Friday, July 5, 2013

Your Federation Gift at Work - JDC in Greece

Dear friend of JDC,

Of all the countries plagued by Europe’s economic crisis, Greece has stood out in the headlines. After five years of economic contraction, the country continues to buckle under bailout-imposed austerity measures, plunging living standards, and soaring unemployment rates. Add to that political extremism and social unrest and one understands why this ancient nation has been exposed to the global spotlight.

Under those circumstances I traveled to Athens three weeks ago and found the city’s 3,000-member Jewish community—like all of Greece—struggling, but determined to forge ahead.

As many of you well know, JDC, with Jewish Federations of North America support, has been leading a global consortium of Jewish organizations, communities, and philanthropists who’ve extended help to this financially strapped community over the past two years.

And while my visit was in many ways a statement of solidarity, bolstered by a JDC Board mission that took place just a few days before, I believe our presence in Athens was even more poignant because it provided insight into the juxtaposition between the crippling challenges besetting Greece and a Jewish community proudly weathering that storm.

To read more about the unfolding situation in Greece and the insights gained from our visits, please click here.

Till the next time,

Alan H. Gill

Chief Executive Officer - JDC


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