In the early 1940s, thousands of Jews escaped Nazi-ruled Germany by immigrating to the Dominican Republic, where the JDC established the Dominican Republic Settlement Association and its settlement in Sosúa. Among them were the grandparents of Boca Raton resident Eduardo Koenig.

Years later, his wife would learn more about her in-laws’ story in the JDC Archives.

“Pictured are my husband’s grandparents,” said Jennifer Koenig, who is the Chief Development Officer for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “Here, they are working to establish businesses and industries in the Dominican Republic that still exist today.”

Recently, the JDC Archives announced the online availability of two new projects that may help more Jewish families, like the Koenigs, trace their past, including their emigration journeys.

The JDC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of SPBC. Its historical archives and ongoing support of Jewish communities, in Israel and around the world, are made possible by your donations to the Federation’s Annual Campaign.

Finding families who emigrated from the Soviet Union during the Cold War era

The JDC Archives has initiated a major new indexing project, the first portion of which is now available online for family researchers. The project will create a complete index of transmigrant case files from the JDC offices in Vienna and Rome from 1946 to 1988. These files represent a major genealogical resource, primarily for those whose families emigrated from the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, but also including émigrés from Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1968-1969, Hungary, Romania, and other countries of the Eastern bloc, as well as those from Egypt, Libya, and other Muslim countries, who were principally assisted by the Rome office. JDC Archives:

Locating those who fled Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring

The JDC Archives has added records to its Names Index of Jews who fled Czechoslovakia during and immediately following the Prague Spring of 1968 and were assisted by JDC. The data is from a set of 1,400 Emigration Service index cards from the AJDC office in Vienna, where the émigré families had registered for assistance. Archives Czech Names Index:

What else the JDC does: In addition to the Archives, the JDC provides Jews with support during difficult times, as it did for Zoja Gor, who lost her Estonia business during the pandemic. View her story here: