Who was Vartan Jinishian and where was he from?

The founder, Vartan H. Jinishian, was born 1870 in Marash, Turkey, the oldest son of the Reverend Haroutune Jinishian and Mrs. Catherine Jinishian. Beginning of the 20th century, he moved to France and finally to the U.S. After arriving in New York, his first job was as an English teacher. He later joined a firm owned by another Armenian, Mihran Karageuzian. He became a partner in that firm and it pioneered the manufacture of oriental rugs and carpets. Vartan H. Jinishian was also a collector of fine art and imported, oriental carpets. He invested in real estate in New York City, especially in Manhattan. He maintained membership in both the Armenian Evangelical Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

By 1966, when he was 95 years old, Vartan H. Jinishian and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) had agreed to establish an endowment fund under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Although administered by the church, the agreement stipulated that it should seek the advice and counsel of a joint advisory committee, composed of five persons, both ethnic Armenians and Presbyterian officials. In the years after his death in July 1966, the fund benefited from more than $9 million in bequests. Only the interest and dividends of this fund were to be used to benefit poor and needy Armenians who lived outside the U.S. The first steps of the Jinishian Memorial Program were in Aleppo, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon.

Why does the word ‘memorial’ appear in the organization’s name?

The Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) was founded by Vartan Jinishian in memory of his parents, the Reverend Haroutune Jinishian and Mrs. Catherine Jinishian.

What is the connection of JMF to the Armenian churches?

The Republic of Armenia Advisory Committee (RAAC) is a source of local advice to the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, and consists of professionals from the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, the Armenian Catholic, and Armenian Evangelical churches.

Current RAAC Members:

Father Barouyr Avetisyan
Ms. Karine Ghukasyan
Sister Arousiag Sajonyan
Rev. Albert Paityan

What funds are used to support the Jinishian Memorial Foundation (JMF)?

JMF is primarily financed by JMP. Only the interest and dividends of the JMP endowment fund may be used to support Jinishian programs. Individual JMP sites are permitted and encouraged to seek and receive funds from outside sources. Donate online https://pma.pcusa.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/E051792/ using your credit card or call (888) 728-7228 x5291 to make a credit card donation using a telephone or if you have questions.

There are references in this web site to JMF and others to JMP. What is the difference?

In 2000 the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) was able to register as a local foundation in the Republic of Armenia. Subsequently, the Armenian entity carries the name Jinishian Memorial Foundation (JMF) and complies with the Armenian laws and guidelines for local NGOs.

Where can I learn more about the history of the Jinishian program?

In the 35th year after its founding by Vartan H. Jinishian and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) published a brief historical account of its own origins and the resulting humanitarian and spiritual work among Armenians as an ecumenical relief and development agency. The book, Serving the Least of These, by Sylvia Casberg Guinn-Ammons, published in 2001, is available to download at: https://www.jinishian.org/sites/default/files/jinishianmemorial_book.pdf.

To learn more about the Jinishian Memorial Program and the Presbyterian Church USA please visit our website at: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/world-mission/jinishian/

What is the Presbyterian Church USA and where is it located?

The Presbyterian Church USA promotes self-development, responds to disasters, seeks to alleviate hunger, supports mission work, preaches the gospel, heals the sick, and educates new generations for the future.

Its Worldwide Ministries Division (WMD), to which JMP is accountable, empowers the church in each place to share the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all people. The staff of about 100 members is divided into three main work areas. One sends people, one sends resources, and one builds relationships with partner churches.

The Presbyterian Church USA is located in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.