Records from JDC 1955-1964 Collection Now Available Online

March 17, 2014

The JDC Archives New York 1955-1964 Collection, documenting JDCs global relief work in this period in Israel, North Africa, Latin America, and across Europe, is now available online.

This collection, comprising over 120,000 pages, describes, among other relief initiatives. the far-reaching assistance JDC provided to Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, including support to Jewish schools and medical care for over 90,000 children; and its ongoing support and technical assistance to the State of Israel in the development of MALBEN, an extensive network of institutions to help absorb elderly and disabled immigrants.

These records testify to JDCs continuing assistance to Jewish communities in Europe and to survivors still residing in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Europe.

The files reflect JDCs significant involvement in helping to rebuild Jewish life in Western Europe through its partnership with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the agency that negotiated with the West German Government for compensation for victims of Nazi persecution and for funds to rebuild European Jewish communal institutions.

Eleanor Roosevelt visits patients at a Malben clinic. Israel, 1952

Other highlights of this collection include:

JDCs efforts to maintain a presence in the Eastern bloc, with its officially-sanctioned welfare activities limited in the cold-war period to Yugoslavia and to Poland, from 1958 until JDC’s expulsion from the country in 1967 by the Communist government after the Six-Day War;

Significant correspondence on conditions in Foehrenwald, the last and largest of the Jewish DP camps, which remained open in Germany until 1957;

JDCs social service operations in Iran, which included a substantial network of kindergartens and day care services, and educational and social development programs, particularly for children from needy families;

Documentation of Eleanor Roosevelts address to a plenary session at JDCs December 1955 Annual Meeting on her visit to Israel.

Visit here to see images of JDCs MALBEN work through the 1950s and 1960s!