When the Russia-Georgia conflict erupted on August 7, JDC’s expertise and long history in rescuing Jews in times of crisis enabled us to mobilize our resources and respond immediately. Dispatching additional staff to supplement our local team already in the region, JDC was there the next day; we were one of the first agencies on the ground, and in some areas, the only agency present. Eight JDC staff people are currently on the ground in Georgia, Vladikavkaz, and Rostov coordinating and executing relief operations with local Hesedim and community partners. These dedicated staff members continue to seek out and assist Jewish refugees who may have escaped from Georgia and South Ossetia on their own.
To help ensure the well-being of the nearly 3,000 Georgians currently served by JDC, our staff moved quickly to provide victims with humanitarian aid packages, helping them find shelter and immediately moving them to safer regions. Today, JDC estimates that 300 Jews served by JDC on a regular basis have fled their homes and are now refugees in Tbilisi. In regions that are closed or difficult to enter, JDC has enhanced the use of its "Smart Card"—a program which enables needy local people to buy food in their local supermarkets using a food card. And, where Jews have already fled, JDC has been helping absorb locals, developing networks of volunteers to distribute and help the often-traumatized victims of this war.
Victims of the crisis who are in reach of JDC's Aid Headquarters located in Tbilisi's Jewish Home are being provided with personal hygiene products and home goods in addition to much-needed food and water. (photo and caption from JDC)\