My name is Adrian and I am a JDC Entwine Fellow spending the year in Helsinki, Finland, working with the Jewish community.
I’m a recent graduate of Emory University with a degree in Biology and English. I’m currently applying to law schools and plan to attend following my year with the Jewish Service Corps. Click here for more about me.
JEWISH SERVICE CORPS
The Jewish Service Corps (JSC) provides an opportunity for young Jews to serve with the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization through year-long, paid, individual service opportunities where JDC works around the world. JSC fellows are catalysts for change, creating and facilitating innovative programs that respond to pressing Jewish and humanitarian challenges around the world. Click here for more information on the Jewish Service Corps.
About 1,500 Jews live in Finland, the majority of whom live in Helsinki. In the 1800s, Russian Jews emigrated to Finland as traders and merchants. In 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, but Finnish forces were able to hold off an invasion (Finland was previously occupied by Sweden and Russia and declared independence in 1917). During the second half of World War II, Finland was primarily concerned with keeping the Soviets at bay, and launched attacks simultaneous with Germany’s. Finland refused to consider itself an ally with Germany. By 1944, President Mannerheim signed an agreement with the Allies, causing Germany to attack. Heinrich Himmler made two visits to Finland to try and persuade them to hand over their Jews, but Mannerheim refused. Today, about 70% of Finland’s Jews were born in the country. Some Jews arrived more recently from Russia, Israel and the United States. For more information about the history of the Jewish community, check out Hadassah’s guide to Jewish Helsinki.
THE AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE
The Jewish Service Corps is a part of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). JDC is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian organization and is active in more than 70 countries today. Over the past century, the organization has worked to combat poverty and crisis around the globe.
The JDC was founded in 1914 to provide assistance to Jews living under Ottoman rule in Palestine. Since then, the the organization has been instrumental in global relief efforts. In the wake of World War I, the JDC provided aid to millions of Jews in Eastern Europe. During the Holocaust, the JDC supported efforts enabling hundreds of thousands of Jews to escape Germany prior to 1939. The JDC also played a central role in Operation Solomon in 1991, which airlifted tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in two days. Today, the JDC’s reach spans throughout the world, and the organization is committed to revitalizing Jewish life. Read more about the JDC’s work here and here.
The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
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