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Genealogical Resources on Immigrants to Eretz Yisrael

Genealogical Resources on Immigrants to Eretz YisraelApr 13, 2017 Are you looking for information about individuals who immigrated to Palestine, and later to the State of Israel? Several lists of adults, children, and entire families who received JDC assistance to make aliyah in 1944-1949 are now indexed and available to search in the JDC Archives Names Database: Refugees who immigrated via North Africa to Palestine, 1944. Passengers on the Turkish ship SS Kazbek who received JDC aid 1944. Children on the first postwar convoy from France to Palestine, 1945. Births to Cyprus detainees, 1948-1949. Phases of Operation Magic Carpet...

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When a Letter Becomes Art

When a Letter Becomes ArtApr 13, 2017 Currently on loan from the JDC Archives are documents, photographs, and artifacts, all featured in the exhibit 1917: How One Year Changed the World at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. One item of particular interest is a letter of recognition from “YeKoPo,” the Jewish Committee for the Relief of War Victims, Vilna (c. 1919). Launched in Russia in 1914, “YeKoPo” established local branches throughout Eastern Europe to aid Jewish victims of pogroms and World War I. JDC supported the relief organization’s efforts to transport refugees, supply food, clothing,...

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An Enduring Personal JDC Connection in Poland

An Enduring Personal JDC Connection in PolandApr 13, 2017 At 86 years old, Emanuel Elbinger (who is better known as Mundek) is an active member of the JDC-supported Jewish Community Centre in Krakow, Poland. What Mundek did not fully realize until recently is how closely his own life has been linked to JDC. On the eve of World War II, eight-year-old Emanuel, together with his parents and two sisters lived in Brzesko Nowe, a town near Krakow. When the Germans created a ghetto and proceeded with their anti-Jewish policies, the Elbingers knew they were in grave danger. Hearing rumors...

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Russian Children’s Art

Russian Children’s ArtJan 18, 2017 Exactly half a century after its exile from the Soviet Union in 1938 with the liquidation of Agro-Joint, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) once again set foot on Soviet soil in 1989, amid the prevailing atmosphere of glasnost. Though a devoted few had risked everything to sustain a thread of Jewish life, the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 revealed a Jewish cultural wasteland imprinted by 70 years of repression. JDC went to work immediately, revitalizing Jewish communal infrastructures and strengthening Jewish identity with a range of Jewish cultural activities....

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Rescue through Emigration in the Nazi Era

Rescue through Emigration in the Nazi EraJan 9, 2017   Seventy-eight years have passed since my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and their children left Nazi Germany to find refuge in South America. Now I am working on documenting my family’s lives and struggles to show the generations to come how their ancestors overcame adversity with an unquestioned faith in G-d, with hard work and determination, and with the aid of Jewish organizations, such as JDC and HIAS. The records held at the JDC Archives are key to reconstructing a piece of my family history. The Dorfzauns’ emigration is a story...

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Genealogical Resources in the Records of JDC’s Warsaw Office, 1939-1941

Genealogical Resources in the Records of JDC’s Warsaw Office, 1939-1941Jan 6, 2017   Genealogists, family historians, and Holocaust scholars mine various collections and many archives to search for information about Jews trapped in German-occupied Poland (the General Government). One collection in particular is at their fingertips, made available online by the JDC Archives. The records of JDC’s Warsaw Office in 1939-1941, with documents in Polish, Yiddish, German, Hebrew and English, offer a wealth of sources about Polish Jews during that time through the lens of JDC’s activities. They contain information of genealogical interest, and provide insight into the deteriorating...

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Lighting the Way

Lighting the WayOct 10, 2016 “While it was difficult to part with an item I so treasure, gifting it to the JDC Archives ensures it a rightful place in the story of our people and the Joint.” – Sheila Spiro Cigarette lighters, also called Zippos, were popular and abundant in the 1940’s. In fact, the company itself solely manufactured for the US military during World War II, with official lighters boasting unit crests and division insignia. As smoking was a cultural norm, lighters were used daily out of necessity, allotting ample time to display their faces and thus identify...

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The SS Serpa Pinto Lists: A Resource for Genealogy Research

The SS Serpa Pinto Lists: A Resource for Genealogy ResearchSep 29, 2016     The SS Serpa Pinto, a ship named after a Portuguese explorer and sailing under the Portuguese flag, became the leading bearer of refugees across the Atlantic during World War II.  JDC financed or shared in the financing of these trips by purchasing tickets and providing guarantees, which enabled thousands of refugees to reach safety. JDC passenger lists for the vessel’s journeys between 1941 and 1944 are available to peruse in their entirety in the Lists from the Nazi Period and its Aftermath, and to search...

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