NEW YORK, NY, April 8, 2010–The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, has been continuously monitoring the safety and working to ensure the ongoing care of its Jewish community clients in Kyrgyzstan during the recent political crisis. To date, there have been no reported injuries to the country’s Jewish community.
“As events unfold, we are in constant communication with JDC's staff in the country and continue to maintain uninterrupted the critical services we provide for Kyrgyzstan’s Jewish elderly,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. “We are concerned at the possible impact of the situation on the Jewish population. In Kyrgyzstan, as everywhere else in the world, our first call is helping Jews in need, distress or danger.”
Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous country bordering Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China, is home to an estimated 1,300 Jews. Most of the Jews are concentrated in the nation's capital, Bishkek. Jews can also be found in 10 other locations throughout the country.
As part of its long-standing work with the Jewish community, JDC supports the local Hesed welfare center in Bishkek which provides food and medicine and home care to the community, as well as a Jewish library, a program for family education, among other aid and Jewish renewal programs for elderly and children at risk.