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About the Collections

The JDC Archives serves as the institutional repository for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. As such, it comprises one of the most significant collections in the world for the study of modern Jewish history. With records of activity in over 90 countries dating from its founding in 1914 to the present, the JDC Archives is an extraordinary and unique treasure in the archival world.

Researchers are invited to explore our extensive collections, which contain minutes, reports, correspondences, eye-witness accounts, speeches, press releases, news dispatches, telegrams, and passenger lists. Notable topics among numerous subjects in the organization’s century-long history include:

    • Aid to the Jewish community in Palestine during World War I and thereafter
    • Emergency relief efforts for Jewish refugees, war orphans, and prisoners of war after World War I
    • Transatlantic voyages during World War II, with some passenger lists; vessels include the St. Louis, the Navemar, and the Serpa Pinto
    • Rescue activities and support for refugees in overseas havens during World War II
    • JDC activities in the Displaced Persons (DP) camps of Germany, Austria, and Italy
    • Registration cards of survivors aided by the JDC Emigration Service in Munich and Vienna in the postwar period
    • Jewish life and JDC programs in North Africa and the Middle East
    • Records of JDC-MALBEN, institutions and services for elderly, handicapped, and chronically ill immigrants to Israel
    • JDC activities in Eastern Europe in the Communist period

Selected collections are currently open to researchers online and are fully searchable via our online database. Learn more about how to search the online database by viewing our helpful video tutorials or reading our guide on how to conduct searches in the database. If you have a specific question regarding our collections, please contact us.

Additional curated selections from our holdings are available as Collection Highlights.