List of Digitized Films, Videos, and Audio Recordings
This list is presented in chronological order. Films and videos have sound and are in English unless otherwise noted. For more detailed descriptions of listed items, click on titles to view database records.
Founding a New Life, 1920-1938
A silent film with subtitles showing feeding programs, vocational training, orphanages and agricultural colonies in the former Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s. Also includes footage concerning the post-WWI beginnings of JDC work in Poland, Russia, the Ukraine and Crimea. [See also next listing.]
Founding a New Life, 1920-1938
Audio Recording: A companion recording to the silent film of the same name [see previous listing], describing JDC’s “Agro-Joint” relief work in in the former Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s, which trained and resettled approximately 70,000 Jews in Ukraine and the Crimea. Includes interviews with JDC leadership and Dr. Joseph Rosen, Director of Agro-Joint.
Audio Recording: A holiday greeting from JDC Chairman Paul Baerwald on the Jewish holiday of Purim. [See also next listing.]
Audio Recording: New York Representative Sol Bloom reads a statement from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, addressed to Mr. William White, President of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, to mark the Purim holiday. A staffer from the Jewish Morning Journal, a Yiddish-language publication founded in New York in 1901, speaks about JDC’s efforts to support Jews abroad. [See also previous listing.]
JDC: 23 Years of Human Salvage, c. 1937
Audio Recording: A radio broadcast describing JDC’s history, from its founding at the outbreak of World War I and its efforts to provide food, clothing, lodgings, and medicine to stricken communities in Central and Eastern Europe to its contemporary relief efforts abroad, including support for reconstruction efforts abroad and on promoting self-sufficiency in local Jewish communities.
Silent footage related to JDCs Agro-Joint program establishing agricultural colonies, vocational training and related social services in the Soviet Union.
Training for Life, 1938
The film illustrates JDC-supported CENTOS programs in pre-WWII Poland. It includes footage of child care programs such as schools and summer camps in Brzesc, Nowy-Sacz, Zatrzebie (near Warsaw), Ciechocinek, Lwow, Otwock, and Czyzykow-Gaje. Yiddish narration with English subtitles.
Fighting for Health, 1938
The film illustrates JDC-supported TOZ programs in pre-World War II Poland. The film includes scenes of a visiting child care services worker in the home of an impoverished Jewish family, a TOZ infant school and other child care programs. Yiddish narration with English subtitles. View clip.
Audio Recording: This recording describes JDC’s ongoing aid to hundreds of thousands of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, including support for hospitals, medical centers, schools, summer colonies, child care, trade schools, community centers, and vocational training classes, during the 1930s in the face of increasing anti-Jewish legislation and of ongoing pogroms and riots targeting Jewish homes and businesses.
Audio Recording: JDC leaders Rabbi Jonan B. Wise, a leader in the Reform Judaism movement and Chair of JDC’s German Relief Campaign, and Joseph C. Hyman, JDC’s Executive Vice-Chairman, appear on an episode of “Message of Israel,” produced by JDC and the United Jewish Layman’s Committee.
Audio Recording: JDC leaders Rabbi Jonan B. Wise, a leader in the Reform Judaism movement and Chair of JDC’s German Relief Campaign, and Joseph C. Hyman, JDC’s Executive Vice-Chairman, appear on an episode of “Message of Israel,” produced by JDC and the United Jewish Layman’s Committee. Wise offers a sermon on the Book of Job, and Hyman discusses the necessity of social and economic reconstruction in Europe under the growing threat of Nazism.
Audio Recording: Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, a leader in the Reform Judaism movement and Chair of JDC’s German Relief Campaign, reads a representative letter from the Jewish community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, describing their commitment to raising funds to support JDC’s work with increasing numbers of European refugees fleeing the Nazi regime.
Shavuot Program, 1938
Audio Recording: A radio broadcast to mark the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. The program features a homily from Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman, wife of Herbert Lehman, Governor of New York and a founding member of JDC, offers a homily on the “Modern Ten Commandments,” in which she discusses JDC’s founding at the outbreak of World War I and appeals for funds to help JDC continue assisting persecuted Jews in Europe.
Audio Recording: A radio broadcast, including choral performances and sermons, to mark the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Jonan B. Wise, a leader in the Reform Judaism movement and Chair of JDC’s German Relief Campaign, offers a sermon about the encroaching dangers for Jews all over Europe, and emphasizes the non-governmental, non-partisan nature of JDC’s relief initiatives.
A film produced by JDC that tells the unfolding account of Jewish refugees traveling on the S.S. St. Louis from Nazi Germany to Cuba, where they were refused entry. It includes further travel to other countries, as JDC negotiated alternative havens. View clip.
Audio Recording: Sir Herbert Emerson, a British diplomat who served as High Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations and as Director of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, addresses JDC’s Executive Committee about the current state of refugees in Europe, and highlights the aid of Americans and “those of the Jewish faith” in supporting and resettling refugees.
Humanity Calls, 1939-1940
Jewish refugees from Germany and other Nazi-controlled countries desperately seek aid on the eve of the Holocaust. Includes footage of Jews in Cuba, Shanghai, Eretz Yisrael, and the United States; and of anti-Semitic propaganda in America.
Hungary Footage Summer Camps, 1939-40
Silent footage of a Bükk mountain site for a summer camp of Hashomer Hatzair, a Zionist movement that trained young people for agricultural settlement in Palestine. Participants in the three-week camp came together for a festival of races, synchronized movement, dancing and athletic competitions.
Jews in Europe, 1940
Audio Recording: A report from Morris Troper, Chairman of JDC’s European Executive Council (EUREXCO), about JDC’s aid to Jewish refugees and displaced persons (DPs) confronting hunger, disease epidemics, and anti-Jewish economic legislation throughout Europe, including examples in Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.
Cables from Lisbon, 1941
Audio Recording: JDC-funded radio dramatization about waves of refugees traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, one of the few remaining neutral ports during World War II, to escape the Nazi threat in Europe. The script is written by Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and playwright and George S. Kaufman, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, theatre director, and producer.
Silent footage of Jewish refugee children from Europe at a children’s colony in São Pedro do Estoril, Portugal, and departing for the United States on the SS Mouzinho. Wearing name tags and new clothing, the children are greeted by JDC’s European Director Morris Troper (who organized the ship transport) and João Pereira da Rosa, Director of O Seculo newspaper. At the Lisbon dock, the children and other refugee passengers wave to crowds on shore. Among these are artist Marc Chagall and his wife. View clip.
A Tale of Two Worlds, 1941
A promotional film addressing JDCs response to the Nazi advance in Europe, showing aid to refugees around the globe. View clip.
Audio Recording: A report from Morris Troper, Chairman of JDC’s European Executive Council (EUREXCO), about the precarious state of affairs for European Jewry. He describes the evacuation of JDC Paris staff in June 1940 (hours before Nazi forces invaded Paris), the temporary relocation of JDC European operations to Bordeaux, and then its subsequent move to Lisbon, which became JDC’s European headquarters for the duration of World War II.
Audio Recording: An interview with from Dr. Joseph Schwartz, Chairman of JDC’s European Executive Committee (EUREXCO), about relief support for thousands of Displaced Persons (DPs) across Europe. He describes the scope of JDC’s aid to nearly a million people. Schwartz describes meetings with governmental officials and Jewish community leaders in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Poland, and Romania to discuss far-ranging JDC support to rebuild European Jewry.
Audio Recording: A report from Morris Troper, Chairman of JDC’s European Executive Council (EUREXCO), on the acute physical, psychological, and economic needs of European Jewry against the backdrop of World War II.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt, recorded at the Nantucket beach in 1941 and a family vacation in Havana, Cuba in 1942. The movie includes brief footage of Charles Jordan, JDC Representative in the Caribbean in 1941-43, together with his wife Ellie Jordan.
Audio Recording: An interview with Léo Lania, a Ukrainian journalist, playwright, and author, in the Jewish Community Center of Omaha, Nebraska, where he is speaking about JDC’s relief efforts. He became increasingly involved with far-left politics in Germany; after the Nazis rose to power in Germany in 1933, Lania immigrated to France and, eventually, with JDC support, to the United States. He also shares observations about the economic conditions which fueled Hitler’s rise.
Silent footage from the JDC-supported El Hogar Infantil, a children’s home in San Miguel, Buenos Aires, accommodating 33 children. The home was run by the Asociación Filantrópica Israelita, an aid group helping German-speaking Jewish refugees build new lives in Argentina. Footage includes children aged 3 to 9 exercising, playing games, climbing trees, eating, napping outdoors, doing homework, and being read to. View clip.
Audio Recording: Rabbi Joseph Lookstein, a prominent Orthodox rabbi who served as president of the Rabbinical Council of America and the New York Board of Rabbis, and a long-time member of JDC’s Administration Committee, speaks in Yiddish on a tour of Jewish communities in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay to request aid for impoverished European Jews. [See also next listings.]
Audio Recording: Rabbi Joseph Lookstein, a prominent Orthodox rabbi who served as president of the Rabbinical Council of America and the New York Board of Rabbis, and a long-time member of JDC’s Administration Committee, speaks in Yiddish on a tour of Jewish communities in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay to request aid for impoverished European Jews. [See also previous and next listings.]
Audio Recording: Rabbi Joseph Lookstein, a prominent Orthodox rabbi who served as president of the Rabbinical Council of America and the New York Board of Rabbis, and a long-time member of JDC’s Administration Committee, speaks in Yiddish on a tour of Jewish communities in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay to request aid for impoverished European Jews. [See also previous listings.]
Audio Recording: Abe Loskove, Director of Operations of the Frankfurt Office after the liberation of displaced persons camps in Germany, introduces Displaced Persons (DPs) from the Jewish community in Bad Nauheim, Germany.
Audio Recording: A report in Yiddish by Norman Gilmovsky, UJA staffer and former head of JDC’s Landsmanshaftn Department, describing his survey of immediate post-World War II conditions in Poland and other Eastern European countries, including conditions for Displaced Persons (DPs). [See also next listings.]
Audio Recording: A report in Yiddish by Norman Gilmovsky, UJA staffer and former head of JDC’s Landsmanshaftn Department, surveying immediate post-World War II conditions in Poland and other Eastern European countries. [See also previous and next listings.]
Audio Recording: A report in Yiddish by Norman Gilmovsky, UJA staffer and former head of JDC’s Landsmanshaftn Department, surveying immediate post-World War II conditions in Poland and other Eastern European countries. [See also previous listings.]
Audio Recording: Radio interview with Rabbi Major Judah Nadich, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and senior Jewish chaplain in Europe. In 1945, he assumed the new post of Special Adviser on Jewish Affairs to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, then supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. Nadich discusses his tours of Displaced Persons (DP) camps in the occupied zones of Germany and Austria.
Report on the Living: A New Life, 1946-47
A film report, introduced by JDC Chairman Edward Warburg, about the harsh conditions facing Europe’s 1.5 million surviving Jews and the much-needed services provided by JDC and its partners. Footage from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France, and the DP camps of Germany, Austria and Italy. Produced by JDC, this fundraiser seeks support JDC’s its efforts to help survivors carve out a new life. View clip.
A Time to Build, 1946
JDC film showing the activities of the Jewish Boy Scouts of France (Eclaireurs Israelites de France), one of the many French organizations that JDC supported. Describes the group’s prewar nature; its response to the war, with underground rescue activities; and its postwar vocational training activities.
Footage of survivors at the Bergen Belsen DP camp. Shots include a vocational training program, JDC offices, a classroom, Jewish relief clients, medical exams, a dormitory, a child care center, memorials, a theatrical production, children playing, a memorial procession and gathering, meetings, newspaper printing, a soccer game, individual people at work, a meeting of the Congress of Liberated Jews in the British Zone, a supply warehouse, and emigration scenes.
This film includes footage of the desperate winter conditions facing those survivors in Europe dependent on overseas supplies. Reenactment scenes show JDC’s campaign among Jewish national and women’s organizations across the United States to collect canned food, warm clothing, shoes, medicine, and other supplies for refugees.
Silent footage in post-WWII DP Camps, 1946-1947, and at the Third Congress of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews, 1948. Includes a training program for dentists; DP camp residents leaving on transport trucks; departing refugees at a train station; meeting at a DP camp including JDC leaders and government representatives; outdoor scenes at a DP camp, likely Beit Bialik in Austria; a soccer game between DP camp teams.
Rothschild Hospital, Vienna, 1946-48
The Rothschild Hospital in Vienna was turned into an emergency transient center for tens of thousands of Jewish refugees (mostly from Poland and Romania) escaping continued anti-Semitism in the immediate post-World War II years. Silent footage of men, women, and children inside the largely rundown Rothschild Center: waiting in lines; and receiving JDC-provided food supplies and medical attention; and young people engaged in quiet activities.
Programs for World War II Survivors, 1946-48
Silent footage of child Holocaust survivors on a train and adult survivors leaving Paris on AJDC transport buses for Australia and South America; relief supplies for Jewish refugees in British detainee camps on Cyprus; soprano Marguerite Kozenn, pianist/composer Julius Chajes, and Israeli dance pioneer, Hassia Levy tour convalescent homes and DP camps in Italy; JDC summer camp in Germany for child survivors from DP camps and children’s homes; Second JDC Country Directors’ Conference, 1948. View clip.
Renaitre a la Vie (Return to Life), 1946-48
A sound film in French about the work of HEFUD, an organization created in France with support from JDC to prepare Holocaust survivors for reintegration into society through vocational training. The film looks at concentration camp survivors resettling in France, where they learned or refreshed skills sewing children’s clothing and making shoes.
Audio Recording: Fred Monison discusses his tour of several Jewish Displaced Persons (DP) camps in the American Zone of Occupation in Germany and in Berlin. His report includes impressions of wretched living conditions; the trauma and anxiety suffered by the DPs; and JDC-supported relief in the camps.
Audio Recording: A radio broadcast produced in cooperation with the United Jewish Layman’s Committee. JDC’s publicity department arranged this broadcast in conjunction with JDC’s annual meeting. It includes a musical composition in honor of the January 14th birthday of Felix Warburg, JDC’s first Chairman. Joseph C. Hyman, JDC’s Executive Vice-Chairman, discusses JDC’s emphasis on the reconstruction of Jewish life in Europe.
JDC Frankfurt, 1947
Audio Recording: A report on the conditions in Displaced Persons (DPs) camps and appeals to raise funds for refugees. The content is barely audible.
Silent footage of JDC’s extensive efforts to create a memorable Passover for Jews in postwar Vienna. Scenes include the arrival and distribution of holiday supplies for members of the Viennese Jewish community, seders for Holocaust survivors at the Rothschild DP Transit Center, a Viennese Jewish community gathering, and a single-family home. View clip.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt, who was touring facilities for Holocaust survivors in Europe. Original, out-of-sequence footage includes German DP camps, vocational workshops, schools, Lag B’Omer celebration for camp children; bombed-out Warsaw, including Ghetto Heroes Monument and House of the Jewish Council Building; scenes from Austria; a Polish children’s home (most likely in Otwock, Poland); and Allied Forces cargo ships with relief supplies unloaded in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt, who was touring facilities for Holocaust survivors in Europe. Footage includes German DP camps, schools and vocational workshops, Lag B’Omer celebration for camp children; Allied Forces cargo ships with relief supplies unloaded in Bremerhaven, Germany; bombed-out Warsaw, including Ghetto Heroes Monument; and a Polish children’s home (most likely in Otwock, Poland).
Dedication Ceremony for Monuments to David Guzik and Gertrude Pinsky in Czechoslovakia and Győr Martyr’s Monument in Hungary, 1947
A silent color home movie from JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt’s 1947 European trip. Includes a memorial ceremony at a Prague Jewish cemetery to honor JDC country representatives David Guzik and Gertrude Pinsky, who had died in a plane crash. The unveiling ceremony of the Győr Martyr’s Monument, where Leavitt speaks; also present are Hungarian President Zoltan Tildy and Prime Minister Lajos Dinnyés, Dr. Frederic Görög, head of the Hungarian Jewish Relief Committee, and high-ranking Soviet military officials.
Silent footage from a JDC morale-boosting tour of famous performers to DP camps, convalescent homes, and hachsharot in Italy. The Austrian-American dance team Fred Berk and Katya Delakova perform and give workshops in modern interpretative dance based on Jewish themes and Israeli, Hasidic and folk dances. The accompanying orchestra is most likely Omanut, a refugee group touring Italian DP installations. Additional footage shows Jewish refugees in Germany departing by train and on trucks headed for Marseille. View clip 1; view clip 2.
Paris Travelogue, 1948
A color home movie shot by Moses Leavitt (Executive Vice Chairman of JDC, 1947-1965), during a trip to the 1948 JDC Country Directors Conference. Shots of postwar Paris, JDC overseas headquarters, and the American delegates: Leavitt and his wife; Edward Warburg (Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee); Dr. Joseph Schwartz (Chairman of the JDC European Executive Council); Moses Beckelman (Assistant to the Chairman, JDC European Executive Council); Saly Mayer (JDC Representative in Switzerland); Rabbi Jonah Wise (National Chairman, UJA; Vice-Chairman of JDC); Judge Maurice Bernon (Chairman, National Council of the Joint Distribution Committee); and Robert H. Klein (Chicago Jewish Welfare Fund).
The Future Can Be Theirs, 1948
Europe UJA head Henry Morgenthau, Jr. and JDC executives Edward Warburg, Herbert Lehman, Harold Lindner, and Moses Leavitt comment on conditions in postwar Europe and JDC’s essential role in the relief, reconstruction, and resettlement of its surviving 1.5 million Jews. The film includes scenes of Jewish survivors immediately after the war, JDC staff bringing supplies to Europe, refugees fleeing Poland and Romania, displaced persons camps in Germany and Austria, hospitals in Italy, children’s homes, vocational training programs and producers’ cooperatives, and immigrants headed for Palestine and other destinations.
Audio Recording: An interview with Alvin Rosenfeld at a conference in Indianapolis, Indiana about JDC’s overseas relief efforts. Rosenfeld, the foreign correspondent for the New York Post, had just returned from conducting a survey of conditions in Palestine and Eastern Europe. He describes his conversation with refugees traveling from Frankfurt in the American Zone of Germany to Bremen in the British Zone of Germany, and mentions JDC funding for food, housing, and work projects in Austria, France, and Germany.
Audio Recording: A compilation of Israel-related stories gathered from Associated Press wires and overseas news agencies. It includes a report on Jewish detainees on the island of Cyprus, primarily Holocaust survivors and refugees, detained by British authorities for trying to immigrate to Palestine under the British blockade. JDC, under the oversight of JDC Cyprus Country Director Morris Laub, was granted permission to provide relief in these camps. Laub describes conditions in the internment camps and provides statistics on the deportees at this stage, who include 800 mothers and 600 babies, the majority of whom are under 6 months. [See also listings below for 1949.]
Silent footage of Yemenite Jews traveling from the British Protectorate of Aden to the new state of Israel as part of JDC-financed Operation Magic Carpet. Yemenite Jews board Alaska Airlines plane in Aden near the JDC-maintained Hashid Refugee Camp; flight shot from inside the plane; passengers drinking water and resting, disembarking at Lydda Airport. Followed by color footage of Yemenite Jews boarding an Alaska Airlines plane in Aden and disembarking at Lydda airport.
Supplies for Overseas Survivors, c. 1948-49
Audio Recording: A series of radio advertisements for JDC’s Supplies for Overseas Survivors (SOS), featuring voiceovers from notable entertainment personalities of the day, including Henry Fonda, Eddie Cantor, and Dick Powell.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt, showing immigrants to the new state arriving and their difficult living conditions in temporary camps and tent cities where they were initially sheltered. Later scenes show a settlement in the Galilee in northern Israel, with both temporary and new permanent construction. Near the end is a brief shot of a young Golda Meir, future Prime Minister of Israel, with JDC leaders.
Audio Recording: A compilation of Israel-related stories gathered from Associated Press wires and overseas news agencies. It includes a report on Jewish detainees on the island of Cyprus, primarily Holocaust survivors and refugees, detained by British authorities for trying to immigrate to Palestine under the British blockade. JDC, under the oversight of JDC Cyprus Country Director Morris Laub, was granted permission to provide relief in these camps. [See also listing above for 1948 and next listings.]
Audio Recording: A compilation of Israel-related stories gathered from Associated Press wires and overseas news agencies. It references a future broadcast about Operation Magic Carpet, the JDC-organized airlift of approximately 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the then-fledgling State of Israel from December 1948-1950. The Operation Magic Carpet broadcast referenced herein can be found in the “Interview with Harry Viteles” recording. [See also previous and next listings.]
Audio Recording: Harry Viteles, JDC’s Middle East and Balkans representative, provides an eyewitness account of the logistics behind Operation Magic Carpet, the JDC-organized and -financed airlift of approximately 49,000 Yemenite Jews from the British protectorate of Aden (at the tip of Yemen) to the then-fledgling State of Israel between 1948-1950. [See also previous listings.]
A Day of Deliverance, 1949
Overview of JDC activities on immigration, aid and assistance to displaced Jews in the late 1940s in parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Includes rare footage of Holocaust survivors from the Bergen Belsen DP camp departing Germany, Yemenite Jews living in Aden, and detainees leaving the Cyprus detention camps, all travelling to the newly formed State of Israel. View clip 1; view clip 2; view clip 3; view clip 4.
Postwar Poland, 1949
At the end of the World War II, a surviving remnant of Polish Jews returned to Poland. Within months of the country’s liberation, Jewish institutions renewed operations with help from JDC. In 1949, shortly before JDC was forced by the Polish Communist authorities to terminate these activities, this silent film documented various programs, including children’s homes; glove, shoe and textile cooperatives, a TB sanatorium, JDC’s Warsaw headquarters, and the opening of the David Guzik Hospital in Walbraych. View clip.
Silent footage of JDC-supported services for North African Jews in various locations. (1) Algiers: refugees in crowded emergency reception center, boarding trucks, arriving at tent camp; (2) Casablanca: the Jewish mellah, outdoor food distribution, barefoot children in muddy alleys; (3) Tangier: refugee assistance office, milk distribution, boys at Alliance Israelite Universelle School, girls in a schoolyard; (4) Marseille: baby in JDC-OSE medical clinic, Grande Arenas Transit Camp.
This silent footage includes Yemenite Jews arriving in the British Protectorate of Aden for Aliyah to Israel, life in the Hashed transit camp in Aden, disembarking from an Alaska Airlines jet at Lydda Airport in Israel and additional shots in Aden.
Audio Recording: An interview with Auren Kahn, who works with refugees in JDC’s Paris office. Kahn describes JDC assistance to approximately 10,000 people each month, including lodging, food, and medical care, while they wait to emigrate.
The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work was established by JDC to teach modern American Social Work methods to social workers from Europe and North Africa. Located in a converted chateau in Versailles France, the school was named after Paul Baerwald, American humanitarian, a founder, former treasurer and chairman of JDC. Footage from Baerwald’s visit in 1950 includes Director Henry Selver, school exteriors and interiors, students and faculty, Paul and Edith Baerwald, their daughter Pauline Falk, and JDC officials Laura Margolis and Joseph Schwartz. View clip
The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work was established by JDC to teach modern American Social Work methods to social workers from Europe and North Africa. Footage from Paul Baerwald School incudes professional women attend classes and a dining hall. The film also shows activities of faculty and staff of the school. Paul Baerwald School film includes Director Henry Selver and faculty from New York Fred Zeigellaub.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt, showing the arrival of a ship bringing new immigrants, presumably to the port of Haifa, and scenes of a temporary immigrant camp. One of the locations is likely to be the Sha’ar Aliyah clearing center near Haifa, often referred to as Israel’s Ellis Island. Sha’ar Aliyah was opened by the Jewish Agency in March 1949. Later scenes depict agricultural training and irrigation projects. There is a brief shot of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion greeting members of the visiting group.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt. Locations include Tunis, Tunisia; Meknes, Fez, Tangier, and Marrakech in Morocco; and Tripoli, Libya. Scenes of JDC programs illustrate a milk distribution program, Jewish schools and vocational training, and the provision of medical care. A sukkah and celebration of Sukkot appear in several portions of the film. JDC executives identified include Executive Vice President Charles Jordan and William Bein, JDC director in Morocco and Algeria (1950-1954). Footage shows Jewish quarters in several of the cities, the Bab Mansur al-‘Alj gate in Meknes; the Bab Bou Jeloud gate, Grand Socco square, and Sidi Bou Abid Mosque in Fez, panoramic views of Tangier and its harbor; and the main gate in the medina and Tripoli Castle in Tripoli, Libya. Additional sightseeing footage shows a visit to Roman ruins in Libya; Roman ruins in Dougga, the coliseum in El Djem, and the Gabes oasis in Tunisia; and, in Morocco, the Palais de la Bahia in Marrakech and Hassan Tower in Rabat.
This film depicts a collaborative project between the Norwegian Government and JDC, focusing on refugees in Foehrenwald DP camp previously unable to emigrate due to TB or other disabilities. Introduced by Sir Cedric Hardwicke on behalf of JDC and UJA, the film starts with WW II and immediate postwar footage from JDC’s “A Day of Deliverance.” In addition to DP camp scenes, the film shows the Norwegian Commission reviewing applicants with JDC personnel and camp residents resettled in Norway.
Iran Street Scenes, 1950-51
Silent footage, mostly in poor condition, but still informative. Shots include street scenes, medical and feeding services, migration and transit sites for Jews from Iraq.
Silent footage in two reels of Moroccan Jews, many receiving JDC-supported services. Reel 1 shows infant exams by doctors in JDC-supported La Maternelle Dispensary, an OSE well-baby clinic; adolescents performing agricultural tasks at JDC-supported Alliance Israelite Universelle School, Marrakesh. Reel 2 shows daily life in an Atlas Mountains village and children’s health care clinics and programs in Marrakesh.
Holland, 1952, and Holland, England, Luxembourg, 1952
Silent color home movies by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt, who was attending the conference that led to the Luxembourg Agreements, signed by West Germany and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Footage includes travel scenes of Amsterdam, a tulip market, and a boardwalk parade in the Hague; London’s Trafalgar Square and Windsor Castle; and the Clervaux Castle and surrounding countryside in Luxembourg.
Silent footage of JDC-sponsored MALBEN Homes for the Aged in Shaar Menashe and Frieda Schiff Warburg Home for the Aged in Netanya, Israel (unconfirmed). JDC’s MALBEN program (Organization for the Care of Handicapped Immigrants) was established in 1949 to provide medical and rehabilitation services to needy populations. Residents in these scenes are elderly immigrants from Yemen, Iraq, and Europe participating in various activities.
Audio Recording: An address delivered by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Abba S. Eban, at the First Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly. This Emergency Special Session was convened to discuss the Suez Crisis in late 1956. Eban provides an overview of the complex political situation.
Audio Recording: Robert D. Murphy, career US diplomat and Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs in the Eisenhower Administration, speaks at a JDC event about anti-Jewish legislation in the Soviet Union-controlled Hungarian People’s Republic; Middle East conflicts, including the Suez Canal crisis; and humanitarian relief overseas.
The Day Is Short, 1956
Audio Recording: Rabbi Herbert Friedman, who worked with JDC to locate and aid Holocaust survivors when he was serving with the U.S. Army’s Chaplaincy Corps in Germany from 1945 to 1947, introduces speeches from Israeli leaders delivered at a JDC Country Directors Conference in Paris and at a UJA Study Mission in October 1956. Speakers include: Dr. Giora Josephthal and Avraham Harman of the Jewish Agency; Levi Eshkol, Israel’s Minister of Finance; Golda Meir, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Prime Minister.
Audio Recording: An interview with JDC Chairman Edward Warburg. He became chairman in 1941, but resigned in December 1941 to join the U.S. Army. Warburg served in Normandy and ended up being stationed in Belgium, where he had responsibilities for Displaced Persons (DPs). He speaks of encountering “human skeletons, ” newly liberated from the concentration camps, arriving in Belgium—and then seeing these survivors leading new lives in Israel with JDC assistance. He briefly discusses JDC’s relief activities in Europe, Israel, and North Africa.
South America, 1956
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt of a trip taken in August-October 1956. Specific scenes identified include the Miraflores lock of the Panama Canal; the harbor and Torre Morisca in Guayaquil, Ecuador; the Plaza de Armas in Trujillo, Peru, and Plaza de Armas, Plaza San Martín, Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop’s Palace), and local market in Lima, Peru; the Plaza General San Martín and Obelisco (Obelisk) of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a boat tour of the nearby Paraná River Delta; the Palacio Salvo in Montevideo, Uruguay, and a scene of a large group of schoolchildren at an event.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt. Scenes include the passenger ship SS Jerusalem, likely in the port of Marseille; a transit camp for Egyptian refugees in France with quonset huts and refugees lining up at the shore to receive drinking water; and a home in Pougues-les-Eaux, France, to prepare Jewish children from North Africa for Aliyah to Israel. The home was named in honor of New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman, an early and long-time supporter of JDC who served as vice chairman and member of JDC’s executive committee. JDC Executive Vice President Charles Jordan appears in the footage of both the refugee camp and the children’s home.
Audio Recording: An unidentified speaker discusses JDC support for refugees and for Sh’erit ha-Pletah (“the surviving remnant”). This term was used by Holocaust survivors to refer to themselves and the communities they formed in postwar Europe. This recording includes several Hebrew liturgical and biblical quotes.
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt shot in January 1957. The first segment shows the arrival in Naples, Italy, of 967 Egyptian Jews aboard the SS Misr. They had been expelled by Egyptian President Nasser in the aftermath of the 1956 Suez War. The second segment documents the flight of Hungarian Jews into Austria after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and Soviet invastion. The footage follows the refugees from the border town of Andau to the Eisenstadt Distribution Camp and on to the Trajskirchen Camp, a large transit center run by the Swedish Red Cross, where Hungarian refugees were sheltered.
Silent footage in two reels of MALBEN programs in various locations. Reel 1 includes an institutional home in Acre (Akko); Tel HaShomer Hospital, including the psychiatric ward; impoverished immigrant Jews from Muslim countries at Moshav Agur; as well as scenes from Moshav Karmon, Kibbutz Nahal ‘Oz, Mevo Beitar, Kibbutz Netiv Halemed-Heh, and Givat Yeshayah. Reel 2 shows Eitanim, a children’s mental health facility outside Jerusalem. [See also next listing.]
Silent footage in two reels. Reel 1 shows settlements, including Moshav Ora, founded by Yemenite Jews; young children in a nursery; bare bones living conditions; settlers preparing rocky land for farming; library and meeting room. Reel 2 shows social welfare institutions for immigrant populations with special needs, including a facility in Acre; and Eitanim, a children’s mental health facility near Jerusalem. [See also previous listing.]
Forsake Me Not, 1958
This film with scripted dialogue shows the last elderly residents living in temporary housing at Pardes Hanna moving to MALBEN’s newly constructed housing in Neve Avot. Residents gather to witness the razing of the last of the Pardes Hanna homes and to celebrate MALBEN. View clip.
Dominican Republic, 1958
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt of a trip taken in March-April 1958. JDC created and supported the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA), which established an agricultural colony in Sosúa for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Europe after the Evian Conference of 1938. Other refugees lived in Ciudad Trujillo (now Santo Domingo); aid to them was channeled via the Joint Relief Committee. Footage includes market scenes and the exterior of the Centro Israelita de República Dominicana (the main synagogue of the Jewish community) in Santo Domingo and agricultural scenes and schoolchildren from the Sosúa colony posing for the camera.
Around the World, 1958
Silent color home movie by JDC Executive Vice Chairman Moses Leavitt. The footage is for the most part scenic and touristic, including the Great Buddha of Kamakura, Japan; temples and river scenes in Bangkok, Thailand; and street scenes, temples, and the Taj Mahal in India. Additional locations include Hong Kong and Macau.
A Mother for Shamsi, 1961
A black-and-white documentary film with scripted narration created by JDC to document and promote work done in Iran. Including footage shot by an Iranian cameraman in 1958, the film showed poverty in Iran, stirring controversy. Scenes show a JDC worker helping a pregnant mother in Tehran’s Jewish ghetto, and shots of Tehran streets with polluted water. Hakim, a JDC worker, talks to a young mother in her home and accompanies her to the hospital. Other scenes include a children’s clinic, a kindergarten, a nurse demonstrating baby care, and a baby being bathed; JDC supplies being handed out, impoverished Jews queuing outside a welfare office, children showering and exercising, and a classroom; adults learning to read, men and women in a vocational class, and women learning to dance.
A New Kind of Student, 1961
A film about the students, faculty, and clients of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Established in 1958, the school offered the first degree program in social work in Israel. The school was named after Paul Baerwald (1871-1961), a major JDC leader. During the 1960s, a program was introduced to train immigrants with academic degrees to engage in social work. Most scenes feature students engaged in fieldwork activities.
New Immigrants in Israel, c. 1961-62
Silent footage in two reels of new immigrants in Israel and infrastructure developed to support vulnerable populations. Reel 1 shows scenes from rural locations including Kibbutz Gadot, which had undergone bombardments by Syrian Army; Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch on the Israel-Lebanon border. Reel 2 includes footage provided for a New York UJA fundraising campaign, and includes scenes of child residents in MALBEN’s Eitanim mental health facility and immigrants arriving in Israel, disembarking in the port of Haifa.
The Long Hard Days, 1962
A JDC/UJA production. The problems of new immigrants in France, primarily from North Africa. This film follows Algerian and other North African Jewish immigrants arriving by ship in Marseilles and resettling in Paris, where they receive meals, temporary housing and other social services provided by JDC s local partner organization, Secours Israelite. View clip.
Ten Days and 500 Years, 1965
The film follows Jewish families in the course of their journey from the hard conditions of their lives in Morocco to a still developing, but modern community in Israel. Includes scenes in a mountainside village, a Jewish quarter, and a JDC transit camp in Grand Arenas, Marseille.
My Son Eric, 1965
A film made at Passover about the difficulties confronting Jewish refugees in France and JDC-sponsored programs for them. Includes Paris scenes of the Marais Jewish neighborhood; a North-African store-front synagogue; a matzoh distribution center; seders at the Foyer Amical and Asile canteens for refugee families including Tunisians, Poles and Egyptians; and daycare and clothing distribution. A Polish immigrant family visits the Deportation Memorial and related exhibit, and UJA President Herbert Friedman speaks and meets with a member of that family, now in St. Louis.
This silent film shows Jewish life in Bucharest, Romania. Footage includes street scenes; shots of synagogues; the Memorial for Drowned Victims of the Sunken Struma in the Bucharest Jewish cemetery; Romanian Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen; offices of Revista Cultului Mozaic (Jewish Religious Magazine); religious services; a wedding ceremony officiated by Rabbi Rosen with a full congregation; young boys in Hebrew class; distribution of Passover supplies; and community seders.
A film about JDC’s work in France (with North African Jewish immigrants), Yugoslavia, Iran, and Israel. Still photos cover the 1920s-1950s. Contemporary footage includes JDC-supported programs including provision of meals, clothing distribution, health clinics, vocational training, housing, community centers, homes for elderly Holocaust survivors, kindergartens, and programs for the disabled. View clip.
Silent color footage of programs for needy elderly. Footage includes street shots of Bucharest, food being loaded onto vans for Meals on Wheels and delivery to an elderly person, elderly clients arriving at a canteen, and the Martin Balus Home for the elderly.
Scenes of food distribution and interviews with representatives of several nongovernmental organizations, including the Church World Service, Christian Relief and Development Association of Ethiopia, Catholic Relief Services, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in addition to JDC.
Footage from a November 1987 JDC delegation visit to Ethiopia, followed by 1988 footage featuring Director of JDC’s International Development Program, Aryeh Cooperstock, leading an Interfaith Hunger Appeal (IHA) Mission to Ethiopia. The IHA was a partnership established by JDC with Catholic Relief Services and Church World Service to focus American attention on the pressing issue of world hunger.
In the first JDC visit to Uzbekistan, JDC CEO Ralph and Helen Goldman eat a meal in Samarkand and toast local Bukharan Jewish community members. Speaking of the connection between Jews of different cultures, Goldman says, “I am sitting among my people,” and recites a blessing in Hebrew.
A JDC-sponsored concert by Joseph Malovany, Cantor of New York’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue, in Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. JDC’s Ralph Goldman speaks before the concert.
With the new openness following glasnost, JDC organized 52 public Passover seders in 23 cities across the Soviet Union in the spring of 1990. This video traces the planning of the project, shipment of food and materials, and the excitement of the seders themselves. Includes interviews with seder participants. View clip.
Sigd Observance, 1990
A video depicting the observance of Sigd, the central religious celebration in the annual calendar of Ethiopian Jewry, held in Jerusalem. Text at the start reads, “The SIGD, celebrating the yearning for Zion, also underscores the community’s connection to the Jewish people, commemorates the epic of the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai and the Great Return to Zion.” The holiday includes fasting, prayer, song, and dance, and ends with a feast. View clip.
A video depicting JDC aid from the late 1980s through 1990 to Ethiopian Jews awaiting emigration to Israel. Scenes show JDC services for Jews who migrated to Addis Ababa once the Israeli embassy opened and the first flights to Israel. Digitized fully edited film and raw footage includes Addis Ababa and Gondar Scenes (1990), which includes Ethiopian Jews learning Hebrew, waiting in line at the Israeli Embassy, and receiving vaccines and medicine. View clip.
Seder in Havana, 1991
A seder in Havana, followed by footage of the Beth Shalom Synagogue in that city.
Interviews and informational footage about the JDC-supported Hungarian Jewish Social Support Foundation, which provides services to elderly Hungarian Jews, particularly Holocaust survivors. Interviews with veteran Hungarian Jewish staff and leaders of the social welfare programs include Hilda Barinkai, Ilona Seifert, Zsuzsa Kepecs, Imre Hutas, and Katalin Talyigas.
JDC Visit to Yemen, 1992
JDC representative Gideon Taylor visits the Jewish community of Yemen, in the cities of Sada and Ridah; includes scenes in homes, children studying Hebrew texts, and shops.
Footage of the inauguration of a children’s library at the Gate of Heaven (Shaar Hashamaim) Synagogue in Thane, India, February 1992, and holiday celebrations for Shemini Azteret and Simchat Torah, October 1992.
JDC received a major U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to distribute food packages to needy elderly in Russia. Description of this food distribution program and measures to ensure the food reaches intended recipients; footage of individuals receiving food boxes. JDC staff tour a St. Petersburg shipyard where parcels are unloaded and a factory where bags of flour are prepared and loaded into JDC boxes. JDC’s Ralph Goldman meets with Russian officials in Moscow to discuss JDC’s food distribution efforts in Russia.
Convoy from Sarajevo, 1992-1994
JDC led evacuation efforts from Sarajevo during the Bosnian war and the breakup of Yugoslavia, in partnership with La Benevolencija, a Jewish cultural and humanitarian society founded by the Sarajevo Jewish community. Evacuees were taken by convoy to Zagreb and Split in Croatia and by plane to Belgrade, Serbia; some who emigrated to Israel are interviewed about the difficult decisions they faced. Digitized fully edited film and raw footage including:
- Sarajevo Market, c. 1992
- Jewish Refugees in Zagreb, 1992
- Sarajevo Jews in Israel, 1992
- Refugees in Belgrade, 1992
- Belgrade Jewish Community, 1993
- Sarajevo Convoy, 1993
- Sarajevo Evacuation, 1992, 1994
JDC in Hungary, 1992
Informational video with narration that provides an overview of JDC activity in Hungary. Includes footage from Szarvas summer camp, showcasing renewal of Jewish life among European Jewish youth, scenes of Jewish schools, vocational training, residents in a home for the aged, and the century-old Szeged Synagogue built by famed Jewish Hungarian architect Lipót Baumhorn.
An outline of IDP (International Development Program) activities. Projects include a dental program in Morocco, airlifting those injured in the 1988 Armenian earthquake to Israel, building temporary classrooms for Kurdish refugees in Turkey, and introducing higher-yielding hybrid cotton seeds to farmers in China.
A series of informational videos about the Jewish community of St. Petersburg: (1) meals for the elderly are distributed at the Grand Choral Synagogue and elders receiving food speak about their lives; (2) Chanukah celebrations and children speaking about their Jewish identity; (3) Purim celebrations.
In 1993, JDC led a mission to Poland to participate in ceremonies commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The footage of the ceremonies and related events includes a briefing session for JDC leaders by U.S. Ambassador to Poland Thomas Simons.
JDC Medical Director Dr. Rick Hodes discusses JDC’s partnership with the International Rescue Committee to fund mobile health clinics in Somalia, as well as JDC’s immunization and maternal training programs in Somalia.
New Members of the Syrian Jewish Community in the United States, 1994
Interviews with Syrian Jews who had initially fled to Israel and are arriving in New York. The footage includes an interview with Syrian Chief Rabbi Avraham Hamra. Digitized materials include:
Rwanda Refugee Camp, 1994
Video of a refugee camp being built by JDC workers and Rwandan refugees. Includes footage of JDC Medical Director Dr. Rick Hodes touring the camp, highlighting JDC’s efforts to improve living conditions by building latrines and housing and bringing medical services.
This video profiles the Jewish community of Romania and JDC’s work there on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Romanian Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen’s leadership. Footage includes scenes of the Amalia Rosen Home for the Aged in Bucharest and JDC-funded kosher canteens.
They Killed My Home, 1994-95
Informational video about a seminar in Israel with a group of doctors from the former Yugoslavia to discuss their experiences dealing with traumatic situations. The seminar, partially funded by JDC, enabled doctors to communicate methods to each other and also deal with their own trauma from living in a war-torn state.
Rick Hodes Interviews Patients in Ethiopia, c. 1995-99
Footage of Dr. Rick Hodes, JDC’s Medical Director in Ethiopia, interviewing patients not only about their health issues but also about local affairs, including land disputes after members of the Beta Israel community left for Israel without clearly passing their land to others. These conversations offer snapshots of communal life in Ethiopia.
JDC and the Hesed Mobile in Ukraine, c. 1995-99
Hesed organizations in Ukraine, supported by JDC, distribute food and other goods to elders in various Ukrainian towns via the Hesed Mobile. The interiors of homes are shown. Includes a Ukrainian news report about JDC operations in Ukraine.
Moscow Male Jewish Choir, 1995-99
Performances by the male choir of the Cantorial Arts Academy, established in 1989 with JDC assistance. Digitized materials include:
Interviews with JDC staff, including Hilda Barinkai, Ilona Seifert, and Israel Sela, who provide a historical overview of JDC’s work in Hungary as well as an update on more recent JDC projects in the post-Communist era and the situation of the Jewish Community. Includes discussion of the creation of the Szarvas summer camp for European Jewish youth and an interview with camp counselor Esther Fischer.
JDC in Sarajevo, 1997
A narrator describes the Siege of Sarajevo and JDC’s evacuation efforts. Video shows a JDC-sponsored nonsectarian seder for the Jews remaining in Sarajevo and supplies given to a hospital/pharmacy; Zajneba Hardaga-Susic, a Muslim woman who rescued Jews in WWII is on the last convoy out of Sarajevo and is honored by JDC. View clip.
Window on a Miracle, 1998
A video documenting the rebirth of the Jewish community in the Former Soviet Union. In addition, raw footage shows scenes of a Jewish school, activities at the Hillel, and the Hesed Yehuda Welfare Center in Kishinev, Moldova; and interviews with community leaders in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Scenes of revival of the Cuban Jewish community, which had reached out to JDC in 1992. Footage shows the restored grand synagogue of Havana, El Patronato, which was partially supported by JDC; interviews with several community leaders and JDC representatives; and the rededication ceremonies for Havana’s Beth Shalom Synagogue.
Visit to Djerba, 2000
Footage by journalist Martin Smok of a visit to the Jewish Community of Djerba, Tunisia, on September 13 and 14, 2000. The video includes visits to El Ghriba Synagogue and other synagogues, a meeting with the local leader, and activities of the Jewish school on the island.
JDC provided aid for Serb and Roma refugee children up to 12 years old in Smederevo, Serbia (then Yugoslavia), who had been displaced from Kosovo. Footage includes scenes of storage, transfer, and distribution of supplies and the daily lives of the children. A man describes JDC’s efforts in Smederevo and the state of the refugees.
Operation Atzmaut in Rishon LeZion, 2002-2005
Informational video about Operation Atzmaut, a program sponsored by JDC to help Ethiopian immigrants in Rishon LeZion, Israel, achieve greater self-sufficiency and integrate into Israeli society. The program focuses on education, employment, and family relationships.