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Historic JDC Poster

Historic JDC PosterJul 27, 2011 In the early days of World War I, groups representing three diverse communities of American Jews raised funds to aid endangered Jews abroad. To ensure the maximum benefit from these independent efforts, they formed a Joint Distribution Committee of Funds for Jewish War Sufferers (now known as JDC). By the war’s end, JDC had spent $15 million on the crucial work of saving lives. Posters were effective visual tools used by JDC to galvanize public attention and support. This poster of a woman and child stranded in the battle-scarred ruins of Eastern Europe appears...

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A Call to Action

A Call to ActionJul 19, 2011   One of many unique archival records from JDC’s early years, this document, dated December 1916, is signed by Henry Morgenthau and co-signed by Jacob Schiff, Nathan Straus, and Louis Marshall – all prominent leaders of the American Jewish community and members of JDC. Responding to appeals for aid for Jews in Palestine and Eastern Europe suffering from hunger, dislocation, and the violent excesses of the World War I period, American Jewry mobilized to organize relief committees and raise funds for the needy. On December 21, 1916, a mass meeting was held at...

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Lodz Ghetto Currency

Lodz Ghetto CurrencyJul 13, 2011   Among the rare artifacts in the AJJDC Archives are coins and notes used by the 200,000 Jews in the Łódź Ghetto from 1940 until the liquidation of the ghetto in 1944. In the Łódź Ghetto, which was called Litzmannstadt by the Nazis, this currency was officially called “marks” but widely known as “rumki” and “chaimki” in reference to the head of the ghetto, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. Rumkowski’s title—”Der Aelteste der Juden in Litzmannstadt” (“The Elder of the Jews in Litzmannstadt”)—is prominently displayed on the coins and notes; his signature is clearly visible on...

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Woodrow Wilson’s Appeal

Woodrow Wilson’s AppealJul 1, 2011   In this telegram from May 27, 1920, President Wilson urges “all true Americans” to support war victims by contributing to the Greater New York Fund, administered by the Joint Distribution Committee. Collections for Jewish Relief Day, observed throughout the United States on Jan, 27, 1916, in accordance with a U.S. Senate resolution signed by President Wilson, exceeded $2 million. From 1914-1918, American Jewry responded generously to appeals for their destitute brethren overseas, raising some $20...

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