Finding Aid
Subcollection: Countries and Regions

This subcollection documents JDC’s large-scale policies and objectives, implemented in over 70 countries, to realize the organization’s global relief, rescue, and renewal directives. Initiatives depicted in these records include: the establishment of professional development and leadership resources for young Jewish professionals worldwide; the development of missions as a resource for JDC staff, board members, and laypeople to visit and observe JDC’s global operations; and the formation, implementation, and oversight of JDC’s extensive relief and support services for tens of thousands of Soviet Jewish émigrés waiting in transit in Rome and Vienna for their emigration applications to the United States, Canada, and other locations to be processed. Some files contain records whose dates lie slightly outside the precise dates of the overall collection, but which as well pertain to operations and programs delineated in this subcollection. These files contains some materials whose dates fall outside the scope of the time period 1975-1989.


Record Group: Aden

The Aden record group contains three documents: a December 1980 letter from Leonard Seidenman, formerly JDC Representative in Belgium and the Netherlands and JDC Director for Italy, to Executive Vice-President Ralph Goldman noting the absence of any mention of JDC’s role in anniversary coverage of the Operation Magic Carpet airlift from Aden; a May 1987 letter from JDC employee Murray Kass to Ralph Goldman, recounting his meeting with a retired pilot who had flown for the rescue effort; and a May 1987 letter by Kass to the Heritage Villager newspaper providing background on JDC and its involvement with Operation Magic Carpet.

File 1068: Aden: General: 1980-1987

Record Group: Afghanistan

The Afghanistan record group contains a few documents, including a 1985 order for Passover matzot and a 1986 memo assessing the current status of the Jewish community.

Record Group: Albania

The Albania record group contains correspondence, memos, and lists of recipients of JDC cash assistance in the Albanian Jewish community.

File 1069: Albania: General: 1975-1989

Record Group: Algeria

The Algeria record group includes material regarding assistance to victims of the October 10, 1980 earthquake which hit El Asnam, a town 100 miles southwest of Algiers; discussions about JDC files remaining in its office in Algiers; correspondence with the Directeur du Consistoire Central Israelite de France et d’Algérie regarding a survey of Algerian Jewish communal assets; and programmatic and budget planning correspondence with JDC staff, chiefly Evelyn Peters, who was appointed Country Director for Algeria in 1981.

File 1070: Algeria: Community Property, 1980-1988
File 1071: Algeria: Disasters, 1980-1981
File 1072: Algeria: General, 1985-1989
File 1073: Algeria: General, 1980-1984
File 1074: Algeria: General, 1976-1979

Record Group: Argentina

The Argentina record group documents JDC’s work with the Jewish population, which ranged from 250,000-350,000 during this time. Approximately 230,000 of these individuals resided in the capital city, Buenos Aires, the largest Jewish population in Latin America. There were also small Jewish communities in eleven provincial cities, including Cordoba, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, and Rosario. JDC’s work in Argentina centered on the organization and training of Jewish communal leaders. These steps included a pilot project for community center work and a director’s course to train young professionals in social service. JDC also provided assistance for a coordinating body of social service agencies, for rabbinical seminaries, and for scholarships to professionals training overseas for communal service in Argentina. In the realm of education, JDC supported projects of the Board of Jewish Education, as well as a variety of Jewish education programs for children, young adults, and community groups. As part of an outreach effort to revitalize small, isolated Jewish communities in the interior regions of Argentina, JDC helped develop a regional outreach program for Jewish families anxious to curtail high rates of assimilation in partnership with FACCMA (Argentine Federation of Maccabi Community Centers) and the Vaad Hakehilot (Federation of Argentine Jewish Communities), using Cordoba as the project’s hub. This program provided informal Jewish education opportunities for both children and adults.

File 1077: Argentina: Disasters, 1980-1985
File 1078: Argentina: Education, 1984-1986
File 1079: Argentina: Education, 1982-1983
File 1080: Argentina: Education, 1976-1981
File 1081: Argentina: Education, 1975
File 1082: Argentina: Education, Finance, 1976-1985
File 1083: Argentina: Finance, 1975
File 1083a: Argentina: Elderly, 1984
File 1083b: Argentina: Elderly, 1977-1980
File 1084: Argentina: Financial, 1975
File 1085: Argentina: Fund-Raising, 1975
File 1086: Argentina: General, 1989
File 1087: Argentina: General, 1988
File 1088: Argentina: General, July-December 1987
File 1089: Argentina: General, January-June 1987
File 1090: Argentina: General, 1986
File 1091: Argentina: General, July-December 1985
File 1092: Argentina: General, January-June 1985
File 1093: Argentina: General, 1984
File 1094: Argentina: General, 1983
File 1095: Argentina: General, 1981-1982
File 1096: Argentina: General, 1980
File 1097: Argentina: General, 1979
File 1098: Argentina: General, 1978
File 1099: Argentina: General, 1977
File 1100: Argentina: General, 1976
File 1101: Argentina: International Conference of Jewish Communal Service, 1984-1985
File 1102: Argentina: JDC Committee, 1982-1984
File 1103: Argentina: JDC News, 1976-1977
File 1104: Argentina: Org: Misc, A-Z, 1976-1984
File 1105: Argentina: Org: Dor Hemshech, 1977-1981
File 1106: Argentina: Org: Editti, 1979-1984
File 1107: Argentina: Org: F.A.C.C.M.A. (Argentine Federation of Jewish Community Centers, 1977-1984)
File 1108: Argentina: Org: Institution of Jewish Hospitals, 1976-1982
File 1109: Argentina: Org: Inst. Hogar Israelita Argentina para Ancianos y Ninos (Burzaco Home), 1968, 1976-1983
File 1110: Argentina: Org: Lubavitch, 1981-1984
File 1111: Argentina: Org: Macabi, 1984-1985
File 1112: Argentina: Org: Seminario Rabinico, 1976-1989
File 1113: Argentina: Org: Seminario Rabinico, 1975
File 1114: Argentina: Org: Shuba Israel, 1976-1985
File 1115: Argentina: Rabbis and Religious Life, 1977-1981
File AR.1: Argentina: General, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1986-1989

Record Group: Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific record group contains reports and correspondence from the Asia Pacific Jewish Association, which was headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and incorporated the Jewish communities of Australia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.

File 1116: Asia Pacific: Asia Pacific Jewish Association, 1984-1987 (1 of 2)
File 1117: Asia Pacific: Asia Pacific Jewish Association, 1984-1987 (2 of 2)

Record Group: Australia

The Australia record group contains extensive correspondence with the Federation of Australian Jewish Welfare Societies regarding assistance for Soviet transmigrants in Vienna and Rome whose immigration applications to the United States were rejected and have subsequently applied for migration to Australia; printed material, including a February-March 1988 survey of the Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs; correspondence regarding the repayment of a loan made by JDC and the Jewish Colonization Association for the resettlement of Soviet Jewish immigrants; and discussions regarding a range of programmatic topics.

File 1118: Australia: Financial, 1976-1984
File 1120: Australia: Financial, 1976-1980
File 1121: Australia: General, 1976-1981

Record Group: Austria

The Austria record group details the care and maintenance provided to tens of thousands of transmigrants, primarily Soviet émigrés, who were stranded at processing centers in Vienna while they waited for their applications to be processed. ((Further details on JDC’s transmigrant program can also be found in the Italy record group, IDEA ID #1095426.)

File 1125: Austria: Archives, 1980-1982
File 1126: Austria: Cemeteries, 1976
File 1127: Austria: Educational and Religious Life: Synagogues, 1983-1985
File 1128: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, 1985
File 1129: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, 1984
File 1130: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, 1983
File 1131: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, 1982
File 1132: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, August-December 1981
File 1133: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, January-July 1981
File 1134: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, 1980
File 1135: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, 1979
File 1136: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, April-December 1978
File 1137: Austria: Transmigrants: Consolidated Statistics, January 1977-March 1978
File 1141: Austria: Transmigrants, 1981-1985

Record Group: Bahrain

The Bahrain record group contains two items pertaining to Jewish communal assets.

File 1141: Bahrain: General, 1985-1986

Record Group: Baltics

The Baltics record group contains a December 1986 report and appendices from JDC’s Jewish Education Consultant Seymour Epstein about his visit there, while they were Soviet-occupied.

File 1142: Baltics: Localities: Kaliningrad Area, General, 1989

Record Group: Barbados

The Barbados record group includes a Wednesday. February 19,1986 article in The Jerusalem Post about 15 Jewish families in Barbados and some general memos regarding Jewish communal property which include mentions of Barbados.

File 1143: Barbados: Communal Property, 1986
File 1144: Barbados: General, 1986

Record Group: Belgium

The Belgium record group holds material about JDC’s projects in Belgium and its relationship to the Service Social Juif (SSJ), the agency that took care of immigrants and refugees to Belgium, and correspondence regarding the loan JDC provided to the Centrale D’Oeuvres Sociales Juives Bruxelles, a social welfare organization for Jews in Belgium.

File 1145: Belgium: General, 1966-1988
File 1145: Belgium: Home for the Aged, 1980-1985
File 1160: Belgium: Budget and Program Planning, 1982-1987
File 1161: Belgium: Loan from JDC, 1965-1984
File BG.1: Belgium: General, 1986-1987

Record Group: Bolivia

The Bolivia record group contains correspondence (some in Spanish); field reports from JDC staff; and memos regarding assistance to the community in La Paz to residents of the Home for the Aged and for repairs to a Jewish school damaged by flooding.

File 1147: Bolivia: General, 1980-1985

Record Group: Brazil

This record group details JDC’s involvement with the Jewish communities in Brazil. Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, had the second-largest Jewish population with about 120,000 Jews. The Jewish population was largely an urban one, concentrated in the two main cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s Jewish community was relatively self-sufficient and JDC’s involvement was in discrete projects: these included outreach programs directed at the revitalization of small communities in the interior, including Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, and Manaos; teacher training and activities for parents in Jewish schools; and training programs for professional and lay leaders in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Porte Alegre.

File 1148: Brazil: General, 1986-1989
File 1149: Brazil: General, 1980-1985
File 1150: Brazil: Org: Congregação Israelita Paulista, 1976-1980
File 1151: Brazil: Org: Machane Israel Yeshiva, 1968, 1983
File BR.1: Brazil: General, 1980-1982, 1986-1989

Record Group: Bulgaria

The Bulgaria record group contains correspondence about JDC’s interactions with the Jewish community in Bulgaria, including various visits of JDC leadership such as Executive Vice President Ralph Goldman’s visit to Bulgaria in February 1982 and JDC President Heinz Eppler and Goldman’s visit to Sofia in February 1987; memos about approaching the Bulgarian government to recommence formal JDC operations in the country; correspondence with the Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia, who were in contact with the Bulgarian Jewish community; and an array of printed materials, including articles about Bulgarian Jewry during the Holocaust.

File 1162: Bulgaria: General, 1978-1989
File 1163: Bulgaria: Printed Matter, 1981, 1982, 1998

Record Group: Burma

The Burma record group describes JDC’s assistance to the Jewish community of Rangoon, to help with living expenses as well as emergency needs, such as hospital expenses. JDC’s contribution also went toward the maintenance of the synagogue, Musmeah Yeshua, and the cemetery in Rangoon, and also covered the cost of school uniforms and textbooks for the few remaining children in the community school system. The Burma record group includes JDC staffer Leon Leiberg’s report on his visit to Burma, a list of JDC clients assisted in Rangoon, as well as a list of foreign Jewry who visited the synagogue.

File BU.1: Burma: General, 1980-1989

Record Group: Cambodia

The Cambodia record group details medical, educational, and recreational assistance to Cambodian refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge to refugee camps on the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Some of the relief was delivered through JDC’s first Open Mailbox as a vehicle for non-sectarian aid; other funds were raised through in the Interfaith Hunger Appeal, a partnership among JDC, the Church World Services, and the Catholic Relief Services. The file also contains updates on relief operations from JDC’s Project Coordinator in Thailand and from JDC and International Red Cross staff and statistical reports on students and staff in some of the schools established in the refugee camps and library usage.

File 1164: Cambodia: Refugees in Thailand, 1980-1982

Record Group: Cameroon

The Cameroon record group contains correspondence regarding relief needs for communities in Cameroon endangered, beginning in August 1986, by the eruption of toxic volcanic gases.

File 1165: Cameroon: General, 1986

Record Group: Canada

The Canada record group primarily contains policy memos and correspondence with several local organizations, including the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, regarding both support for Soviet transmigrants in Vienna and Rome and individuals from the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War who have applied to emigrate to Canada.

File 1153: Canada: Financial, 1975
File 1154: Canada: Financial, Contributions, 1975
File 1167: Canada: Org: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1981-1989
File 1168: Canada: Org: Department of National Revenue, 1976-1994
File 1169: Canada: Org: Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, 1985-1992
File 1170: Canada: Org: Societe de Secours d'Entraide (SSE), 1982-1983
File 1171: Canada: Org: United Israel Appeal, 1976-1987
File 1172: Canada: Org: United Jewish Appeal, 1981-1989
File 1173: Canada: Org: United Jewish Relief Agencies, 1984-1985

Record Group: Central America

The Central America record group contains an assortment of documents, including a memo regarding a 1984 “Consultation on Jewish Communal Meeting in Central America” which emerged from correspondence between the American Jewish Committee and FEDECO, the umbrella organization of Jewish communities in Central America and Panama.

File 1174: Central America: General, 1984-1989

Record Group: Ceuta and Melilla

The Ceuta and Melilla record group contains correspondence and programmatic and budget planning materials pertaining to the Jewish community in these two Spanish autonomous cities located on the north coast of Africa.

File 1152: Ceuta and Melilla: General, 1988-1989
File 1175: Ceuta and Melilla: General, 1985-1989

Record Group: Chile

The Chile record group details JDC’s work with the third-largest Jewish community in South America, which during this period had a Jewish population of approximately 28,000. The majority of the population lived in the capital city of Santiago, although smaller population centers were also located in Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. In 1979, JDC completed a reassessment of its role in Chile on the basis of a wide-ranging study of the community and, as a result, redirected some of its programs and policies. JDC decided to focus on communal activities, attracting college youth, developing lay leadership, and preparing professionals for roles in communal service. It provided funds to a community-operated psychiatric pavilion, two old age homes, a children’s home and school, and to place rabbis for the Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities. In 1988, JDC helped the community complete the development of a coordinated social service program, Programa de Asistencia Social Israelita (PASI), to address the growing number of Jewish poor.

File 1155: Chile: Children's Home, 1975
File 1156: Chile: Financial, 1975
File 1157: Chile: General, 1975
File 1158: Chile: Old Age Home, 1975
File 1159: Chile: Rabbis and Religious Life, 1975
File 1176: Chile: Disasters: Earthquakes, 1985
File 1176a: Chile: Financial, 1977-1985
File 1177: Chile: General, 1986-1989
File 1178: Chile: General, 1979-1980
File 1179: Chile: General, 1976-1978
File 1180: Chile: Hogar de Niños "Bene Brith," 1976-1984
File 1181: Chile: Hogar de Niños "Cisroco," 1976-1985
File 1182: Chile: Hogar Israelita de Ancianos, 1976-1984
File 1183: Chile: Rabbis and Religious Life, 1976-1985
File 1184: Chile: Sephardic Jewish Community, 1976-1983
File CH.1: Chile: General, 1976, 1978-1981, 1984, 1986-1987

Record Group: China

The China record group contains correspondence and memos regarding Jewish communal property in China and Hong Kong, field reports from JDC staff visits, and extensive correspondence, often with HIAS, regarding remittances to clients.

File 1185: China: Community Property, 1985-1988
File 1186: China: General, 1975-1989

Record Group: Colombia

The Colombia record group includes material that details JDC’s disaster relief work with Bricks for Colombia, a project of self-help housing for people rendered homeless by a volcano eruption in November 1985 which buried the town of Armero, as well as correspondence regarding information requested about JDC from local organizations in Colombia.

File 1187: Colombia: Disaster Relief, "Bricks for Colombia," 1985-1987
File 1188: Colombia: General, 1969, 1984, 1989
File CO.1: Colombia: Disaster Relief, 1985-1986

Record Group: Cuba

The Cuba record group includes updates on the Jewish community and discussions regarding the extend of JDC’s assistance for these Jews and to those who were able to emigrate to America.

File 1189: Cuba: General, 1976-1987
File CU.1: Cuba: General, 1987, 1989

Record Group: Curaçao

The Curaçao record group primarily details the fundraising efforts of its United Jewish Aid Committee.

File 1190: Curaçao: General, 1976-1988

Record Group: Cyprus

The Cyprus record group documents the history of JDC’s dental health services in the Cyprus detention camps from 1946-1948, as well as an obituary for Dr. David Wechsler who set up a mental health clinic in the detention camps.

File 1191: Cyprus: Mental Hygiene Clinic, 1981-1982

Record Group: Czechoslovakia

The Czechoslovakia record group documents JDC’s work there, upon resuming operations in 1981 at the invitation of the 13,000-member Czech and Slovak Jewish community, many of whom were of advanced age and Holocaust survivors. JDC provided relief to hundreds of these clients through cash grants, maintained kosher kitchens in Prague, Kosice, and Bratislava, and purchased medical and religious supplies – including kosher food and wine for the holidays – abroad.

File 1192: Czechoslovakia: Cemeteries, 1977-1984
File 1193: Czechoslovakia: General, 1987
File 1194: Czechoslovakia: General, 1986
File 1195: Czechoslovakia: General, 1984-1985
File 1196: Czechoslovakia: General, 1976-1982
File 1197: Czechoslovakia: Relief Supplies, 1981-1985

Record Group: Denmark

The Denmark record group includes correspondence regarding JDC’s support of youth activities for Polish emigres in Denmark. JDC had been covering the cost of this program together with the Jewish community in Copenhagen on a 50/50 basis since 1968, when about 2,500 Polish Jews arrived in Denmark.

File 1198: Denmark: Community Center, 1979, 1982-1983
File 1199: Denmark: Financial, 1975-1989
File 1200: Denmark: General, 1966-1989
File DK.1: Denmark: Financial, June-September 1986

Record Group: Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic record group contains one file including material requesting funding for the Jewish communities in Santo Domingo and Sosúa, reports on visits to the Dominican Republic, and shipments of matzot for Passover.

File 1201: Dominican Republic: General, 1965-1966, 1977, 1988

Record Group: Eastern Europe

The Eastern Europe record group documents policy, strategy, and a review of programs in the region.

File 1203: Eastern Europe: Education, 1983-1987
File 1204: Eastern Europe: General, 1980-1985
File 1205: Eastern Europe: General Program Review, 1980-1985

Record Group: Ecuador

The Ecuador record group is comprised of one file documenting the collection of funds for earthquake relief, reports on the status of the Jewish community in Ecuador, and the search for a rabbi for the community in Quito.

File 1202: Ecuador: General, 1981-1988

Record Group: Egypt

The Egypt record group documents JDC’s program in the country through correspondence, field reports, and financial materials. In the middle of 1982, JDC re-established direct contact with the estimated 400 Jews of Egypt (down from a pre-1950 population of over 90,000). The Jewish community was fairly divided – approximately 250 in Alexandria and 150 in Cairo – but steadily dwindled over the course of over a decade. The vast majority of Jews in both Alexandria and Cairo were elderly, and after a professional assessment of the communities’ needs was undertaken in January 1983, JDC was able to establish a social welfare program in cooperation with both communities, which included monthly cash grants, as well as free medical assistance, prescriptions, and hospitalization. JDC also provided aid for individuals in old-age homes in both Cairo and Alexandria, as well as for members of Cairo’s Rabbinate and Karaite communities.

JDC provided kosher food packages before Passover and Rosh Hashana and helped the communities maintain vital religious services by providing chazzanim for the holidays, a public seder, and a community sukkah in Alexandria. Arrangements were also made to provide shochtim for both communities during the High Holidays and Passover.

File 1207: Egypt: Financial, 1982-1986
File 1208: Egypt: General, 1987-1989
File 1209: Egypt: General, 1984-1986
File 1210: Egypt: General, 1976-1981
File 1211: Egypt: General, 1962-1963

Record Group: El Salvador

The El Salvador record group documents JDC’s relief efforts in the wake of an earthquake that hit El Salvador in 1986, with donations being accepted through JDC’s Open Mailbox. JDC also contributed $50,000 to the reconstruction of the Estado de Israel kindergarten building in San Salvador after the earthquake.

File 1212: El Salvador: General, 1981-1989

Record Group: England

The England record group reflects JDC’s interactions and partnerships with other Jewish organizations in England. With help from the Central British Fund, for example, JDC was able to fund its programs across the globe. In addition to receiving financial assistance from organizations, JDC also aided British organizations such as the Federation of Hungarian Jews in Great Britain and the World Union of Jewish Students. Their program, Project Arevim, supplied volunteers who served in Jewish communities across the globe.

The record group also includes general administrative correspondence, including material on the procurement of office space for JDC in London.

File 1213: England: General, 1966-1988
File 1214: England: Organizations, A-Z, 1974-1986
File 1215: England: Org: Federation of Hungarian Jews in Great Britain,1980-1989
File 1216: England: Org: Jewish Trust Corporation,1976-1982
File 1217: England: Org: Wiener Library, 1982-1984
File 1218: England: Org: World Jewish Relief (CBF), 1986-1989
File 1219: England: Org: World Union of Jewish Students, 1976-1977
File 1220: England: Org: World Jewish Relief, 1976-1981
File 1221: England: Org: Yakar, 1976-1988
File 1222: England: Org: World Union of Jewish Students (Project Areivim), 1978-1984
File 1223: England: Org: CBF World Jewish Relief 1982-1983
File 1224: England: Org: CBF World Jewish Relief 1984-1985

Record Group: Ethiopia

The records of JDC’s operations in Ethiopia document a major milestone in the development of JDC’s nonsectarian programs around the globe. During this period in Marxist Ethiopia (Mengistu Haile Mariam’s military junta deposed Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974), JDC focused its efforts to recreate the material and spiritual lifeline to the Jews of Ethiopia. During this period, JDC first provided relief in the early 1970s through the London-based Falasha Welfare Association (FWA), and later through the World ORT Union, where JDC provided funding for health services, education, and religious activities. In 1983, following the Ethiopian government’s closure of the ORT program that JDC had been supporting, JDC engaged in lengthy negotiations to re-create a lifeline to Ethiopian Jewry. Following a severe drought and subsequent famine that began in 1983, JDC received permission from the Ethiopian government to operate in Ethiopia and be based in the Gondar region, where the Jewish community was primarily based, but on the condition that its relief and medical programs would be non-sectarian. Indirectly benefiting Ethiopia’s Jews along with the general population, these projects opened the door to additional operations that directly aided the Jewish community.

The materials in this record group document the development and implementation of JDC’s operations in Ethiopia: its interactions with government, non-government, and Jewish organizations; and the scope of its relief activities from temporary relief to rehabilitation. These relief activities include JDC’s extensive famine relief efforts: a comprehensive medical program, including the establishment of the Teda Health Centre and the Gondar Polyclinic; and its support for an agricultural recovery program that provided seed, fertilizers, pesticides, tools, and oxen to over 17,000 individual farmers in the Gondar region, among other projects. These records also highlight JDC’s relief efforts in Sudan, where starting as early as 1979, Ethiopian Jews sought refuge from the famine. By 1984, there were thousands of Ethiopian Jewish refugees in Sudanese refugee camps; JDC provided cash and maintenance allotments to them. These records contain extensive discussion on aliyah (emigration to Israel) among JDC partners, primarily the Jewish Agency. While JDC was not the primary organization responsible for the emigration efforts for Ethiopian Jewry, aliyah was ultimately the desired goal for the Ethiopian Jewish community and JDC played a significant role in this process.

Items of particular note in these records include the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between JDC and Ethiopia’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), which signaled JDC’s official entry into Ethiopia. Also of note are the field reports written by JDC staff, including Ethiopia’s country director Manlio Dell’Ariccia and project director Aaron Bornstein, which detail the political and economic climate in the region and updates on project progress. The opening of JDC’s first “Open Mailbox” for non-sectarian Ethiopian relief in November 1984 is also noteworthy; these files include letters of donation from individuals across the United States, including those who had been prior recipients of JDC relief. Materials are in English, Hebrew, and Amharic.

Series 1: Administration

The Administration series documents JDC’s Ethiopia operations through correspondence, appeals, field reports, and financial materials. The Policy and Strategy files document the plight of Ethiopian Jews in Ethiopia, as well as the background research JDC conducted to develop its own relief program. Items of note include the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between JDC and Ethiopia’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), which signaled JDC’s official entry into Ethiopia; field reports written by JDC staff, which describe the social, economic, and political conditions in the country; and the establishment of JDC’s “Open Mailbox,” instituted in November 1984, which allowed contributors to donate to non-sectarian Ethiopian relief.

File ET.1: Ethiopia: Agreements with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC)
File ET.2: Ethiopia: Appeals and Inquiries, 1977-1984
File ET.3: Ethiopia: Field Reports, 1985-1989
File ET.4: Ethiopia: Field Reports, 1984
File ET.5: Ethiopia: Field Reports, 1979, 1983
File ET.6: Ethiopia: Financial, 1981, 1984, 1986-1987
File ET.7: Ethiopia: Financial, Budget Materials, January 1987-October 1989
File ET.8: Ethiopia: Financial, Budget Materials, 1976-1986
File ET.9: Ethiopia: Financial, Famine Relief Contributions, Material Goods, November 1984-May 1985, December 1985
File ET.10: Ethiopia: Financial, Famine Relief Contributions, Open Mailbox, 1984-1986, 1988
File ET.11: Ethiopia: Financial, Program Planning, 1979, 1986-1989
File ET.12: Ethiopia: JDC Missions to Ethiopia, January-February 1986, October-November 1987
File ET.13: Ethiopia: Jewish Population Statistics, 1976, 1982-1983, 1985-1989
File ET.14: Ethiopia: Policy and Strategy, 1984-1989
File ET.15: Ethiopia: Policy and Strategy, January 1982-November 1983
File ET.16: Ethiopia: Policy and Strategy, 1977-1981
File ET.17: Ethiopia: Policy and Strategy, 1975-1976
File ET.19: Ethiopia: Researching JDC's Entry into Ethiopia, February-May 1983
File ET.20: Ethiopia: Staff Files, 1976-1978, 1980, 1982-1985, 1987-1988
File 1225: Ethiopia: General, August 1988-December 1989
File 1226: Ethiopia: General, January-July 1988
File 1227: Ethiopia: General, May-September 1987
File 1228: Ethiopia: General, January 1986-April 1987
File 1229: Ethiopia: General, 1985
File 1230: Ethiopia: General, August-December 1984
File 1231: Ethiopia: General, January-July 1984

Series 2: Organizations

The Organizations series reflects interactions between JDC and other Jewish, government, and non-government organizations. Documentation of JDC’s earliest relief efforts in Ethiopia is present, most extensively in the Falasha Welfare Association (FWA) and World ORT files. Records from other groups, such as the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) and the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) are also included, in addition to materials from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through which JDC received funding for such initiatives as a feeding program, orphanage, and agricultural recovery project. This series includes correspondence, reports, financial materials, grant proposals, and meeting minutes which reflect both these organizations’ independent relief efforts and their collaborations with JDC.

File ET.22: Ethiopia: American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ), 1975-1984, 1986, 1988-1989
File ET.23: Ethiopia: American Jewish Committee, 1981-1982, 1984-1985
File ET.24: Ethiopia: Catholic Relief Services, 1983-1984, 1987
File ET.25: Ethiopia: Falasha Welfare Association, January 1975-September 1976
File ET.26: Ethiopia: Interaction, 1984-1986
File ET.27: Ethiopia: International Council of Voluntary Agencies,1981-1982, 1985
File ET.28: Ethiopia: League of Red Cross Societies, 1982-1985, 1987
File ET.29: Ethiopia: National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, 1979-1988
File ET.30: Ethiopia: North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ), 1983-1984, 1986, 1988
File ET.31: Ethiopia: Religious Action Center, 1984-1986
File ET.32: Ethiopia: Surgical Aid to Children of the World (SACOW), 1986-1989
File ET.33: Ethiopia: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 1982-1988
File ET.34: Ethiopia: World ORT Union, 1980-1983
File ET.35: Ethiopia: World ORT Union, 1979
File ET.36: Ethiopia: World ORT Union, 1976-1978
File ET.37: Ethiopia: World ORT Union, Reports, 1977-1978, 1980
File ET.38: Ethiopia: World ORT Union, Reports, 1976
File ET.39: Ethiopia: Organizations, A-Z, 1979-1987

Series 3: Subject Matter

The Subject Matter series reflects programmatic aspects of JDC’s relief operations in Ethiopia. The records testify to the extent of JDC’s relief efforts in response the famine of 1983-1985 and the drought of 1987. These files also include information on JDC-assistance to refugees in Sudan and materials discussing aliyah (immigration to Israel) for Ethiopian Jewry; JDC’s medical program, which included the Teda Health Centre and Gondar Polyclinic, health worker training, immunizations, and other initiatives; and agricultural and development projects, such as an agricultural recovery program, electrification, and brick making. This series includes correspondence, news clippings, memos, reports (both medical and agricultural), grant proposals, and relief and medical supply lists.

File ET.40: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Agriculture and Development, 1985-1989
File ET.41: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Agriculture and Development, Reports, 1986-1989
File ET.42: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Aliyah, 1984-1989
File ET.43: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Aliyah, 1981-1983
File ET.44: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Aliyah, 1979-1980
File ET.45: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Aliyah, 1975-1978
File ET.46: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Famine Relief, 1986-1988
File ET.47: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Famine Relief, March-December 1985
File ET.48: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Famine Relief, January-February 1985
File ET.49: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Famine Relief, 1984
File ET.50: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Famine Relief, February-December 1983
File ET.51: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Medical, 1976-1977, 1984-1989
File ET.52: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Medical, Gondar Polyclinic,1984-1988
File ET.53: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Medical, Medical Supplies, 1978, 1983, 1987
File ET.54: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Medical, Reports, 1986-1989
File ET.55: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Medical, Teda Health Center, 1984-1988
File ET.544: Ethiopia: Subject Matter: Sudan, 1979-1985, 1989

Series 4: Localities

The Localities series contains one file on JDC efforts to aid the people of Libo, who had fled the famine in 1984 and tried to make their way to the Sudan border. For some reason they were unable to leave and instead wound up in the Libo area of the Gondar region, most in a small village named Bulaboha. Unable to leave or grow food for their families, as the abandoned farm plots of other Ethiopian Jews were already claimed by local non-Jewish peasants, the Libo Jews needed relief assistance. This series relate to JDC efforts to understand the scope of the situation and to identify needed assistance.

File ET.545: Ethiopia: Localities: Libo, 1986-1987, 1989

Record Group: Finland

The Finland record group documents the provision of JDC aid to Finland, which has consisted of a series of loans to two Jewish communities: Helsinki and Turku (“Abo” in Swedish, one of Finland’s official languages). JDC’s involvement in Finland goes back to the 1920’s when JDC gave a grant of $10,000 to the Loan Kassa in Turku to guarantee its permanency and development. The Turku file includes correspondence between JDC and the Turku Jewish community, memos, and financial reports that document loan payments and a new loan request. The Helsinki file contains correspondence, memos, financial material, and clippings that document the Jewish community’s effort to strengthen Jewish life in the city. Its primary focus is the Jewish community’s request to JDC for financial help, as well as JDC’s subsequent investment in their Jewish Youth and Community Center project, though material on Jewish education is also included. Of particular interest are the materials documenting the history of Jews in Finland, including “A Short Report on Finnish Jewry” and the pamphlet produced by the Jewish Community of Helsinki.

The majority of these files are restricted for confidentiality concerns. Please see our Access & Restrictions Policy.

File FI.1: Finland: Localities: Helsinki, 1980-1987, 1989
File FI.2: Finland: Localities: Turku, 1978-1979, 1981-1986,1989

Record Group: France

This record group documents JDC’s operations in France; its efforts in this region focused primarily on supporting Jewish education and sustaining the Jewish community’s social service infrastructure. During this period, the population of French Jewry was approximately 600,000, or about four times the estimated number of Jewish survivors and returnees to France at the end of World War II. This population expansion, which accumulated over more than two decades since the 1950s, was generated by successive waves of immigrants from Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. The ongoing task of absorbing and integrating large numbers of immigrants resulted in increased demands upon Jewish communal services throughout France. JDC provided financial and planning assistance to strengthen the capacity of French Jewish organizations, such as the Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), the central agency overseeing social and educational services for French Jewry, to respond to the needs of the new immigrants. Concurrently, JDC supported a small number of transmigrants who arrived in France, mostly from Eastern Europe.

The bulk of JDC’s budget in France, however, was allocated to Jewish education. JDC provided direct support to Jewish schools, such as those operated by Lubavitch, Ozar Hatorah, and to the Alliance Israelite Universelle, an international Jewish organization based in Paris.

Items of particular note in these records include correspondence with Colonel Seymour Pomrenze, a member of the U.S. Army’s “Monuments Men” and the first director of the Offenbach Archival Depot after World War II, in his capacity as a records management consultant for JDC, and detailed field trip reports by Evelyn Peters. Peters served as JDC’s day care consultant in France, as well as country director for Tunisia, Algeria, and India, and submitted these reports as evaluations of her visits to various kindergartens across France. In addition to these evaluations, Peters also reports on her participation her participation in teacher training seminars and meetings with school officials.

Other significant materials detail the Jewish Education Study and the FSJU’s Manpower Development Project. This two-phase education study resulted in a program to upgrade the quality and extend the impact of Jewish education in France; the Manpower Development Program was established to develop Jewish communal professionals to work in direct service organizations in the area of planning, administration, fundraising, and education.

Materials are primarily in English, with some in French and Hebrew.

Series 1: France: Administration

The Administration series documents the operations and oversight of JDC’s France program through correspondence, reports, and financial materials. The series details the administrative activities of JDC’s Paris office, which was a separate entity from JDC’s France program, and includes material on the buying and selling of office locations, finances, and staff meetings. The JDC office in Paris served as headquarters of JDC’s work in France and a number of other countries in Europe and North Africa. Material of note includes correspondence with Colonel Seymour Pomrenze in his capacity as a records management consultant for JDC.

File FR.1: France: Annual Reports, 1975-1976, 1979
File FR.2: France: Financial, 1971-1972, 1974-1976, 1980-1989
File FR.3: France: Financial, Program Planning, 1978, 1981,1986-1987
File FR.4: France: Paris Office, 1971-1974, 1978-1989
File FR.5: France: Personnel, 1984-1985, 1987
File FR.6: France: Records Management, 1981-1984
File FR.7: France: Reports, 1970, 1980-1982

Series 2: France: Organizations

The Organizations series reflects JDC’s partnerships with other Jewish organizations in France dealing with Jewish education, elderly care, immigration, and the French Jewish community at large. JDC provided funding to Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), the central body for social and educational services in France. The files include material on the FSJU’s Manpower Development Program. This JDC-supported project was designed to train qualified professionals in all fields pertaining to the Jewish community, including social workers, administrators, and educators. Relief agencies such as Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and the Service Social Jeunes (SSJ) received funding from JDC to assist elderly and youth immigrants, respectively, while other JDC-supported organizations, such as the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Lubavitch, and Ozar Hatorah worked to provide Jewish education in France.

File FR.8: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), 1986-1989
File FR.9: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), 1983-1985
File FR.9: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), 1983-1985
File FR.10: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), 1979-1981
File FR.11: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), 1978
File FR.12: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), 1976-1977
File FR.13: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), Budgetary Books, 1986-1989
File FR.14: France: Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), Budgetary Books, 1978, 1981
File FR.15: France: Cercle Amical, 1969, 1971
File FR.16: France: Appel Unifié Juif de France (AUJF), 1977-1979, 1983-1986, 1989
File FR.17: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), 1985-1989
File FR.18: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), 1982-1984
File FR.19: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), 1977-1981
File FR.20: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), 1970-1973, 1975-1976
File FR.21: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), Manpower Development Project, 1983-1985
File FR.22: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), Manpower Development Project, 1981-1982
File FR.23: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), Manpower Development Project, 1979-1980
File FR.24: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), Refugee Housing Fund, 1981-1982
File FR.25: France: Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), Student Loan Fund, 1979-1981
File FR.26: France: Lubavitch, 1974-1989
File FR.27: France: Oeuvre Secours aux Enfants (OSE), 1966-1969, 1979, 1981-1985
File FR.28: France: Ozar Hatorah, 1982-1989
File FR.29: France: Ozar Hatorah, 1977-1981
File FR.30: France: Ozar Hatorah, 1969-1971, 1973-1976
File FR.31: France: Service Social de Jeunes (SSJ), 1981-1982, 1985

Series 3: France: Subject Matter

The Subject Matter series reflects the various programmatic aspects of JDC’s operations in France. The bulk of the material in this series relates to JDC’s educational initiatives. JDC provided support to both informal and formal Jewish educational activities through its funding of four educational systems throughout the country: the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Lubavitch, ORT, and Ozar Hatorah. The files also document JDC’s support of services for Jewish immigrants and French nationals from North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the support of a small number of transmigrants from Eastern Europe. Of particular note are the materials on the Jewish Education Study, a collaboration among JDC, the Jewish Agency, and the French Jewish community. This comprehensive study on Jewish education was completed in two phases and completed in 1988 and was conducted by Dr. Erik Cohen. The study included an inventory of all Jewish educational opportunities in France, both formal and informal, and assessed how external organizations can be more helpful in meeting the needs of the French Jewish community. A Master Plan for Jewish Education in France (FIPE III), based on these research findings, was developed as a five year program to upgrade the quality and extend the impact of Jewish education in France. Other noteworthy items include JDC early childhood consultant Evelyn Peters’ field trip reports, which contain evaluations of her visits to various kindergartens across France. In addition to these evaluations, Peters also reports on her participation in FSJU study seminars for kindergartens in Jewish schools; teaching classes on early childhood education to students at Tomer Debora, a teachers’ school in Aix-les-Bains; and her meetings with school officials.

File FR.32: France: Subject Matter: Education, 1989
File FR.33: France: Subject Matter: Education, 1988
File FR.34: France: Subject Matter: Education, 1987
File FR.35: France: Subject Matter: Education, 1986
File FR.36: France: Subject Matter: Education, 1984-1985
File FR.37: France: Subject Matter: Education, 1975-1982
File FR.38: France: Subject Matter: Education, Reports, 1982-1986, 1988-1989
File FR.39: France: Subject Matter: Education, Reports, 1970, 1972-1981
File FR.40: France: Subject Matter: Immigration, 1980, 1982-1985, 1987
File FR.41: France: Subject Matter: Transmigrants, 1981-1987
File FR.42: France: Subject Matter: Aged, 1968-1970
File FR.43: France: Subject Matter: Children, 1965, 1968

Record Group: Germany

The Germany record group contains correspondence and policy discussions pertaining to a wide array of initiatives, including communications with the Zentralwohlfahrtstelle (Central Welfare Organization of German Jews) requesting their assistance in the resettlement of Soviet Jews looking to reunite with relatives in West Germany; supporting a summer camp for East German children on the Baltic, in partnership with Ronald Lauder; and the winding down of a loan kassa in Munich, which had been funded by JDC, the Zentralwohlfahrstelle, and the Jewish communities of Bavaria (much of the correspondence on this topic is in German).

File GER.1: Germany: General, 1981-1989
File GER.2: Germany: Displaced Persons, Benjamin Report, 1982-1983
File GER.3: Germany: Loan Kassas, Munich, 1985

Record Group: Greece

The Greece record group contains correspondence on a range of topics, including community property in Salonika, the repatriation of funds from loan kassas in Athens, and queries about support for and newsletters issued by the Athens Jewish Museum.

File GRC.1: Greece: Anatolia College, May-July 1975
File GRC.2: Greece: Athens Jewish Museum, 1980-1983, undated
File GRC.3: Greece: Community Property, 1975-1985
File GRC.4: Greece: Financial, 1975-1988
File GRC.5: Greece: General, 1976-1989
File GRC.6: Greece: Loan Kassas, 1975-1977
File GRC.7: Greece: Refugees, 1980, 1989

Record Group: Guatemala

File GT.1: Guatemala: Earthquake, February-September 1976
File GT.2: Guatemala: Refugees, January, June-July 1983

Record Group: Holland (Netherlands)

The Holland (Netherlands) record group includes two memos and one letter written by Ralph Goldman regarding Dutch community assets and his meeting with Dr. E.M. Wikler and Dr. J Sanders of the Federation of Dutch Jewish Communities.

File NL.1: Holland: Community Property, November 1985, November 1989

Record Group: Hungary

The Hungary record group details a major milestone in JDC’s return to humanitarian activities in Eastern Europe. When Ralph Goldman began his tenure as executive vice president in January 1976, a primary goal he set for JDC was to reenter Eastern Europe “through the front door” – through direct negotiations with the Eastern European governments. Hungary, home to the largest Jewish population in the Soviet satellites, was the first target. JDC consulted with numerous experts and conducted protracted and sensitive negotiations with the Hungarian government. In December 1979 a draft agreement was prepared, settling the terms for JDC to reenter Hungary in January 1980 – including a yearly determined amount of aid and how said aid is to be utilized – and leading to a new era of JDC involvement in Eastern Europe. JDC activities from 1980 focused primarily on social welfare and health assistance to Holocaust survivors. The organization funded cash assistance for approximately 1,800 clients, medical subsidies, homes for the aged, and food programs for the elderly. The Hungarian Jewish Community was thus able to use its own modest funds to develop religious, educational, and cultural programs. Jewish communities in Budapest and the provinces operated under the umbrella of the Magyar Izraeliták Országos Képviselete (MIOK), the Central Board of Hungarian Jews, and the Kosponti Szocialis Bizottsag (KSB), the Central Assistance Agency. MIOK was an umbrella organization for all Hungarian Jewish communities and maintained an official relationship with the Hungarian government. The KSB, although technically a sub-committee of MIOK, operated as a fully autonomous independent organization. Hungary also had an Orthodox community, which was a loosely autonomous body which elected its own President and had its own Chief Rabbi.

While continuing its support for health and welfare services for the aged, JDC began to direct an increasing amount of attention toward Jewish educational and cultural programming. Such programming included support of the Anne Frank Gymnasium (the Jewish high school), the Rabbinical Seminary, and the Orthodox community’s Talmud Torahs. Starting in 1985, JDC also helped to fund a Jewish sleepaway camp for children from Budapest and the provinces at Lake Balaton, the first of its kind since World War II. Records of particular note include the January 1980 agreement signed by JDC and the Hungarian government, signaling JDC’s reentry into Hungary under its own name, and those detailing the Brookdale Study. In 1987, JDC received permission from the Hungarian government to bring in a team from Israel’s JDC-Brookdale Institute for Adult Human Development, an applied research institute established by JDC in Israel, to review the needs of the Hungarian Jewish elderly, thereby contributing to social welfare solutions while creating a bridge to Israel. Other significant materials include field reports by JDC country directors Michael Schneider, Diane Rosenbaum, and Asher Ostrin, and records which document the 10-year renovation of the spectacular Szeged synagogue. The materials are primarily in English, with some in Hungarian and German.

Series 1: Hungary: Administration

The Administration series documents the operations and oversight of JDC’s Hungary program and includes correspondence, reports, and financial materials. The Agreements and Policy and Strategy files detail JDC’s return to Hungary in 1980, and include the background research conducted prior to reentry. Also present is material about the opening of a JDC office in Budapest in 1989, nearly 10 years after JDC negotiated its re-entry into Hungary. Of particular note in this series is the original signed agreement that signaled JDC’s return to Hungary in 1980, as well as the field reports by JDC Hungary country directors Michael Schneider, Diane Rosenbaum, and Asher Ostrin. These reports describe the visits that each country director made and contain details on meetings with the Jewish community and progress updates on JDC-supported projects.

File HU.1: Hungary: Agreements, 1979-1980, 1982-1985
File HU.2: Hungary: Budapest Office, March-September 1989
File HU.3: Hungary: Field Reports, 1987-1989
File HU.4: Hungary: Field Reports, 1984-1986
File HU.5: Hungary: Field Reports, 1979, 1981-1983
File HU.6: Hungary: Financial, 1989
File HU.7: Hungary: Financial, 1988
File HU.8: Hungary: Financial, 1983-1987
File HU.9: Hungary: Financial, 1982-1986
File HU.10: Hungary: Financial, Capital Requests, August 11, 1987
File HU.11: Hungary: Financial, Program Planning, 1989
File HU.12: Hungary: Financial, Program Planning, 1988
File HU.13: Hungary: Financial, Program Planning, 1987
File HU.14: Hungary: Financial, Program Planning, 1984
File HU.15: Hungary: Financial, Program Planning, 1981-1983
File HU.16: Hungary: General Correspondence, 1979, 1981-1989
File HU.17: Hungary: Missions and Visits, 1981, 1983-1985, 1987-1989
File HU.18: Hungary: Policy and Strategy, 1979-1980, 1982, 1985, 1987-1989
File HU.19: Hungary: Policy and Strategy, 1976-1978

Series 2: Hungary: Organizations

The Jewish community operated a well-organized program both in Budapest and the provinces through the Magyar Izraeliták Országos Képviselete (MIOK), the Central Board of Hungarian Jews, and the Kozponti Szocialis Bizottsag (KSB), the Central Assistance Agency. Most of the JDC funds for social welfare services, including monthly cash assistance for individuals and a clothing distribution program, were disbursed to the KSB. The KSB also operated a health program in Budapest and in the provinces, which was subsidized by JDC, providing a range of medications not usually available in local pharmacies. Hungary was the only Eastern European country to have a Rabbinical Seminary. Students from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union, as well as Hungary, were enrolled there. The Seminary’s series includes correspondence, memos, and reports on the Seminary’s restoration, library, and the survey and preservation of the Seminary’s manuscripts and archives.

File HU.20: Hungary: Jewish Theological Seminary in Budapest, 1980-1989
File HU.21: Hungary: Kozponti Szocialis Bizottsag (KSB), 1976, 1978-1979, 1981-1982, 1985, 1987-1988
File HU.22: Hungary: Magyar Izraeliták Országos Képviselete (MIOK), 1976-1977, 1979, 1984-1989

Series 3: Hungary: Subject Matter

The Aged series documents the provision of aid to the aged population of Hungary. MIOK operated three homes for the aged and a holiday home on the shores of Lake Balaton, in addition to a day care program for the elderly that opened in 1981. JDC also contributed to the Orthodox community’s nursing facility. The bulk of the material, however, is on the Brookdale Study and the Jewish Hospital in Budapest. The Brookdale Study was conducted in 1987 by a team from the JDC-Brookdale Institute for Adult Human Development in Israel which reviewed the needs of the Hungarian Jewish elderly. Based on their recommendations, JDC began working with the community in 1988 to develop a small-scale home care service. Funds were also allocated to renovate the Alma Home for the Aged and for the construction of a new wing for the Jewish Hospital. The Cultural and Religious series reflects the attempts made to maintain Jewish religious life in Hungary. JDC provided the Hungarian Jewish community with religious supplies, supported the hiring of a Rabbi and a shochet (ritual slaughterer) for the Orthodox Jewish community, and participated in the restoration of the Szeged Synagogue (see also HU.35, item ID 1088770). The Religious Supplies file details the religious supplies sent to Hungary, including 5,000 siddurim (prayer books), knives for kosher slaughtering, and yarmulkes.

The Education series includes correspondence and reports on JDC’s educational policies as well as its educational initiatives in Hungary, including the provision of educational supplies for the Anne Frank Gymnasium and the hiring of a teacher for the Rabbinical Seminary and one of the community’s Talmud Torahs. The Relief and Welfare series contains material on KSB’s cash assistance program. Most of the recipients were elderly pensioners who, because of the Holocaust, did not work long enough to qualify for adequate pensions. KSB also maintained a clothing department in order to provide clients with warm clothing and shoes, which is documented in the Relief Supplies file. The Kosher Kitchens file details the construction of a new kitchen in Budapest, to which JDC contributed, which opened in September 1981 to replace one that was in a state of advanced deterioration. Operated by MIOK, the kitchen provided approximately 250,000 meals each year to the elderly. The Summer Camp series documents the search for a new campsite that would help to expand JDC’s sleepaway camp program at Lake Balaton. In 1985, the camp hosted 27 children from the provinces and Budapest. By 1988, 400 children participated in a four-week summer sleepaway camp. JDC negotiated to buy this new campsite in coordination with the Lauder Foundation.

File HU.23: Hungary: Subject Matter: Aged, 1976-1977, 1982, 1987-1989
File HU.24: Hungary: Subject Matter: Aged, Brookdale Study, April-August 1987
File HU.25: Hungary: Subject Matter: Aged, Jewish Hospital, 1975, 1987-1989
File HU.26: Hungary: Subject Matter: Cultural and Religious, 1980-1989
File HU.27: Hungary: Subject Matter: Cultural and Religious, 1978-1979, 1981-1986
File HU.28: Hungary: Subject Matter: Cultural and Religious, Religious Supplies, 1979-1981, 1984-1989
File HU.29: Hungary: Subject Matter: Education, 1983, 1985-1989
File HU.30: Hungary: Subject Matter: Relief and Welfare, Cash Assistance, 1979, 1982, 1984-1989
File HU.31: Hungary: Subject Matter: Aged, Kosher Kitchen, 1977-1982,1984-1985, 1987-1989
File HU.32: Hungary: Relief and Welfare, Relief Supplies,1979-1981, 1988-1989
File HU.33: Hungary: Summer Camp, 1979, 1982, 1984-1989

Series 4: Hungary: Localities

The Localities series documents the 10-year restoration of the synagogue in Szeged, which was financed through donations and with help from JDC. The series documents the fundraising efforts of former citizens of Szeged, details of the renovations – which began in 1979 – and the synagogue’s re-dedication ceremony in 1989.

File HU.34: Hungary: Localities: Szeged, 1987-1989
File HU.35: Hungary: Localities: Szeged, 1980-1989
File HU.36: Hungary: Localities: Szeged, Synagogue Blueprints (1 of 2), May 1982
File HU.37: Hungary: Localities: Szeged, Synagogue Blueprints (2 of 2), May 1982

Record Group: India

The India record group documents how, at the start of the time period described in this collection, JDC’s primary focus remained primarily on relief and welfare initiatives. However, beginning in the late 1980s, JDC India operations evolved into a more community-oriented program which prioritized education, youth activities, and the religious needs of the Jewish community. During this period, the population of Indian Jewry was estimated to be between 6,000 to 8,500 individuals. The majority of the community were Bene Israel – a historic community of Jews in India – who lived in Bombay, though there were also approximately 200 Jews in Calcutta, 25 in New Delhi, and around 300 other Bene Israel in various areas countrywide. The estimates of Iraqi Jews in India numbered between 150-200 individuals. A significant portion of JDC’s budget in India was allocated to the relief and welfare of elderly and indigent Jews. In 1984, country director Leon Leiberg – succeeded by Evelyn Peters in 1989 – visited India to assess the community’s welfare needs. Leiberg’s observations, detailed in the report of his visit, helped JDC establish its cash assistance program. This program included the provision of monthly welfare grants to around 70 cases, which amounted to over 100 individuals. JDC also gave financial support to the Day Care Center for the Aged in Bombay.

In the course of identifying resources to help finance these programs, JDC sought out dormant Jewish trusts in India which offered the potential for generating additional income for the Jewish community. In addition to its relief and welfare programs, JDC also directly ran and totally funded the ORT feeding programs and the ORT Boys’ Hostel. This partnership with ORT began in 1963, when JDC first started operating in India. JDC also pursued plans to expand youth activities and further improve the community infrastructure. Such plans included the selection of two Jewish Service Corps volunteers to work with the young Bene Israel Jews in Bombay and providing financial support of the Matheran Health Home as a resource for Indian Jewish youth. Materials are in English.

Series 1: India: Administration

The Administration series documents the operations and oversight of JDC’s India program through correspondence, reports, and financial materials. The Staff Lists file includes material detailing the recruitment of a Jewish Service Corps couple for India, a social worker and social work assistant, as well as the transition from Gerhard Gabriel to Nissim Ezekiel as JDC’s Honorary Representative in India. Material of note includes a report by JDC India’s country director, Leon Leiberg, upon his visit to India in the summer of 1984 to assess the welfare needs of the Jewish community; this report includes a Memorandum of Agreement, which agreed on the need to provide regular cash assistance to the needy. As a result of this study, JDC also hired a community worker to handle future assistance cases.

File IN.1: India: Financial, 1975-1989
File IN.2: India: General Correspondence, 1975, 1979, 1981,1984-1989
File IN.5: India: Reports, 1983-1989
File IN.6: India: Staff Lists, 1984-1985, 1988-1989

Series 2: India: Organizations

The Organizations series reflects JDC’s associations and partnerships with other Jewish organizations in India dealing with relief and welfare, as well as education. JDC supported the feeding of the ORT school students as well as the maintenance of the facilities. This includes provision of supplies and the repair of both the girls’ and the boys’ Hostels. JDC, however, was not involved in the ORT educational program, which included a three-year course in technical drawing/mechanics for boys and a two-year course in beauty care, hairdressing, and secretarial skills for girls. JDC also helped support the Jewish Welfare Association in New Delhi, and helped finance the completion of a library and Center for Jewish Studies in India’s capital. These additions were an annex to the Judah Hyam Hall, the Jewish synagogue in New Delhi. The Asia Pacific Jewish Association’s (APJA) file include reports on President Isi J. Leibler’s visit to India, as well as the proceedings of their regional conference, and summation of its overall activities. It was suggested that APJA represented a resource which could be available for partnering programs in India.

File IN.7: India: Asia Pacific Jewish Association, 1983, 1987-1988
File IN.8: India: Jewish Welfare Association, 1975, 1978-1985,1987-1988
File IN.9: India: World ORT Union, 1970, 1985, 1987-1989

Series 3: India: Subject Matter

The Subject Matter series reflects the various programmatic aspects of JDC’s operations in India. The bulk of the material in this series relates to JDC’s relief and welfare initiatives. Cash assistance, including medical expenses assistance, was incorporated in the JDC program in 1984 after Carmel Berkson of the Friends of Indian Jews directed attention to unmet needs. By 1989, over 100 aged, homeless, and/or destitute individuals were receiving monthly cash assistance grants from JDC. Bombay’s Day Care Center for the Aged was established in and rented from Temple Rodef Shalom (Jewish Religious Union) in 1968 and offered daily hot meals, facilities for bathing, and specialized care for the aged. Of great personal concern to Ralph Goldman was the state of Jewish community properties around the world, India being no exception, primarily for the local Jewish community to have the benefit of whatever belonged to the community. In a similar vein, the search for dormant Jewish trusts in India offered the potential for generating additional income for the Jewish community. The Cultural and Religious series includes documents the provision of religious supplies to the Jewish community, such as religious texts, taleisim (prayer shawls), and matzah for Passover. The series also includes information on the training of a shochet (ritual slaughterer) and mohel (a Jewish person trained in the practice of circumcision). The Education series includes reports, project proposals, and correspondence documenting the state of Jewish education in India and JDC’s strides to develop more initiatives in that area. This included the arrival the Jewish Service Corps volunteers, whose assignment was to organize educational, cultural, social, and religious programming for the Bene Israel youth. With the help of JDC and other grants, the Bombay community redid the Matheran Health Home in Mathuran so that it can be used for camps and retreats for Jewish youth groups.

File IN.10: India: Social Welfare, 1984-1985,1987-1988
File IN.11: India: Social Welfare, Aged, 1978-1979, 1983-1989
File IN.12: India: Social Welfare, Bene-Israel Home for Destitutes and Orphans, 1952, 1966-1967, 1971, 1984
File IN.16: India: Community Property and Trusts, 1984-1989
File IN.17: India: Cultural and Religious, 1975, 1984-1985, 1987-1989
File IN.18: India: Education, 1985, 1988-1989

Series 4: India: Localities

The Localities series includes material on the Jews of Manipur, whose claims of Judaism were contested by rabbinical authorities in Israel. The Jews of Manipur, as well as those in Mizoram, considered themselves Jewish and adhered strictly to their religious precepts, despite the absence of a Rabbi. They requested religious supplies to educate themselves, and many wished to immigrate to Israel. This file documents the history of this group’s claim and illustrates the debate surrounding it.

File IN.14: India: Localities: Manipur, 1976-1977, 1987-1988
File IN.15: India: Localities: Thane, 1987-1988

Record Group: Indonesia

The Indonesia record group includes one file containing material on Passover supplies at matzot for the Jewish families in Surabaya in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Jewish Association.

File ID.1: Indonesia: Matzoh, 1987-1989

Record Group: Iran

The Iran record group describes JDC’s relief operations for approximately 18,000 beneficiaries, out of an overall Jewish population of about 75,000. The majority of expenditures went towards Jewish education, school feeding programs, health services, and youth activities. Clinics provided medical care in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz, with limited medical services also available in the smaller towns of Hamadan, Kerman, and Yazd. A feeding program provided a hot lunch on every school day for almost 4,000 children in 12 schools in Tehran and the provinces. A social welfare office in Tehran cared for around 1,200 people and direct cash relief as well as winter and Passover relief was granted to most of its clients. Nearly 200 elderly people were cared for in meals-on-wheels programs which operated in Tehran and also in the provinces. Some 400 preschool age children attended day care centers in Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan. JDC funding enables 19,000 students to receive both secular and vocational education and instruction in Hebrew and in Judaism in the schools of the Ozar Hatorah, the Alliance Israelite Universelle, and ORT. JDC operations end in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution and the overthrow of the Shah.

File IR.1: Iran: Administration: Program Planning and Budget, 1978
File IR.2: Iran: Administration: Program Planning and Budget, 1976
File IR.3: Iran: Administration: Program Planning and Budget, 1975
File IR.4: Iran: Administration: Program Planning and Budget: Financial, June 1975-April 1977
File IR.5: Iran: Administration: Program Planning and Budget: Financial, May 1977-December 1978
File IR.6: Iran: Administration: Program Planning and Budget: Financial, Staff Costs, 1975-1978
File IR.7: Iran: Orgs: Alliance Israelite Universelle, 1975-1978
File IR.9: Iran: Orgs: Ozar HaTorah, 1978
File IR.10: Iran: Orgs: Ozar HaTorah, 1975-1977
File IR.11: Iran: Subject Matter: Community Centers, 1976-1978
File IR.14: Iran: Day Care, 1975-1978
File IR.15: Iran: Disasters, 1978-1981
File IR.16: Iran: Education, 1975-1978
File IR.17: Iran: Elderly, 1976-1977
File IR.18: Iran: Feeding Programs, 1978
File IR.19: Iran: Feeding Programs, 1977
File IR.20: Iran: Medical, 1977-1978
File IR.21: Iran: Medical, Kanoun Kheir Khan Hospital, 1977-1989
File IR.22: Iran: Students, 1977-1978

Record Group: Iraq

File IE.1: Ireland: Jewish Home of Ireland, 1985-1988

Record Group: Ireland

This record group is comprised of one file and includes correspondence between the Jewish Home of Ireland and JDC regarding the Home’s request for financial assistance.

File IE.1: Ireland: Jewish Home of Ireland, 1985-1988

Cataloguing and digitization of this collection was made possible by generous donations from: John Colman, Donald M. and Sylvia Robinson, Marshall M. Weinberg, and an anonymous donor.

Archives of The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.

Email: [email protected]