JDC's Baby Help Day Care Program In Argentina Helps Increase Jewish Affiliation

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Originally launched to provide day-care services for impoverished Jewish parents in the aftermath of the financial collapse in Argentina, JDC's Baby Help program is helping to increase affiliation to the Jewish community in Buenos Aires. This year alone, 70% of the 600 participants in Baby Help have become involved in Jewish communal institutions, celebrations and religious activities.

By helping to ensure that financially strapped families who could not fully focus on Jewish education reconnect to the Jewish community through their children, Baby Help opens the doors to greater Jewish identity

Originally launched to provide day-care services for impoverished Jewish parents in the aftermath of the financial collapse in Argentina, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Baby Help program is helping to increase affiliation to the Jewish community in Buenos Aires. This year alone, 70% of the 600 participants in Baby Help have become involved in Jewish communal institutions, celebrations and religious activities.

“By helping to ensure that financially strapped families who could not fully focus on Jewish education reconnect to the Jewish community through their children, Baby Help opens the doors to greater Jewish identity,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

Argentina is home to 200,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Latin America. In the aftermath of the country’s financial collapse in 2001, nearly one-third of Argentine Jews fell below the poverty line. JDC, with the support of the Jewish Federation system, provided multiple services, including the successful Ariel Job Center, to help the community get back on its feet. Baby Help, as part of these services, provides day care and diapers, formula, vitamins, and medications for young children, as well as holiday celebrations and basic Jewish education.

In Buenos Aires, one of the thousands of women served by Baby Help is named Cynthia, a young mother who was struggling to put food on the table and to purchase clothes and medicine. Cynthia says, “To see my daughter grow and learn at Baby Help reminds us of her grandfather, who as a child was in a post-Holocaust refugee camp. To belong to Baby Help means to continue our grandfather’s story and strengthen our values.”

About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
Since 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has given global expression to the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another. Working today in over 70 countries, JDC acts on behalf of North America’s Jewish communities and others to rescue Jews in danger, provide relief to those in distress, revitalize overseas Jewish communities and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens. JDC also provides non-sectarian emergency relief and long-term development assistance worldwide. For more information, please log on to: http://www.JDC.org.

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