Early Palestine

Answering an urgent call for help in 1914, JDC brought critical assistance to Jews in the Yishuv in Palestine throughout the First World War. JDC helped battle hunger and malnutrition by providing meals for the poor and elderly and nutritional support for children. Following the war, JDC worked hand in hand with the local community to ensure a wide array of services, including health care for the general population, child care for orphans, and vocational and agricultural training programs to provide livelihoods and sustenance for the new generation.




Poor people, many of them children, wait for food at the Dreyfus soup kitchen, which serves about 900 meals a day. Jerusalem, Palestine. 1921




Crowds of the elderly, poor and disabled congregate in front of the Jerusalem relief office. Jerusalem, Palestine. 1921




Women and children line the stairs at a Hadassah food distribution center. Jerusalem, Palestine. c.1920




Elderly men at the Sephardic Old Age Home (Beth Zakenim Hasephardi). Jerusalem, Palestine. 1921




Elderly residents of the Sephardic Old Age Home (Beth Zakenim Hasephardi). Jerusalem, Palestine. 1921




Two orphaned sisters arrived in Jaffa on the first boat bringing refugees from Russia. Jaffa, Palestine 1921




Young girl who received aid from the Palestine Orphan Committee. Jerusalem, Palestine. 1923




Young boy who received aid from the Palestine Orphan Committee. Jerusalem, Palestine. 1923




Nurse bandaging a patient in clinic. Nazareth, Palestine. 1920s




At a free community clinic, patients wait for a doctor’s attention. Palestine, c. 1920.




A blind girl examines a wall map during a class at the Jewish Blind Institute (Beth Chinuch Ivrim). Jerusalem. Palestine. 1921




The orchestra practices outside the Jewish Blind Institute (Beth Chinuch Ivrim). Jerusalem, Palestine. 1921




Girls learn basic housekeeping skills at the Household School of the Nathan Straus Foundation in Jerusalem. Palestine. 1921




Grandparents and their grandchildren cultivate a garden in the Gdud Avodah, a new settlement near Jerusalem. Gdud Avodah, Palestine 1921




Laborers learn new skills at the workrooms of the Nathan Straus Foundation. Jerusalem, Palestine. c.1921




Nurses care for infants and children at the Aliza Maon Infants Orphanage. Palestine. c.1923




Basket and mat workshop for the elderly founded by the JDC towards the end of 1920 to enable the elderly to earn income. Jerusalem, Palestine. 1921




Teacher with children walking in line outside village. Palestine. 1920’s




Nursery school. Palestine. 1920’s