American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Inc., Kiev Office
Since 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc. (JDC) has served as a trusted partner in building and maintaining strong communities for Jews all over the world. Active today in more than 70 countries, JDC serves the needs of Jews, particularly where there are people or communities at risk. JDC operates on the principles of choice, professional excellence and community self-sufficiency. Inspired by the spirit of tikkun olam, the Jewish moral responsibility to improve the human condition for all global citizens, JDC provides non-sectarian disaster relief and long-term development assistance worldwide. Immediate action is taken to provide an emergency response to the most vulnerable victims of man-made or natural disasters, such as earthquakes, famine, or war. During the Soviet Era most Jews in Ukraine lost almost all ties to their heritage. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it left the economy in Ukraine in ruins. Since JDC returned to Ukraine in 1988, our goal has been to provide social services to impoverished, elderly and to help renew the link to Jewish life. Despite severe economic hardships, the Jews of Ukraine are increasingly reclaiming their heritage, building strong community organizations, and caring for their impoverished elderly. Their lifeline has been, and continues to be, JDC. For more than a decade, JDC has been helping the communities of Ukraine to take care for their elderly and build strong centers of community life. The enthusiasm and dedication of Ukrainian volunteers and case workers has been truly inspiring. With JDC's support, they have created and continue to expand informal education and social service programs throughout Ukraine. There are now 38 Hesed Centers in Ukraine which serve thousands of community members. Through the Children's Initiative, the urgent needs of the Jewish children are being addressed. For a great number of impoverished, and at-risk children, food, medical care, clothing and school books are out of their reach. JDC offers aid to these children - giving them hope for the future. Many thousands of Ukrainian Jews are still lost to the Jewish world and JDC is working to renew their affiliation with Jewish life.