Historic JDC Poster

Jul 27, 2011

This WWI-era poster helped build support for JDC’s relief efforts abroad.

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 in the web exhibit, A Joint Effort: JDC’s Beginnings, 1914-1921, a look at the formative years of JDC’s history. U.S., c. 1917, Lou Mayer; Boston Public Library, 07-01-000051.