The battle among European Empires in summer 1914 soon engulfed much of the world. World War I was catastrophic for Jews in Eastern Europe, already at risk from relentless poverty and prejudice, and for Jews in the Yishuv in Palestine, cut off from all support. To provide substantive help, American Jewish relief groups united to create a Joint Distribution Committee. In less than seven years, JDC had spent $41 million, working with local groups, governments, and welfare agencies to create a wide safety net of rescue and relief. JDC transitioned into rehabilitation and reconstruction programs to prepare a shattered people for a fully realized future.