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Family Researchers

The JDC Names Index is an indispensable resource tool for genealogists, personal historians, and scholarly researchers alike. Here you can search for relatives, friends, ancestors; anyone worldwide who has received JDC aid, financial or otherwise. Currently indexed material includes lists of people helped from 1914 to 1973. While this is a substantial sampling of names on lists in our records, it is by no means our entire collection. In the future, additional lists will be included.

Sample lists include:

  • Remittance files: cash assistance and parcels from relatives in the West to their needy relatives overseas, from 1915 onwards. Names, addresses and dates are generally included.
  • Prisoners of War in Siberia, 1921
  • JDC Emigration Service and Barcelona case cards in World War II era
  • Aid Administered to Shanghai Rabbinical Students, 1947
  • Migration to Latin America, 1948

We invite you to peruse our records and explore our archival treasures, just waiting to be discovered! Approximately 500,000 names are currently available to be searched. You can search by many criteria, including name, location and date. You will have the opportunity to see the original document and a brief description about the historical record.

For a complete list of the documents that have been indexed, see Lists in the Names Database. For JDC collections held in other repositories that may be of interest to family researchers, see More JDC Resources for Family Research. For an example of the results one researcher found in our collections, see “Reuven Avital’s Story,” below.

examples from the Rosenblatt case study

Reuven Avital’s Story

In May 2007, Reuven Avital from Israel contacted JDC. His mother, Marie Fanny Rosenblatt, had escaped Europe in 1943 on “the Serpa Pinto,” a Portuguese ship financed in large part by JDC. Avital contacted “The Joint” for information about Marie.

The JDC Archives found three historical documents citing his mother’s journey:

  • A passenger list of the Serpa Pinto
  • A list of children on the ship
  • A Barcelona Refugee Case Card, indicating that JDC aid was received by Marie and her parents, Dina and Mordke

Avital was thrilled at the find! He then sent JDC a photo of his mother boarding the ship, which Marie had previously discovered on the cover of a Lisbon publication. Not only did JDC have this photo already, but the Archives also had other photos depicting the same girl. Three photographs of the young Marie had been featured prominently in a JDC Archives Newsletter from 1999, and now, with the help of Avital, we were able to correctly match the name to the person in the photo.

Piecing together the documents, along with the photos in both the Lisbon newsletter and the JDC publication—it was quite the genealogical journey, for both the JDC Archives and for Avital!