Alan H. Gill, JDC CEO, to Step Down in 2016

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Alan H. Gill, CEO of the American Jewish Joint distribution Committee (JDC), announced today his plans to step down in 2016 after more than two decades of service with the Jewish aid group. In order to ensure a seamless transition of executive leadership, Gill will continue as CEO through the transition to his successor and has agreed to serve as executive advisor through the duration of 2016. “It has been the greatest honor of my life that for more than two decades, JDC has been my second home and the main driver of my core belief that all Jews are responsible for one another,” said Gill. "I came to the decision that by next year, we will have achieved many of the critical milestones I set out to accomplish and it is the right time to return to Israel and my family there." Before relocating … [Read more...]

Applications Open: 2016-17 Global Jewish Service Corps

The JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps (JSC) is a year-long, paid, professional opportunity for Jewish young professionals. Responding to international Jewish and humanitarian needs, JSC fellows facilitate and create innovative programs using their unique skills and talents. Currently, fellows are serving around the world in Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Georgia, Finland, Latvia, Moldova, Rwanda, Turkey, Poland, India, Israel, Estonia and Ukraine. Past JSC Fellows have gone on to work for major foundations, the United States government, Fortune 500 companies, the United Nations, Jewish nonprofit organizations, started their own nonprofits or businesses, and more. Application deadline: December 25, 2015 For more information, please visit: jdcentwine.org/jsc … [Read more...]

Baltic Jews Thrive at Summer Camp

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By Alex Weisler Aleksey Dolgov doesn’t have to think twice before telling you what he likes best about JDC’s annual Olameinu summer camp for Jews in the Baltics: “I love the fact that the camp is international. Here’s the place where we Baltic Jews come together,” said Dolgov, 20, who attended the camp as a child and now works as a madrich. “This is the place where kids and teenagers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia feel they are one.” Dolgov, of Riga, Latvia, is one of the many Jewish children, young adults, and families who participate each summer in Olameinu - “Our World” in Hebrew. The camp, which attracts hundreds over several sessions, includes Jewish cultural and history programs, Israeli dance and song workshops, sports tournaments, and much more. For 12-year-old Karina … [Read more...]

The Greatness of the Jewish People – Global Jewish Learning and Ralph I. Goldman

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By Karen Klieger Sponder Ralph I. Goldman was the ultimate global Jew. Born in the Ukraine, he grew up in United States, and later moved to Israel. More importantly, the impact of his life's work is still changing lives, still guiding the values and principles of the Jewish world. His life inspires me greatly. It is a privilege and an honor to announce that the Global Day of Jewish Learning is being dedicated to the life and legacy of Ralph Goldman. Ralph described himself as “a civil servant of the Jewish people.” Indeed, while serving in the US Army in WWII he volunteered to work in Displaced Persons Camps and he served the founding government of Israel, organizing Prime Minister Ben-Gurion's first state visit to the US. During his 100 years of life, Ralph both served and led the Jewish … [Read more...]

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

Ana Libl, President of the Jewish Community of Croatia and Avital Livneh, Headmaster of Tikva School, Barcelona.

"By the time you hear the thunder, it's to late to build the ark." conference participant Barcelona, Spain, June 29, 2015 - 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 a multi-day international conference in Barcelona 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 pan-European discussions that focused on bolstering crisis management and response, community security, and streamlining inter-communal cooperation. The conference was co-organized in cooperation with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation and … [Read more...]

On World Refugee Day, JDC Urges Support for Ukrainian Displaced People

A Ukrainian mother poses with her daughter and a young friend in the room where she lives with her family in a centre for displaced people in Slavyansk. Most of the people are from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

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 … [Read more...]

No Decision About Me, Without Me

JCC Global Special Needs Seminar visits Kisharon UK; photo courtesy

By Smadar Bar-Akiva "No decision about me, without me" - this core statement presented by Janet Leech, the Head of Learning Disabilities at Enfield Council in London at the conclusion of JCC Global's Amitim Fellows Special Needs Seminar captures the essence of a groundbreaking experience. … [Read more...]

A Green Thumb, and Leg Up, for Israeli Children

Gail Asper (The Asper Foundation) with Students at Yitzhak Sade School in Dimona - June 4 2015.

Deep in the heart of the Negev, Dimona is a desert town not known for its greenery. And yet on June 4th, more than 200 Israeli children and teachers welcomed Gail Asper - the president of the Winnipeg-based Asper Foundation - to their Edible Gardens Initiative in Dimona to demonstrate how the desert can bloom. The Edible Gardens Initiative, based on the Edible Classroom model from California, offers at-risk children and youth an "outside of the classroom" space - a garden - where they acquire essential life skills, foster leadership potential, and gain new insight into academic subjects like science, history, literature, nutrition, and health. A part of the daily school curriculum, the garden is tended by students and, at the same time, professionals from Society for the Protection of Nature … [Read more...]