- This article examines the conditions that facilitated the activity of the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in Lithuania during the early 1920s. In particular, it discusses the interaction between the JDC and the Society for the Protection of the Health of the Jews (OZE). It demonstrates that, unlike in other countries, the JDC's involvement in Lithuania went beyond the conventional development of policies and controlling budgets. The JDC practically took over the health section of the Lithuanian Jewish National Council and implemented its own policies. This step was possible due to the unique political situation of Jews in Lithuania and the fact that the OZE centre in Vilna was detached from the rest of that organisation's activists. This study demonstrates the importance of close analysis of specific localities when dealing with the history of philanthropy and the politics of taking and giving in Eastern Europe during the interwar era.