Job centers pioneered by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Argentina were launched in the Baltics.
Ariel Job Centers opened recently in Riga, Latvia, and Tallinn, Estonia, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the JDC.
The centers have helped Argentina’s Jews recover in the wake of their country’s economic crisis by providing seminars, classes and training on job hunting, interviewing and resume building, as well as computer and other professional skills.
“At a time when innovative, global solutions to overcome the financial downturn are in demand, we’re proud that our Ariel Job Center model could be easily transplanted and tailored to address the growing needs of Jews in countries suffering from some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. “Our centers are designed to operate and succeed during the toughest of crises, and that’s why they are already helping people in Riga and Tallinn overcome their hardship.”
JDC has seen a rise in the number of Jews requiring welfare services, particularly in the Baltic nations, which among European countries are the slowest to recover economically. In 2010, JDC expects to be serving more than 7,000 Baltic Jews in need, an increase of 50 percent in one year.