This subcollection comprises records regarding the composition, structure, operations, leadership, and personnel of JDC. These files include correspondence with staff members and lay leaders; records of administrative bodies such as the Landsmannschaften, Medical, and Refugee Committees; overseas cables; reports on program activities; meeting minutes; fundraising resources; and accounts of the distribution of funds and supplies overseas.
This subcollection is divided into two record groups:
This record group contains materials on JDC governance, committee and subcommittee development; interviews and eye-witness accounts of JDC representatives around the world, and fundraising commitments to raise necessary funds to provide resources for global vulnerable Jewish populations.
This record group describes JDC initiatives and projects overseas; the activities of the European Executive Council (EUREXCO), an administrative body connected with JDC relief activities in Europe; the transmission and use of funds to acquire relief supplies; and correspondence with overseas offices.
This subcollection focuses on JDC's relationships and initiatives with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the course of its global rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts. Records relate to JDC’s partnerships with: the United States Government and its associated departments and agencies; consular and diplomatic officials; foreign governments and their embassies and consuls; and with private Jewish and non-sectarian humanitarian organizations worldwide.
This subcollection is divided into three record groups:
Correspondence, articles, memos, and reports on JDC’s relations with U.S. government departments and federal agencies.
Correspondence, articles, memos, and reports on JDC’s relations with foreign governments and their associated offices. The records include correspondence with the Austrian, Hungarian, Polish, and Romanian governments.
Correspondence, articles, memos, and reports on JDC’s relations with other NGOs, Jewish and non-sectarian relief agencies, businesses, and philanthropic organizations. Organizations appearing in these files include the American Red Cross, the American Relief Administration (ARA), the American Jewish Congress, Hadassah, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the International Relief Organization, ORT, and OSE.
After July 1, 1921, JDC shifted the focus of its activities from emergency relief to rehabilitation and reconstruction. A new operational system was developed, and five functional departments were organized to target different areas of need: childcare, cultural and religious institutions and programs, medico-sanitary improvements, economic reconstruction, and refugee work. This sub-collection describes the activities in each of these areas. It also documents the efforts of JDC’s Landsmannschaften Bureau, which served as an intermediary to solicit aid for needy communities.
The care and transportation of orphans, “financial adoptions,” reunion of orphans with relatives, education and placement in appropriate schools, and vocational training.
Funding for primary and secondary religious and secular schools, and for rabbinical seminaries, yeshivot, and teacher’s colleges; aid to rabbis, Jewish libraries and university students; and cooperation with the American Jewish Relief Committee, the Central Relief Committee, and the People’s Relief Committee, JDC’s three constituent organizations, on appropriations for cultural purposes.
Surveys of medico-sanitary conditions in Poland, followed by regional conferences, conducted by JDC’s Medical Unit, later known as the Medical Commission; medical and public health activities and programs in Central and Eastern Europe and Palestine, including the establishment of nurses’ training schools, the anti-favus campaign, and the allocation of supplies.
Economic activities of the Reconstruction Department, including agricultural aid, loans for the repair and rebuilding of homes, the organization of credit cooperatives and loan “kassas,” vocational training, and the distribution of tools and machinery. Records of the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation, established by JDC and the ICA (Jewish Colonization Association) in 1924 to expand reconstruction activities in Eastern and Central Europe (except for the USSR), are also included here.
Relief and rehabilitation aid provided by JDC’s Refugee Dept until 1923 for refugees in temporary abodes -- those choosing to remain in their new locations, those waiting to be repatriated, and those seeking to emigrate -- and subsequent cooperation with the ICA in refugee work.
Records -- correspondence, lists, remittances, and letters -- from 1921 to 1924. The Bureau encouraged the various immigrant fraternal associations to forward funds to their native towns, via JDC, in support of functional activities or for the purchase of food packages or matzot.
This subcollection comprises materials on major topics of JDC’s worldwide programs and activities in countries and regions. Areas include: the expansion of JDC’s postwar relief efforts in Eastern Europe; assistance to refugees and displaced persons; the development of health and welfare societies in Poland and the Soviet Union; funding for public health programs in Lithuania and Romania, and the promotion of economic, agricultural, and welfare development in Palestine, as well as reports on the political, economic, and social conditions in all of the regions in which JDC operated.
Of particular interest may be the files on Agro-Joint, the American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation. With the consent of the Soviet government, Agro-Joint trained and resettled 70,000 Jews as farmers in Ukraine and the Crimea, while also providing medical care, homes for the aged, orphan care, vocational training, loan funds, and workshops and cooperatives in the cities.
This subcollection is organized in record groups alphabetically by country/region. Note that borders shifted in the war era, and that the names of localities reflect both recognized political and indigenous regions.
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.