RELIGION
04/18/2014 01:03 pm ET Updated Apr 22, 2014

Vintage Passover Photos Are A Nostalgic Journey Through Jewish History Around The World

JDC

As Jews worldwide observe Passover, they remember the story of the Exodus, celebrating their liberation and shared history.

Passover has been commemorated the same way for many years, with ritualized meals of unleavened bread and cups of wine. These seders feature items of symbolic importance as families recite the haggadah, the story of their ancestor's dramatic escape from bondage.

The way that Passover has been observed through the ages is as much a part of Jewish history as the ancient tale itself.

Honoring this legacy, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee collected images of Passover-related archival photos taken over the past ten decades, to commemorate their 100th year of work. The JDC conducts hundreds of community seders worldwide, distributing matzah, holiday packages, and gifts to poor and elderly Jews all over the world. The relief organization believes that "all Jews are responsible for one another and for improving the well-being of vulnerable people around the world."

  • A young Jewish girl in the JDC-supported Berlin-Mariendorf DP Camp shares matzahs with Captain J. Robbins, Jewish Chaplain for Berlin. Berlin, c 1946.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Refugee and French Jewish orphans happily celebrate Passover together in 1947 France.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • A JDC-created matzah baking factory at work soon after the fall of Communism, which forbid Jewish celebration for 70 years. Kiev, 1994.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Yemeni Jews celebrate the Passover seder at a JDC Home for Seniors. Shaar-Menashe, Israel, 1960
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • A young Jewish girl holds up a hand-baked matzah for the camera. Teheran, Iran, c 1964.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • A elderly Polish Jew, Yitzhak Baumgarten, conducts a seder at a JDC Home for Seniors. Jaffa, Israel, 1950.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Soviet Jewish refugees learn about Passover and matzah at a model seder in Italy, c 1979.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Transmigrant Jews, after leaving the Soviet Union, receive matzah boxes in 1980s Italy.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Two young women who assisted in JDC's baking of Passover matzahs for Jewish Displaced Persons after WWII. Berlin, 1946.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Jewish women from Iraq, new immigrants to Israel, celebrate Passover at a JDC Home for Seniors in Israel.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • WW1 Jewish prisoners of war celebrate Passover with JDC holiday food packages. Skalmiershutz Prisoner of War camp, Germany, 1917.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Polish Jews prepare JDC Passover food packages for the needy in Warsaw, 1922.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • An endless line of needy Jews waits outside a JDC Matzah Distribution Center in Warsaw in the 1930's.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • People wait in line for matzah in 1920s Vienna, Austria.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Jewish soldiers from the Polish Army pose with the matzahs given to them by JDC. Suwalki, Poland, WW1.
    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

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