Since JDC’s (Jewish Distribution Committee) establishment in 1914, they have operated with a deep understanding that their responsibility to assist the less fortunate is not limited to the Jewish community. In times of crisis, JDC’s non-sectarian operational arm fulfills a paramount function in both assisting additional communities in affected areas, as well as equipping a Jewish community to serve as an agent of “tikkun olam,”— helping strengthen their community in its time of need. To that end, JDC is working with partners in Israel and around the world, in collaboration with key local partners (e.g., hospitals) to identify clear and dire needs. JDC will transport humanitarian aid, food, and medications to relief organizations lacking these essential and life-saving supplies.

JDC was one of the first organizations to respond after the earthquake in Turkey.  With funding from Grand Circle Foundation and the Lewis family, they were able to set up temporary shelters, providing tents and 2,000 hot meals per day working with the International Blue Cresent in the first two weeks.

JDC then worked with the Turkish Ministry of Health to identify where a medical response would have the most significant impact in helping to mitigate public health risks and helping earthquake victims access essential medical services.

With help from GCF they were able to procure and equip a mobile lab to be deployed and travel in areas at high risk, staffed by public health professionals.  The earthquake destroyed 350 ambulances and 19 area hospitals and clinics, so this lab was able to relieve some of the strain on health services, offering vaccinations, testing for infectious diseases and taking/evaluating samples from water sources in affected areas.