the number of young adults participating in immersive Jewish service experiences on an annual basis and to enhance and professionalize the educational content and training for Entwine participants, staff, peer leaders and alumni. Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore Inc.: CEO Onboarding (2015-2017)Total Awarded: Up to $971,620Purpose: To create a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on-boarding pilot program to operate during 2015-2017, involving three cohorts of CEOs. It is envisioned that this program will be conducted in partnership with the recently established Leadership Pipelines Alliance (of which the Jim Joseph Foundation is one of several founding founders). Brandeis University: Summer Institute for Israel Studies (2015-2018)Total Awarded: Up to $600,000 over three yearsPurpose: For renewal funding for the Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS), an institute to train college professors to develop and teach courses in Israel studies at their campuses. Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR): DeLeT (2015-2018)Total Awarded: Up to $400,000 to Brandeis and up to $412,868 to HUC-JIRPurpose: To support up to 12 DeLeT/MAT students each year and related program research activities. To support up to 10 core DeLeT fellows, plus 4 fellows in a new Hebrew language teacher preparation track, at HUC-JIR. Hazon Inc.: Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) (2015-2019)Total: Up to $7,507,213 over four yearsPurpose:For the development of the JOFEE Educator Fellowship, and to provide matching funds for business planning and capacity support to Hazon, Pearlstone Center, Urban Adamah, and Wilderness Torah to significantly increase the number of immersive JOFEE experiences offered and to strengthen the organizations. Jewish Community Center in Manhattan: Expansion of the Jewish Journey Project (JJP) (2014-2016)Total Awarded: Up to $250,000Purpose: To support the continuation and expansion of the JJP, a demonstration project showing how inter-institutional collaboration in the New York Jewish community provides a more customized approach to pre-b’nei mitzvah supplementary Jewish education–better serving the needs of Jewish families and deepening their connections to their synagogues and JCCs. Reboot, Inc.: General Operating Support (2015-2018)Total: Up to $2,650,000 over four years; each year, half will be paid as a 1:1 matchPurpose: To provide general operating support for the continued growth and cultivation of the Reboot network and to sustain, strengthen and amplify Reboot’s creative approaches to Jewish traditions through experiential programs for young adult Jews in their 20s and 30s. Awards for Community-Based Jewish Teen Education Initiatives: Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago: Jewish Spring Break Experiences for Teens (2015-2020)Total Awarded: Up to $3,196,469 as a 1:1 matchPurpose: To support a new multi-faceted Jewish teen education initiative in Chicago designed to measurably increase the number of Chicago-based teens engaged in high quality Jewish learning experiences during their high school years. The grant focuses on immersive spring break experiences and related year-round activities. Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles: Community-Based Jewish Teen Education Initiative(2015-2019)Total: Up to $4,217,824 as a 1:1 matchPurpose: To deepen the quality of learning experiences provided to L.A. Jewish teens and to double the number of L.A. Jewish teens engaged in Jewish life. The grant will 1) develop the Jewish Teen Program Accelerator to support dramatic scaling of up to twenty-four of the region’s best and most innovative teen education programs; 2) provide customized training and support to every Jewish teen educator in the region; and 3) create region-wide shared infrastructure to address accessibility and affordability through new marketing and scholarship programs, and ensure community-wide collaboration through regular networking and learning opportunities for professionals and teens. Expedited GrantsAssociated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore Inc.: General Operating Support of the Leadership Pipelines AllianceUp to $250,000 for general operating support of the Jewish Leadership Pipelines Alliance’s inaugural year of activities Board of Jewish Education, Inc.: Development of Learning and Growth Outcomes, Indicators and Measurement Tools for Jewish Teen Education and EngagementUp to $106,851 for the development of learning and growth outcomes, indicators and measurement tools for to be used for the evaluation of community-based teen education initiatives Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life: Jewish Agency Israel FellowsUp to $200,000 to support experienced Israel Campus Fellows working on 23 “hot spot” United States college campuses National Yiddish Book Center, Inc.: Great Jewish Books Teacher WorkshopUp to $196,025 to support Great Jewish Books Teacher Workshops in the summers of 2015 and 2016, complemented by follow-up programming

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Amid Crisis, JDC Ensures Purim Celebrations for Ukraine’s Jews

Despite an ongoing crisis in Ukraine, exacerbated today by growing humanitarian needs, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Jews around Ukraine will celebrate the festive Jewish holiday of Purim on March 5th with a series of events across the country, including in cities in and near the conflict zone. For Jews who are displaced or those remaining in separatist controlled areas, Purim — which recalls Jewish deliverance from a genocidal plot in ancient Persia — will be marked by synagogue services, concerts, and other special holiday gatherings at JDC-supported Jewish community and social welfare centers. Additionally, JDC and its local volunteers will deliver gift packages — called — to homebound elderly and displaced Jewish families, as is the holiday custom.

“This Purim, we are working hard to fulfill the holiday precept to celebrate with unrestrained joy, especially by providing a much needed respite for the thousands of displaced Jews and those in separatist controlled regions who are severely impacted by economic and political instability,” said Michal Frank, JDC’s Former Soviet Union Regional Director.

Purim events and gift package delivery — including the holding of humorous Purimspeils (traditional holiday parody plays) — are due to take place throughout Ukraine, with a special focus in eastern cities like Donetsk, Lugansk, Dnepropetrovsk, Khakrov, Artemivsk, and Krasnaormiisk. For the 2,500 displaced Jews JDC is caring for, these Purim events connect them to local Jewish communities where they are making new homes. At these events, children and adults will dress up in costume — one of the holiday’s most beloved traditions — partake in hamantashen (triangular-shaped cookies with poppyseed or fruit filling) and enjoy the festive atmosphere even amid the challenges they, like the rest of their neighbors in Ukraine, face.

Since the crisis began, JDC has deployed emergency services assisting thousands of Jews caught up in the conflict, including: extra food, medicine, and medical care; crisis-related home repairs; extra winter items such as warm bedding, clothing, utility stipends, and space heaters; and a full aid package and emergency housing for displaced Jews. As the crisis has worsened, 2,700 people have been added to JDC’s aid rolls, many who never needed JDC assistance in the past. These include working or middle class Jewish families who find themselves struggling with conflict-related unemployment and general economic distress related to spiking prices on basic goods and utilities, the collapsing local currency, and widespread devastation to property and industry.

JDC’s work in Ukraine is undertaken in cooperation with the local Jewish community and groups like Chabad. JDC’s work is generously support by its Board, individual donors and foundations, and our esteemed partners, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations of North America, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.

Today, JDC has four major offices and operates and supports a network of 32 Hesed social welfare centers serving more than 70,000 Jews in need in more than 1,000 locations across Ukraine. JDC’s long history of working with Ukrainian Jews includes its work with the American Relief Administration in 1921 to administer an aid program for Ukrainians impacted by war and famine, including the Jewish community. Additionally, Agro-Joint, established in 1924, created Jewish agricultural colonies and industrial schools in Ukraine and Crimea.

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JDC Hesed Jewish Center in Kramatorsk Hit By Rocket Attack

Rockets Unexploded, No Injuries Reported at Center

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)-supported Hesed social welfare center Kramatorsk — providing critical social services and Jewish cultural programing — was hit by two rockets on Tuesday. The rockets, which damaged the 9-story building where the center is located, did not explode as one hit the roof and another landed in backyard. No injuries were immediately reported at the Hesed and the building has been evacuated. The attack was part of a barrage landed near the city center, reportedly killing 5 and wounding 26.

“This latest development is another stark reminder of the harsh conditions on the ground that impact the lives of the most vulnerable in Ukraine everyday. As we mourn the loss of life, our staff on the ground are tending to the elderly and poor Jews we serve in the city to ensure their safety. We remain vigilant and dedicated to delivering humanitarian aid to the thousands in Ukraine who are facing violence, scarcity of food and medicine, and the harsh winter months,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill.

The Kramatorsk Hesed, which serves over 560 elderly and poor Jews and employs 42 people, is part of a network of 32 JDC-supported social welfare centers serving 60,000 needy Jews in more than 1,000 locations across Ukraine, even in places wracked by violence. JDC has been at the forefront of aid efforts since the Ukraine crisis began. The organization has delivered food, medicine, homecare, stipends for new accommodation, post-trauma care, and vitally important winter fuel, bedding, and clothing as the conflict has worsened. JDC currently serves over 4,600 Jews in the eastern conflict zones and 2,400 internally displaced Jews who have fled to cities like Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Odessa.

JDC’s work in Ukraine is undertaken in cooperation with the local Jewish community and groups like Chabad. JDC’s work is generously support by its Board, individual donors and foundations, and our esteemed partners, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations of North America, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.

Today, JDC has four major offices and operates and supports a network of 32 Hesed social welfare centers serving 60,000 Jews in need in more than 1,000 locations across Ukraine. JDC’s long history of working with Ukrainian Jews includes its work with the American Relief Administration in 1921 to administer an aid program for Ukrainians impacted by war and famine, including the Jewish community. Additionally, Agro-Joint, established in 1924, created Jewish agricultural colonies and industrial schools in Ukraine and Crimea.

About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, visit www.JDC.org.

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JDC ‘ French Jews Partner On Resliancy Programs In Aftermath of Paris Massacres

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is partnering with the French Jewish community on resiliency programs addressing trauma, crisis management training, and the relocation of at-risk Jews from troubled neighborhoods in the French capital. The multifaceted response, organized at the invitation of the French Jewish community, expands and upgrades JDC’s current work with French Jews which includes leadership skills seminars, community development best practice cultivation and promotion, and the inclusion of young French Jews in pan-European networking initiatives.

“We at the Fonds Social Juif Unifie are proud to have JDC by our side during these difficult times. A close partner and friend for many years, we know that together with JDC, our community can be stronger and better equipped to navigate all that we face,” said Ariel Goldmann, president of Fonds Social Juif Unifie (FSJU), the central community fundraising body of the French Jewish community.

Collaborating with the French Jewish community -; a vibrant, self-sustaining, and multi-faceted population of more than 500,000 that today faces economic, political, and social challenges -; JDC will help provide post-trauma care for those suffering as a result of the terror attacks and rising anti-Semitism. JDC experts, and those from the Israel Trauma Coalition, will share knowledge/skills with Jewish professionals, local intervention teams, volunteers, and community leaders to ensure effective and timely responses to trauma, especially among children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. JDC will also work closely with French Jewish community leadership on upgraded crisis management capacity to address emergency situations in real time. Additionally, JDC will help with relocation plans for vulnerable Jews -; the elderly and poor families -; from unsafe neighborhoods plagued by crime, high levels of poverty, Islamist radicalism, and political extremism. JDC’s initial response with be carried out in cooperation with the FSJU, OSE (Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants), a community agency aiding needy Jews, and the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (FMS).

“As Jews face increasing risks around the world, especially spiking anti-Semitism and economic strife, there is growing demand for JDC’s expertise in managing and deploying responses to high-risk situations. We are proud to partner once again with the French Jewish community to ensure that as they chart their future, we are there to strengthen their resiliency, implement specialized services for the most vulnerable, and present a united front in the face of violent hate,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill.

JDC’s 80-year history assisting Jews in France includes the care of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933; the reestablishment of the French Jewish community after the Holocaust, including cash relief programs, networks of scores of children’s homes, vocational training, and emigration assistance; the establishment of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work in Paris and the creation of FSJU (the Fonds Social Juif Unifie); and its ongoing partnership with the OSE (Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants).

About JDCThe American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, please visit www.jdc.org

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JDC East Ukraine Efforts Intensify After Mariupol Attack

As Ukraine’s crisis continues, marked this past weekend by dozens of deaths in the Sea of Azov coast city of Mariupol, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) doubled down on its efforts to care for the most vulnerable Jews still living in the conflict-laden eastern part of the country.

“As we aggressively ensure the neediest Jews of eastern Ukraine have a lifeline at this time of ongoing conflict, we are also providing a critically important source of comfort and hope to those who often feel forgotten and scared,” said Michal Frank, JDC’s Former Soviet Union Director. “This message of Jewish unity, and action, is needed now more than ever as winter rages and the end of the crisis is nowhere in sight.”

As indiscriminate artillery fire slammed into a market, schools, homes, and shops in the city, JDC’s local Hesed social welfare center, in cooperation with JDC’s office in Dnepropetrovsk, engaged in round-the-clock monitoring of the nearly 600 Jews it aids in the city as well as the general Jewish population. Among the poor elderly and families JDC cares for, homecare, medicine, and food services continue uninterrupted, and new needs that have emerged after the weekend attack are being addressed. As an example, JDC will repair the windows of clients’ homes that were knocked out by the blasts. Additionally, JDC is monitoring shrinking food and pharmacy supplies to ensure clients do not go without these critical supplies.

In the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the conflict has led to scarce supplies, halted pensions, and other hardships for the elderly, impoverished, and people with disabilities living in pervasive fear. JDC’s Hesed social welfare center in Donetsk is ensuring that food, medication, and home care are provided, even when locals have difficulty traveling around the city due to sporadic explosions and weapon fire. JDC’s Winter Relief program, now in its 23rd year, is in full swing with blankets, warm winter clothes, and electrical heaters being distributed among more than 1,500 Jews in need in the region.

In Lugansk, where roads into the rest of Ukraine have been closed, JDC’s Hesed social welfare center continues its work and clients there are getting the nutritional, medical, and homecare services they desperately need. With more than 1,700 benefitting from the Winter Relief program, JDC is working hard to keep these needy Jews warm, even as they brave war and winter.

Another feature of the conflict is the growing numbers of Jews applying for services through JDC’s Hesed social welfare network in the region. Nearly 2,000 people, from the Donetsk and Lugansk areas alone, where JDC serves more than 100 locations, have been added to the system in the last four months.

“We stand at the ready to aid the new numbers of Jews seeking help and have been working tirelessly to ensure that they can survive this difficult time. Whether they remain in the east, or join the hundreds of thousands of others who have fled the conflict zone, JDC will be there for them,” Frank said.

JDC’s work in Ukraine is undertaken in cooperation with the local Jewish community and groups like Chabad. JDC’s work is generously support by its Board, individual donors and foundations, and our esteemed partners, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations of North America, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany.

Today, JDC has four major offices and operates and supports a network of 32 Hesed social welfare centers serving Jews in need in more than 1,000 locations across Ukraine. JDC’s long history of working with Ukrainian Jews includes its work with the American Relief Administration in 1921 to administer an aid program for Ukrainians impacted by war and famine, including the Jewish community. Additionally, Agro-Joint, established in 1924, created Jewish agricultural colonies and industrial schools in Ukraine and Crimea.

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JDC ‘ Mafteach Host International Conference on Haredi Employment

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin And Experts From Around The World To Attend

Israeli President Rueven Rivlin and experts from around the world will attend a 3-day international conference in Jerusalem starting Dec. 28 focusing on empowering Haredi Jews through employment and job training. The event — hosted by the Mafteach employment center network, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and the government of Israel — will offer Haredi community leaders, educators, politicians, and employers a venue to discuss ways of reducing poverty in Haredi society by helping individuals find jobs while taking into account religious sensitivities.

“We’re proud to join our partners in the Israeli government, Haredi community, and Mafteach centers in providing this critical platform to build on the successes of the job-training programs we started together nearly a decade ago,” said Prof. Yossi Tamir, Director of JDC-Israel. “We’ve seen employment among Haredim soar and this conference creates a timely opportunity to share the knowledge we’ve gained so far with colleagues around the world and learn from their experience in return.”

Topics on the conference’s agenda include Yeshiva accreditation, culturally sensitive employment screenings and a comprehensive examination of the future of Haredi employment policy. Participants will also go on site visits where they will meet with Haredi trainees and learn about their experience. The first and second days of the gathering will be private while the third will be open to the public.

JDC-founded Mafteach employment centers reach out to corporate partners throughout Israel who are looking for skilled workers in order to meet the needs of a rapidly growing, high-tech economy. Over 26,000 Haredi adults have walked through the doors of the eight centers established to date, and almost two-thirds of them have jobs today. Trainees are taught a wide range of skills including English, vocational training, job placement, career development, career advancement and resume-writing courses. Two new centers in Netivot and Modiin Ilit are scheduled to open next month.

Government representatives at the conference will include Mayor of Beitar Illit and Chairman of the Orthodox Mayors’ Forum Rabbi Meir Rubinstein, National Economic Council Chairman Professor Eugene Kendel, and Ministry of Economy Deputy General for Employment Michal Tzuk and others.

In addition to JDC’s Tamir, experts slated to speak at the Jerusalem conference include: Ruben Gorbatt, Director of JDC-Israel TEVET Haredi Employment programs; Dr. Sigal Shelach, Director of JDC TEVET; Mosche Schapiro, CEO at Yedidut Toronto and the Friedberg Foundation; and Dr. Gilad Malach of the Haredi Program at the Israel Democracy Institute.

Philip — a 24-year-old Czech-born Israeli — is one of many whose lives have changed thanks to their participation in Haredi job training programs. As a farmer in the Haredi community of Kommimiyut, his income used to be seasonal and sparing. Now he works for a Coca Cola and the additional money helps pay his mortgage and school for his children.

“Everybody does it where I live– Shabbos is Shabbos and the other days of the week we work,” adding that he still learns every night in his community.

JDC’s employment programs for Haredim are made possible through the generous support of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation, the Maks and Lea Rothstein Charitable Youth Trust, the Jewish Federation of San Francisco, the Leichtag Foundation, Joe Lebovic, The Stern Family Foundation, the Rosenzweig Coopersmith Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, and UJA-Federation of New York.

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JDC Launches Online Gift Market for Chanukah

Buy a meal for a needy Jewish family in the former Soviet Union, send a Jewish child to summer camp in Europe, or build a well in Africa — this Chanukah, at the JDC GiftMarket, you can give a present that will change lives. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has launched, in time for the holiday season, a new online gift store that, for the first time, engages donors in the direct impact of their gift. “Donors are increasingly identifying and contributing to the needs they want to support and have more control over their giving than ever before,” said Graham Cannon, JDCs Chief Global Marketing Officer. “We wanted to provide the opportunity to tie donations to specific projects so that donors can not only see the impact of their gift and how it’s making a difference, but celebrate family and friends by honoring them with a gift of real meaning.” The JDC Gift Market — www.jdc.org/giftmarket — offers several gift tracks including food, health/medicine, daily survival, community/culture, education, and empowerment. For $18, you can help keep a Jewish family in Siberia warm through the winter, feed an elderly person in Israel, or provide a free mammogram for a woman in Hungary to help detect breast cancer. A $36 donation will assist in job training for youth at risk or Haredi Israelis, while a $100 gift will fund a free surgery or help fund a school in Ethiopia. Now celebrating its 100th year, JDC remains the essential Jewish international humanitarian organization, putting into action the precept that all Jews are responsible for one another and for all humankind. The organization’s ten decades of rescue, poverty alleviation, Jewish community development, leadership training and cultivation, social innovation, and disaster relief work has benefitted millions of people and transformed countless lives in Israel and more than 90 countries since its founding in 1914 at the outset of WW1.

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JDC Winter Relief Efforts Expanded in Ukraine

-- For 23rd Winter, JDC Provides Life-saving Care to Needy Jews Braving the Cold

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s annual Winter Relief program -; delivering tons of heating fuel, warm bedding, and clothing to needy Jews across the former Soviet Union -; has been critically expanded in Ukraine this year to respond to a harsh winter worsened by the country’s energy crisis, skyrocketing costs, ongoing unrest, and the growing needs of displaced Jews. JDC staff and professionals at the thirty two JDC-supported social welfare centers in Ukraine are providing extra winter supplies and services to poor elderly, including Nazi victims, struggling families, and displaced Jews who often cannot afford their utility bills or have direct access to heating supplies.

“While winter relief is a lifeline for tens of thousands of Jews in need on any given year, its even more essential in Ukraine where utility prices have soared and the crisis has continued with no end in sight” said Michal Frank, director of JDC’s Former Soviet Union department. “We have proudly stood by the Jews of Ukraine during this period and, together with our invaluable partners, have redoubled our efforts to ensure this winter is imbued with the warmth of Jewish solidarity and mutual care.”

In addition to crippling economic challenges -; including devalued local currency and pensions and a 50-80% increase in the costs of food and medicine -; a series of energy-saving measures will be enacted in Ukraine this year, leaving many poor and elderly people with little resources to survive below freezing temperatures. Theses include planned power outages and asking citizens to lower heating thermostats to below 60 Fahrenheit.

These circumstances seriously impact the more than 5,000 JDC clients remaining in eastern Ukraine, still suffering under shelling and fear of violence, and more than 2,000 displaced Jews JDC is caring for in different cities away from the conflict. A drastic escalation in services -; including window repairs and replacements, the subsidizing of utility payments, and provision of extra fuel -; represents a seven-fold increase in the JDC’s Ukraine Winter Relief budget.

For the Khomich family who fled fighting in Donetsk and found refuge in Zaporozhe, Winter Relief has taken the form of warm clothing and footwear, in addition to the aid package they are receiving as a displaced family. Their situation is made more difficult because 49-year old Olga must care for her 87-year old mother, Lyudmila, and her 8-year old daughter Polina, who suffers from cerebral palsy, on their meager pensions. With JDC’s help, they have been able to find housing, a wheel chair for Polina, medical care and other basic needs to survive in their new city and bear the winter cold.

“Our work with the Khomich family and so many others -; undertaken in cooperation with the local Jewish community and groups like Chabad -; wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our Board, individual donors and foundations, and our esteemed partners, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Federations, World Jewish Relief, and the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany,” said Frank. “This is the ultimate expression of our mission and dedication to Jews in need.”

Today, JDC has 4 major offices and operates and supports a network of 32 social welfare centers serving Jews in need in more than 1,000 locations across Ukraine. JDC’s long history of working with Ukrainian Jews includes its work with the American Relief Administration in 1921 to administer an aid program for Ukrainians impacted by war and famine, including the Jewish community. Additionally, Agro-Joint, established in 1924, created Jewish agricultural colonies and industrial schools in Ukraine and Crimea.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, please visit .

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JDC Receives Prestigious Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Award For Typhoon Haiyan Aid

Filipino President to Bestow Award at Dec 5 Ceremony

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will honor the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) for its Typhoon Haiyan aid work, and work with Filipinos in the diaspora, in a ceremony in Manila on Friday, December 5. President Aquino will present the CFO’s annual Kaanib ng Bayan (Presidential) award to JDC representatives at the Malacanan Palace in the presence of the Israeli ambassador, among other dignitaries, and thirty-three other recipients including individuals and NGOs. “We are deeply moved by this special honor from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and are proud of our ongoing work to build stronger communities and a brighter future in the Philippines,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill. “One year after Haiyan, there is still much to be done, but we move ahead knowing that we have restored a sense of normalcy and hope to the lives of thousands of Filipinos.” Over the last twelve months, JDC has invested more than $1.5m of $2.7 million raised from the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors in rebuilding classrooms and schools, restoring local fishing businesses, offering medical and psychological help, and facilitating disaster preparedness. These projects, and initial emergency work, have directly benefited more than 15,000 people across the archipelago. Additionally, JDC and the JDC-supported Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI) have worked with Filipinos in the diaspora regarding community organizing and financial literacy among migrant workers. JDC has a long history in the Philippines dating back to World War II when it helped more than 1,300 European Jews find refuge on the island nation in a joint operation with Philippine President Manuel L. Qurzon; the Frieder brothers, from an entrepreneurial Jewish family based in Manila; and U.S. envoy to the Philippines Paul V. McNutt. “Our work in the Philippines today is underscored by the especially poignant ties we have with a nation that selflessly offered safe haven to the Jewish people during our darkest hour. It is the ultimate embodiment of the Jewish concept ofarevut, mutual responsibility for one another,” said Gill. JDC’s work in the Philippines was carried out in partnership the IDF Field Hospital and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afya Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, UNICEF, Magen David Adom (MDA), the International Medical Corps (IMC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Israel Trauma Coalition, the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), the Center for Disaster Preparedness, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI), Balay Mindanaw, AGAAP, Negrenese Volunteers for Change (NVC), NORFIL, and the Jewish Association of the Philippines.

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