Ninety Percent of the Jewish Students in Santiago Are Native-born

Ninety percent of the Jewish students in this city are native-born Chileans, while 63 percent of their parents were born in countries outside Latin America, it was reported here today on the basis of a research study on the characteristics and attitudes of the Jewish students enrolled in the University of Chile, the Technical University and the Catholic University.

The study was conducted on behalf of the Latin American office of the American Jewish Committee’s Institute of Human Relations by Professors Eduardo I, Rogovsky and Gunther Boroschek, members of the University of Chile faculty. Dr. Rogovsky is director of the AJC’s social studies department here.

The data showed that there are 506 Jewish students in the three local institutions of higher learning, representing roughly six percent of the total student population in those institutions. Among the Jews, 89 percent were born in this city.

Among all the Jewish students here, 29 percent said they had received a Jewish education, 18 percent said they had “some” Jewish studies, and 31 percent reported they had no Jewish education. By comparison, Dr. Rogovsky reported, 37 percent of the fathers and 20 percent of the mothers of the Jewish students said they had attended Jewish schools in their youth. Of the parents who had no Jewish education, 46 percent said they felt the lack of such schooling.

Among the students, 35 percent said they had some knowledge of Yiddish, but only four percent of them speak Yiddish correctly; 27 percent of them had some knowledge of Hebrew, seven percent of these being able to speak Hebrew correctly. On the other hand, 97 percent of the Jewish students said they know English,

Figures on participation in religious services showed that only 12 percent of the Jewish students attend “fully” the services during the High Holy Days and Passover. However, 59 percent said they participate in sedorim, 60 percent attended Yom Kippur services and 44 percent participated in Rosh Hashanah services.

Almost half of the Jewish students are affiliated with some Jewish institutions, 25 percent of them belonging to the Jewish University Center, and 65 percent saying they were “interested” in working with Jewish institutions. Thirty-five percent of the students said they were affiliated with non-Jewish institutions, Questioned about anti-Semitism in Chile, 64 percent of the Jewish students said there was no danger of such bias in this country.

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