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Seminary in Israel to Train Rabbis for Latin American Communities

Plans were announced here today for the establishment in Israel of a rabbinical seminary for the special training of rabbis to serve in Latin American communities.

The project was announced by Rabbi Abraham Hershberg, president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of Latin America, who stressed that the institution would provide Orthodox rabbis for the Jewish communities in Latin America which are in dire need of religious leaders and educators.

Noting that it would take time until properly trained graduates could begin serving Latin American Jewry, Rabbi Hershberg called on rabbinical seminaries in North America to recruit a “Rabbinical Peace Corps” to serve for two years and to help build religious life in Latin American Jewish communities.

Reporting on recent progress in the struggle to improve the spiritual resources of Latin American Jewry, Rabbi Hershberg said that the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of Latin America and its lay organization, the Federation of Latin American Jewish Communities, had established the yeshivot in Mexico City. One of them, the Yeshiva of Mexico and Central America, is serving the Ashkenazi community and has an enrollment of 200 students. The other, Kesser Torah, is serving the Sephardi community and has an enrollment of 70 students.

The organization, he reported, had also provided an Ashkenazi rabbi, a Sephardi rabbi and a shochet (ritual slaughterer) for the Guatemala Jewish community, and had provided rabbis and shochetim for the Jewish communities of Costa Rica and Curacao.