Jewish Family Outside Their Temporary Home, Poland


In this photograph, members of a Jewish family that had been forced to flee their town pose outside their temporary home, a crude structure located on the road between Kowel and Rowne, Poland (present-day Kovel and Rovne or Rivne, Ukraine). In the years immediately following World War I, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) sent field representatives to Poland. They not only worked to provide relief and rehabilitation to destitute Jews but also investigated local conditions and needs in order to plan future aid efforts, which included support for existing community organizations and the establishment of new ones. Among the first medical team of JDC representatives was Max Colton, a physician, who took this photograph as part of his documentation of the work of the medical unit and the communities where it worked. The JDC was founded by American Jews in New York City to help destitute Jews in Europe and Palestine impacted by World War I. Since 1914, the JDC has operated as a global humanitarian organization, providing food, clothing, medicine, child care, job training, and refugee assistance in more than 90 countries. The JDC Archives contain photographs, documents, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts documenting the organization’s work.

Last updated: March 17, 2016