Chanukah in photos, from the JDC archives


For Chanukah, we went fishing in the photo archive of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. We came up with eight photos that tell the story not just of this holiday, but — along with corresponding articles from the JTA Archive — the story for the Jewish people. (Thanks to JDC archivist Naomi Barth for the research assistance.)

1. Chanukah play in the Children’s Home. La Paz, Bolivia. 1942

One day after Chanukah in 1942, Bolivian workers observed a global moment of silence for Jewish victims in Europe.

2.  A young Polish Jewish refugee prepares for Chanukah. France. c.1947.

3. Hungarian Jewish youngsters assisted by JDC light the menorah. Salzburg, Austria, 1956.

Two days before Chanukah in 1956, JTA reported that the JDC was sheltering some 500 Hungarian Jews in Linz and Salzburg.

4. Young muscular dystrophy patients light the first Chanukah candle in the JDC-supported Alyn Hospital for Handicapped Children. Jerusalem, Israel. c.1981.

5. Refugee children in costume for a Chanukah play. Shanghai, China. c.1941-45.

After finding refuge in Shanghai during WWII, Jews were ordered to leave one month after Chanukah.

6. Chanukah in JDC-supported day care center. Sefrou, Morocco. 1960

A 1961 census showed that 14 percent of the Jewish population in Morocco lived in Sefrou.

7. Yemenite Jewish refugees in the JDC transient camp celebrate the first night of Chanukah with a makeshift menorah. Aden. c1949.

On Nov. 6, 1949, a couple of weeks before Chanukah, the JDC announced that it had airlifted 29,000 Jews from Aden in recent months.

8. A woman and a child lighting a menorah for Chanukah. Former Soviet Union, 1992.

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