Founded during WW1 when US Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau Sr. wired New York philanthropist Jacob Schiff to ask for aid to help Jews suffering in Ottomon Palestine, JDC was the first Jewish organisation in the U.S.A to provide large-scale funding for international relief. Today, JDC is the leading humanitarian organisation, working in 70 countries to lift lives and strengthen communities.
Here in Australia…The Joint Australia, which launched in September 2012, is the first official branch of the organisation outside Israel and North America. The Joint Australia was formed to promote the work of The Joint and raise funds to support its ongoing mission of rescue, relief and renewal of Jewish life across the globe.
In response to the onset of World War I and the devastation it wreaks on thousands of Jewish communities in war-torn regions, the newly-formed American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee initiates massive relief projects in Palestine to sustain fragile communities and across Eastern Europe to support communities devastated by the war.
JDC expands its postwar relief efforts in Eastern Europe, including establishing Jewish health and welfare societies in Poland and the Soviet Union and funding public health programs in Lithuania and Romania. In Palestine, JDC begins to extend subsidies to public health organizations and promotes economic and agricultural development.
Under the threat of imminent war, JDC’s multi-faceted support to the German Jewish community becomes even more critical as restrictions passed by the Nazi government render German Jews unable to continue their education or earn a livelihood. In response to this catastrophic situation, JDC draws upon its resources to rescue and aid refugees in their flight from Nazi Europe to locations across the globe. JDC
As World War II ends, JDC marshals its forces to meet a crisis of staggering proportions for world Jewry. Its vast relief and rehabilitation programs serve hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors worldwide, whether in Displaced Persons camps in Europe or forming the first waves of immigration to the new State of Israel. In Israel, JDC forms a unique partnership with the fledgling government to
Grappling with the trauma of the aftermath of the Holocaust and the unprecedented needs in Israel, JDC is extensively involved with supporting every facet of immigration to the new state, from financing dramatic rescue operations to operating programs that facilitate immigrant integration into Israeli society. Amid these dramatic developments for world Jewry, JDC continues to assist Jewish communities in Muslim countries and to help with
JDC’s partnership with the Israeli government to develop strategic interventions in social service programs for a broad spectrum of populations continues to expand, enabling Israel to meet the needs of its diverse communities. JDC in Europe helps communities to welcome Jewish refugees from North Africa and Poland and to develop social services to assist in their absorption.
JDC provides relief in Vienna and Rome for Soviet Jews in transit and is able to respond compassionately to a backlog of thousands of Soviet Jewish émigrés awaiting visas. JDC changes its mode of operation in Israel, establishing JDC-Israel, and continues to work in partnership with the government to address social needs. JDC continues to respond to non-sectarian emergencies and is a founding member of
Permitted to re-enter East European countries to respond to the needs of Holocaust survivors and other vulnerable populations, JDC partners with local Jewish communities to strengthen communal infrastructure and to help the needy. JDC’s long history of providing non-sectarian aid culminates in the formal establishment of its International Development Program in 1986.
The fall of Communism and the dissolution of the former Soviet Union galvanize JDC in efforts to rebuild and reinvigorate Jewish communities throughout the region, and to assist Soviet Jewry in rediscovering their Jewish heritage. JDC responds to emergency situations in the Balkans and helps to rescue Jews from Ethiopia and elsewhere. JDC works extensively in Vienna and Rome to support a comprehensive relief program
JDC assists the Argentine Jewish community devastated by the economic collapse and quickly develops a comprehensive emergency program. JDC Open Mailboxes fuel a massive relief response to the 2004 South Asia tsunami and other natural disasters. With the formation of the European Community, JDC works to connect Jewish communities across Europe and globally.
From Africa to Armenia and as far as Australia, we have been working to rekindle what was nearly extinguished for over 100 years.
Eva Fischl is President of Joint Australia (JDC Australia) and is on the International Board and Executive of JDC. Prior to The Joint, Eva was President of Jewish Care Australia and Jewish Care New South Wales. In 2011, Eva stepped down as President and was appointed Patron of Jewish Care.
Previous positions and memberships also include, Board of Governors of Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA), NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Federal Executive of National WIZO and Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
Kevin owns a portfolio of businesses across the vocational education, higher education, childcare, energy procurement and property services sectors.
Kevin holds a Bachelor degree in Commerce (UNSW) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance (SIA). Kevin has a long history of involvement in community based organisations and has been Vice President of the Joint in Australia since January 2017.
Philip comes to JDC with vast experience in the Australian Jewish community where he was the founding Director of the Communal Security Groups (CSG) in Australia and New Zealand. At CSG, Philip served as a volunteer leader and then as the lead professional for over 20 years to build the organisation that provided security and protection for the entire organised Jewish community.
Brett Kaye is the Director of The Joint Australia (JDC) Victoria. Brett, who is the Cantor at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation, and brings to the role close to 30 years of experience in Jewish communal engagement through his varying roles in Jewish Educational Leadership and Synagogue involvement. He has led many trips to destinations around the globe, highlighting the life-changing work that the Joint undertakes in each of the locations that are visited.
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