Our Stories

Jewish Renewal

Jewish youth celebrate in a community bar and bat mitzvah celebration.

 Ulan Ude, Siberia, Russia, July 2007.

For over a century, JDC has responded to both material and cultural needs, bound by the inextricable link between the physical and spiritual in Jewish tradition. From the interwar period to the Displaced Persons camps following World War II, JDC’s work included reestablishing Jewish schools and enhancing Jewish cultural activities and religious observances through the provision of Torah scrolls, books, and holiday supplies. It aided the rabbis and yeshiva students who fled from Lithuania to Japan and then Shanghai to escape the Holocaust, later ensuring that their schools could be reestablished in Israel. It helped support those who kept the embers of Jewish life glowing behind the Iron Curtain, fostering the renewal of Jewish life in the post-Communist world and in distant communities through Jewish camps, JCCs, schools, youth groups, and other initiatives.