JDC Archives Announces May Events

Please join us at our upcoming programs!

The JDC Archives is offering an array of public programs in May. These events are listed below; please register for each one individually by clicking on its RSVP link.


The Miracle that Jews Survived in China during World War II
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Midtown, Manhattan (Free, but RSVP is required to receive location details)

Ming Hui Pan will examine the role of the Chinese in the history of the survival of the Jews in China during World War II, which has been overlooked by scholars. Since the end of the Cold War, scholars have brought to light the fact that China was actually a forgotten ally of the United States in the war. This lecture will argue that China was also a forgotten rescuer of the Jews in the Holocaust.

Ming Hui Pan is a PhD candidate in Judaic Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research is on Jewish history and culture in China, with a focus on the Harbin Jewish community in WWI and the Shanghai Jewish community in WWII. She is the recipient of the 2018 Ruth and David Musher/JDC Archives Fellowship. She is using the fellowship toward her research on JDC’s work in China during the two World Wars.



The Lost Crown
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.
Moise Safra Center; 130 East 82nd Street, New York, NY
Admission: $18

The Joint Distribution Committee and Moise Safra Center invite you to a special screening of The Lost Crown, winner of the 2018 JDC Archives Documentary Film Grant. The film explores the mystery surrounding the lost pages of the Aleppo Codex – known as the “Crown,” the world’s oldest copy of the Bible in Hebrew – on its journey from Syria to Israel.

Following the screening, there will be a talk back with the film director Avi Dabach and Amir Shaviv from JDC.



October 28th 1938: Deportation, Refugee Life, and Jewish Solidarity
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Midtown, Manhattan (Free; RSVP is required to receive location details)

The last weekend of October 1938 saw the unique mass expulsion of 17,000 Jews of Polish citizenship living in the German Reich to the Polish border, the so-called “Polenaktion.” Help was organized by different Polish-Jewish refugee committees, with the support of foreign organizations, such as JDC. This lecture will tell the story of the “Polenaktion” mainly from the victims’ perspective, based on more than 750 researched biographies of deportees.

Dr. Alina Bothe is a post-doctoral Saul Kagan Fellow in Advanced Shoah Studies, based at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is the recipient of the 2018 Max and Cecil (Steuer) Chesin/ JDC Archives Fellowship.



Making Sense of Catastrophe: Jewish Leadership in Romania during the Holocaust
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Midtown, Manhattan (Free; RSVP is required to receive location details)

In this lecture, Dr. Gaëlle Fisher will offer an overview of the Holocaust in Romania. In particular, she will explore the position of the Jewish leadership in Bucharest in its relationship to Romanian and German perpetrators and the community it sought to protect.

Dr. Gaëlle Fisher is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, Germany, and the recipient of the 2018 Sorrell and Lorraine Chesin/ JDC Archives Fellowship. Her research in the JDC Archives focuses on the activities of JDC in Romania in the period from 1938 to 1948 and the relationship between the Romanian Jewish leadership and the JDC staff abroad.



The JDC at 100: A Century of Humanitarianism
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
1 West 4th Street, New York (Free; RSVP is required)

Sponsored by the JDC Archives, the American Jewish Historical Society, and the Jewish Book Council

The JDC at 100 is a pathbreaking collection of scholarly essays that focus on the history of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an organization founded to help the victims of World War I, which has played a key role in preserving and sustaining Jewish life across the globe since its founding in 1914. Throughout this period of upheaval, which uprooted and destroyed centuries-old Jewish populations, JDC supported refugees, aided in migration and helped rebuild communities, especially during and after the Holocaust. The volume testifies to the remarkable accomplishments of the JDC as well as to the depth and breadth of the JDC Archives.

Join us and hear the editors talk about the genesis of the book and their collaborative journey. Book signing and reception to follow.

Dear Visitors,

Since the launch of our online database, the JDC Archives has been proud to offer the public free access to our digitized material. Our users can access records previously available only in person. Our online Text Collections have grown to 3.85 million pages, our Photo Collection to 76,000 digital images, and we have expanded our Names Index. We have also opened our Artifacts and AV Databases.

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