Background

The Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund (JHF) started operating in 2002. The Foundation was established as a result of the negotiations on Jewish war claims in the Netherlands. In the settlement between the Dutch Jewish community, the Dutch Jews in Israel, and the Dutch government, it was agreed to allocate part of the Dutch government’s contribution toward a fund supporting projects dedicated to Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe.

The award policy of the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund is based on the principles of human rights and tzedakah. Tzedakah is not a privilege but a moral right. The aim of tzedakah is to establish a just society. These principles are embedded in the Jewish tradition. In Leviticus XIX (9) is the admonition “not [to] wholly reap the corners of thy field” but to leave them for the poor.
The JHF logo (a rectangle with a corner cut off) symbolizes these values.

Support for Jews in Central and Eastern Europe

Nazi persecution and oppression by communist dictatorships were a double blow to the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Jews are trying to restore their communities, thereby perpetuating two thousand years of Jewish existence in their countries. JHF welcomes efforts to establish and enrich Jewish life. JHF aims to support projects dedicated to filling the “social and cultural void” in these Jewish communities by helping to rebuild the social and cultural structures that were destroyed with the deaths of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews have departed for the world centres of Jewry in the United States and Israel. But many have chosen to keep the torch of Jewish life burning in the country of their birth. JHF strongly believes that Jews who decided to stay in their countries of origin should receive support to assure the continuation of Jewish life. JHF aims to empower Jews to enhance Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe to help them once again contribute significantly in these regions. It is for this reason that the JHF has a special interest in the younger generation members of the new generation who will become the leaders, teachers, youth workers, and officials of the future. Organizations and projects dedicated toward cultivating Jewish values and traditions among the younger generation serve an explicit JHF objective. JHF also has an interest in strengthening the relationship between the diaspora and Israel.