• Issue: June 1984
  • Designer: A. Hecht
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 84
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee - the "Joint" as it is affectionately known around the world - was established on November 27, 1914 to aid Jews in Palestine and Eastern Europe trapped in the war zones of World War I.

It began with a cable sent in August 1914 to Jacob Schiff of New York by Henry Morgenthau Sr, Ambassador of the United States to Turkey, appealing to American Jewry for $50,000 to aid the Jewish colonists in the Holy Land whose position had become desperate. The money was quickly raised and the JDC duly established.

From that day on, the JDC has served as the overseas philanthropic arm of the American Jewish community, providing life-saving and life-sustaining programmes and services for Jewish communities in every corner of the earth. The number of people aided reaches into the millions and there has been a JDC presence at one time or another in over 70 countries.

A single criterion has guided the JDC in its activities through the years-Jews in need should be helped and should be helped to live as Jews.

Assistance has taken many forms in accordance with the specific needs of the time and place. In the period following the Holocaust, the major need was for basic relief first, and then rehabilitation and education. In East European countries today, where there are many elderly and sick survivors, the need is for life-maintaining programmes, while in Western Europe and North Africa, with many young people, the emphasis is on Jewish education.

JDC activities in Israel have also been a dynamic, constantly changing force. With the creation of the State in 1948, the Joint helped Holocaust survivors enter Israel and adjust to their new life and in 1949 set up MALBEN to help care for the large number of aged, many of whom were sick or handicapped, reaching Israel's shores. In the early 1950's, when a flood of aged immigrants arrived from Moslem countries, MALBEN was ready.

Today, JDC Israel sponsors over 150 programmes, and though it no longer operates MALBEN, it supports the aged through ESHEL - the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged - and the JDC/Brookdale Institute engaged in long-term research on the needs of the aged. Other JDC programmes aid Community Centers and Yeshivas as well as the socially, mentally and physically handicapped. Yet another key area of interest is manpower development in the social services.

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70th anniversary of the JDC