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AJDC Archive - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Title: AJDC Archive - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Inclusive Dates: 1919-1950
ID: RG 335 
expand icon Extent Information
30 ft. 8 inches and 160 microfilm reels
expand icon Administrative/Biographical History

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. An organization, with headquarters in New York, active since 1914 in relief programs for Jewish communities around the world. Founded during World War I to help Jews suffering from the ravages of war, the AJDC represented the concerted efforts of three separate Jewish organizations. These were: the American Jewish Relief Committee, founded by prominent Jews of German background; the Central Relief, founded by Orthodox Jewish leaders; and the People's Relief, representing labor. In the post-World War I period the JDC, as it was commmonly called, provided financial support, distributed food, set up health-care institutions and schools, created interest-free loan societies, and supported Jewish local and international service organizations in Europe and Palestine.

Following the revolution and the civil war in Russia, 1917-1920, the JDC joined the American Relief Administration in 1920 to improve living conditions for impoverished Jewish masses inside the Soviet Union. In 1924 the JDC formed a separate organization, called the American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation (also known as the Agro-Joint), to continue its work in the Soviet Union. The Agro-Joint carried out its activities in the USSR until 1939.

In 1924, the JDC, together with the Jewish Colonization Association, founded the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation (AJRF) to help rebuild the economy in Eastern Europe through the establishment of cooperative credit institutions and savings banks. By 1931, over 700 loan cooperatives were being supported by the AJRF.

From 1933 until the end of World War II, the JDC was involved in helping refugees from Nazi persecution. In addition, the JDC financed the relief activities of the immigration organization HICEM and was also involved in wartime rescue activities.

Between 1945 and 1952, the JDC concentrated its efforts on aiding displaced persons in the camps in Germany, Austria and Italy, as well as providing transportation costs for Jews immigrating to Israel. From the 1950s through the 1970s, the JDC maintained programs in North Africa, Israel, Europe and Latin America.

Officers of the JDC included Felix Warburg, Paul Baerwald, Herbert Lehman, James Rosenberg, Julius Rosenwald, Joseph C. Hyman, Bernard Kahn.

expand icon Finding Aid Information
Look for finding aids under each separate AJDC subgroup.
expand icon Administrative Information
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Collection Material Type: Official Records
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