Finding Aid
Descriptive Summary
Title: Records of the New York Office of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 1921 – 1932
Creator: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Inclusive Dates: July 1, 1921 – December 31, 1932
Extent: 56 linear feet
Link: The New York 1921-1932 Collection
Location: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, New York Archives
Administrative History

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading humanitarian assistance organization. Formed in 1914 in response to the onset of World War I and the devastation it wreaked on thousands of Jewish communities across war-torn Europe, JDC has served over the past century as the overseas arm of the American Jewish philanthropic community, providing rescue, relief, and rehabilitation services to global Jewish communities and individuals in need worldwide.

In the present day, JDC continues its efforts to alleviate hunger and material hardship, rebuild and sustain Jewish cultural and social service infrastructures and communal institutions worldwide, aid at-risk Jewish communities and individuals, and provide critical relief and long-term non-sectarian development assistance services for victims of man-made and natural disasters in more than 90 countries across the globe.

The JDC Archives holds, describes, preserves, and makes accessible the organization’s institutional records. These records include: approximately 3 miles of text records; approximately 100,000 photo images; and over 3,600 film, video, and audio items.

Scope and Content of Records

This collection comprises 757 numbered folders, covering the period of July 1, 1921 to December 31, 1932, including the papers of Dr. J. J. Golub on medico-sanitary activities in Poland, numbered G1-G68.

The collection consists primarily of correspondence, cables, and memoranda; minutes and transcripts of JDC meetings and conferences; narrative, statistical, and financial reports; eye-witness accounts and diary entries; and news dispatches, press clippings, and publicity materials that pertain to JDC’s support for overseas communities and individuals in need and to its massive reconstruction program in Central and Eastern Europe and Palestine following the postwar emergency relief period.

Records in this collection offer a detailed picture of prevailing conditions and communal institutions based on local reports and surveys conducted by JDC staff in Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, Lithuania, and other countries. Much space is also devoted to the establishment of the American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation (Agro-Joint) and its activities in Ukraine and Crimea, 1924-1938 and beyond; to JDC’s role in founding and supporting financial and medical institutions in Palestine; and to the organization of a network of loan funds and credit cooperatives that was essential for rebuilding lives and revitalizing communities.

The collection also highlights JDC policy, decision-making, and leadership; fund-raising and national campaign drives; and JDC cooperation with U.S. government offices and agencies and other humanitarian organizations.


These materials have been arranged in four main categories:

Subject Matter
Countries and Regions

Alternative Form of Materials

The records in this collection have been digitized and are searchable online through the textual collections portal of the JDC Archives database. Microfilm copies of the material are also available on eighty reels numbered 25 to 70 and folders 413 through 568, respectively.

Copyright Conditions

Copyright held by The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc. Other intellectual property rights may apply. The publication of JDC records in any format requires the written permission of the JDC Archives. Users must apply in writing for permission to reproduce or publish manuscript materials found in this collection. Please see our Access and Restrictions Policy for further details. For information contact: [email protected]

Preferred Citation

Repository, Title of Collection, Folder number, Title of item, Date of item,, item [ITEM ID number].

Example: JDC Archives, New York Office Collection 1921-1932, Folder 61, “Digest of News in Yiddish Press of Interest to J. D. C. February 9, 1922,”, item 308283.

Processing Information

Arrangement and description of the 1921 – 1932 Collection was originally produced by Emil Lang in 1974. Shelley Helfand and Tamar Zeffren updated the collection-level description in 2012, but did not modify its arrangement.

Digitization of this collection was made possible with funding from the Polonsky Foundation.

Archives of The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.

Email: [email protected]