From HS Students, to Foundations, to Global Organizations, the Jewish World Mobilizes

On July 7th, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge and the Jewish world immediately mobilized to provide a range of services to soften the war’s impact, particularly on the lives of children and families, but also to assist those who are risking their lives in defense of Israel. Following are just some of the many initiatives underway (culled from list-servs of the various organizations, July 25th). Alexander Muss High School in Israel Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) students and staff helped raise $2,000 in a one-day drive for food and supplies which were delivered to IDF soldiers. The drive was initiated by AMHSI teens, who are spending six weeks in Israel this summer living on AMHSI's Hod Hasharon campus, where they are on a study and travel program learning about Jewish … [Read more...]

The Jewish World Responds: Better Together

JDC Better Together

These photos showcase Better Together, a JDC program serving children in disadvantaged Ashkelon neighborhoods. During this time of crisis, Better Together is operating in community centers and shelters, working with at-risk children to provide them with a respite from the stress of Operation Protective Edge and with daily activities and program. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee benefits from centralized emergency fundraising coordinated by the Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the Reform and Conservative movements. … [Read more...]

The Jewish World Responds

A child victim of terror participates in a Jewish-Agency-run respite camp; photo courtesy The Jewish Agency.

On July 7th, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge and the Jewish world immediately mobilized to provide a range of services to soften the war's impact, particularly on the lives of children and families. Following is a partial list of initiatives underway (culled from list-servs of the various organizations). JDC / The Joint Since the crisis began, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) immediately activated its network of programs for the most vulnerable Israelis to quickly ensure the needs and safety of the elderly, people with disabilities, and children and youth throughout the country as rockets rain down from Gaza. JDC’s emergency response includes: For the Elderly: JDC’s Day Centers for the Elderly in Netivot, Merchavim, Sdot Negev, and Rahat delivering … [Read more...]

Jewish Life Takes to the Streets at Hungary’s Celebrated Judafest

Judafest 2014

An outdoor street festival with over 9000 visitors. Art projects for children and senior citizens. A musical performance by a choir composed solely of Holocaust survivors. Kitschy jewelery, books, Judaica, organizational tables, kosher food and more. And a "fun run." It could have been almost anywhere. But it wasn't. It was in Budapest - a city where many would not have expected such a public celebration - in a country where some say Jewish life is mostly finished. Yet on a recent humid Sunday, with the sun shining bright, Kazinczy Street in the historic Jewish quarter - dubbed the Street of Culture (a Kultúra utcája) - came alive as thousands joined together to celebrate the richness of Jewish life that exists in Hungary today. The photos say it all. Judafest is the … [Read more...]

“I Live. Send Help”: 100 Years of JDC Exhibit Opens in New York

Kessim (religious leaders) mark the opening of a synagogue in the village of Gomenge, Ethopia, one of five built in Gondar with JDC aid, 1988. Photo by Donald M. Robinson, 
courtesy JDC.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) a new exhibition, “I Live. Send Help.” 100 Years of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, will be on view at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library in New York City. The exhibition is currently open through September 21, 2014. Founded in New York City in 1914 as a response to the plight of Jews in Europe and Ottoman Palestine at the outset of World War I, JDC has become a premier humanitarian organization helping Jews and non-Jews in need worldwide. A collaboration between the New-York Historical Society and JDC, the exhibition recounts JDC’s 100-year history with photographs, objects, films, and letters dating from 1914 compiled from JDC’s extensive Global Archives in New … [Read more...]

From Nursing Home to Stay at Home

Community members make a toast at the St. Louis NORC; photo courtesy St. Louis NORC.

From nursing home to stay at home: Jewish organizations try to shift senior living by Michele Alperin For many Jewish organizations, it has become clear that older adults are happier if they can live independently and “age in place,” in their own homes rather than in nursing homes. “It has been a longstanding priority of Jewish federations and affiliated agencies to encourage aging in place, the feeling being that when older adults age in place, as distinct from being in an institution, they are able to live healthier and fuller lives,” says William Daroff, senior vice president of public policy and director of the Washington Office of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). It is also more cost-effective to age in place because medical costs skyrocket for seniors who … [Read more...]

Introducing Diaspora Diaries

Like all organizations, JDC Entwine asks itself every day how they can reach more people. Every year, thousands of young people attend their network events in their city, and hundreds participate in immersive experiences abroad. But they know that even more young people can be reached where they spend most of their time: on their smartphone. Noah Gardenswartz, a comedian and JDC Entwine National Steering Committee member, is helping drive Entwine's development of a series of comedic online film shorts - Diaspora Diaries - to reach new audiences. "People are spending an enormous amount of time in front of their computers and phones." said Gardenswartz. "There is real power in delivering small pieces of educational, funny, and authentic content to the palm of their hands. It's time to bring … [Read more...]

JDC Sends 15 Tons of Aid to Help Victims of Serbia, Bosnia Floods

New York, NY, May 30, 2014 - In response to the devastating floods in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), together with the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (Fedrom), dispatched 5 aid convoys carrying 15 tons of aid for victims of the devastating floods in Serbia and Bosnia last week. Packed and prepared by the Jewish communities of Bucharest and Timisoara, the convoys carried supplies - including food, personal hygiene products, water, milk, powdered milk, diapers, liquid soap, bedding and replacement furniture - for flood victims in Belgrade, Doboj and Banja Luka. Additionally, JDC worked with its local partners as part of its Women's Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) in Bosnia to reach Roma victims in remote locations. The aid … [Read more...]