Before Monsoon Season, Nepal Relief Efforts Reach Remote Villages

Sam unpacking aid from truck - Gorka district - AIDMI

When locals in the Nepali village of Bhumlichowk examined the devastation wrought by the earthquake that struck on April 25, killing thousands and wounding tens of thousands throughout the country, they noticed a curious pattern. While parts of the hamlet that is home to the indigenous Shapang people were lightly damaged, others were completely destroyed. A particular cluster of some 20 homes perched on a ridge was flattened. “Why did every house crumble?” asked Dunnbahabur, a local mason. On hand were staff experts from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and its partner group, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), to help explain. “The precarious topography coupled with malleable mud soil in the area meant the houses moved much more dramatically … [Read more...]

JDC Responds to Deadly Nepal Earthquake

In the Manegaun village, where Tevel b'Tzedek Exchange for Change volunteers are, the damage to homes and property has been significant. (All volunteers and villagers are safe and well.) Photo courtesy  Tevel b'Tzedek.

Updated: April 26, 2015 11:15 EDT - 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 the Napalese capital of Kathmandu through the provision of equipment, including neonatal incubators. JDC previously partnered with field hospitals 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 … [Read more...]

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

Odessa Children Pesach at Beit Grand JCC (7)

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. In Donetsk and Lugansk, cities severely damaged during fighting and now under separatist control, JDC will hold matzah-baking classes for children, Seders for the elderly, and workshops on Passover foods and customs. In Mariupol, a … [Read more...]

Displaced by Conflict in Ukraine, a Young Jewish Activist Shares Her Story with American Jewish Audiences


When the daily shelling began to be too much to bear last June, 23-year-old Masha Shumatskaya packed up her belongings and left her hometown of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine for the safety of Kharkov. Since then, she’s become one of 2,500 internally displaced Jews aided by JDC after they fled fierce fighting between government and separatist forces. Today, JDC also continues to serve thousands of needy Jews in the separatist-controlled regions as well. In response, JDC has deployed emergency services assisting 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, emergency housing, and post-trauma care for displaced Jews - … [Read more...]

Apply Now for the The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership

Ralph 2015

The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership is JDC's premier leadership opportunity, awarded to one person annually, for young Jewish thinkers and doers - policy makers, writers, business innovators, artists, and community builders. The Fellowship enriches a rising leader through direct exposure to local communities and key challenges confronting the Jewish people. Fellows plan their year alongside senior JDC staff, identifying and designing 2-3 unique overseas placements shaped by their skills, interests and the critical needs of communities abroad. This is a paid, professional opportunity for an exceptional young Jewish leader who is committed to impacting the global Jewish world. Application deadline: May 31, 2015. For additional information, click the image above. … [Read more...]

New Legacies in the Making – Vibrant Communities, Vibrant Limmuds

Young Leadership team at Limud Keszet Poland; photo courtesy  Piotr Kulisiewicz.

To celebrate Limmud’s 35th year, eJewishPhilanthropy is offering a look into Jewish communities around the world, through the eyes of Limmud volunteers. Limmud, the global grassroots Jewish learning movement which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1980, is today in 80 communities and 40 countries. This installment focuses on Limmuds in Jewish communities with ancient roots in central Europe which had been under Nazi occupation followed by Communist domination and are today seeing a renaissance - Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland. ******** Limmud Keshet Bulgaria Bulgaria’s roughly 5,000 Jews are part of a vibrant community with a long and fascinating history. Dr. Joseph Benatov, who teaches at University of Pennsylvania, lectures regularly on the fate of Bulgaria’s … [Read more...]

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

photo 5

Despite an ongoing crisis in Ukraine, exacerbated today by growing humanitarian needs, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Jews around Ukraine celebrated Purim this week 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 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 mischloach manot (gift packages) to homebound elderly and displaced Jewish families. Purim events and gift package delivery - including the holding of humorous Purimspeils (traditional holiday parody plays) - are due to take … [Read more...]

Two Halves of a Whole: The Amalgamation of Marketing and Fundraising

By Maayan Jaffe Marketing and fundraising are two halves of a whole and when they don’t operate that way, explains fundraiser and consultant Janet Levine, the outcomes are less than they could be. Levine, a Los Angeles-based fund development consultant, recalls the pattern that emerged from her years working in advanced higher education: “Working together enabled us to create a powerful approach - for example, we wrote press releases on key stories; those stories were re-purposed into newsletter article; shared with our board members to help them be more effective messengers for us and served the focus of our direct mail appeals.” The need for telling stories and repetition of those stories in the marketplace has become ever more important to fund development in 2015, says Levine, because … [Read more...]