JDC Archives Webinar by Ethell Gershengorin " Aiding Their 'Unfortunate Brethren': The JDC’s Activities on Behalf of Eastern European Jewish Children, 1919-1929"

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023 

12pm-1:30pm (Eastern) 


The JDC offered crucial aid to Jewish children in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and the Soviet Union after World War I. JDC country directors, doctors, and social workers, concerned about the fate of Eastern European Jews, established programs on behalf of children whom they believed were the future of world Jewry. Drawing on JDC archival records, this presentation will consider such questions as: What was the JDC’s view of the needs and abilities of this population? How did they seek to address them? What dynamics and intellectual currents affected the way these JDC workers perceived local Jews and their attempts to aid them? How did the JDC understand and express their role as the “protectors” and “benefactors” of Eastern European Jewry? 

This webinar is the fourth program in the JDC Archives Series on Young Lives in Turmoil and Transformation: JDC’s Work with Children in the Twentieth Century

Ethell Gershengorin is a Ph.D. candidate in Imperial Russian and Soviet History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Specifically, she works in the fields of gender and women’s history, material culture, and Jewish studies. This year, she is conducting research as a Rifkind Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York. Ethell is the recipient of the 2022 Max and Cecil (Steuer) Chesin/JDC Archives Fellowship. Her research in the JDC Archives deals with medical aid directed toward Jewish women and children in interwar Eastern Europe.  


Categories: Lecture