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Museum chronicles 100 years of humanitarian group

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 12, 2014 at 9:34 am •  Published: June 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — A 100-year-old humanitarian assistance organization that helps Jews and non-Jews around the world is the focus of an exhibition opening Friday at the New-York Historical Society.

"I Live. Send Help" chronicles the work of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) through photographs, artifacts, films and audio recordings.

The JDC was founded in New York in 1914 to help Jews in the Middle East and Europe suffering at the beginning of World War I. As new crises emerged, it expanded its efforts to more than 70 countries. More recently, it distributed relief supplies to typhoon victims in the Philippines and currently offers cultural and educational opportunities to the Jewish community in Ukraine.

Among the exhibition highlights is a 1921 photograph showing painter Marc Chagall posing with teachers and children outside a JDC-run school for war orphans outside Moscow. Years later, in 1941, through JDC's efforts, Chagall and his wife, Bella, escaped war-torn Europe aboard the SS Mouzhino that carried 798 other passengers from Lisbon, Portugal, to the United States.

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