Caracas (Nov. 3)
The continuance of a viable Jewish existence on a convulsed continent was the central issue at the second convention of Jewish communities from northern South America and the Caribbean area. The conference, which was under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, just ended here. Some 200 participants from Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Curacao, Peru and Argentina addressed themselves to the problems of living as Jews in lands where rapid social changes as in Cuba, Chile and Peru are doing away with existing structures.
The need for Jewish alertness to these developments, particularly a growing nationalism, was emphasized by one speaker after another. Pointing out that Israel and its necessities were always of prime importance on the Latin American Jewish agenda, Dr. Eduardo Biggio of Peru, chairman of the Political Commission at the meeting, nevertheless said that it would be “inhuman” for Jews to ignore the socio-economic problems of the local milieu.
To that effect, his group recommended establishing within each community, political and human relations committees to foster “relations with the social order in force” in every country. The resolution was unanimously approved by the plenary session. Likewise, an energetic appeal to update materials and methods used in Jewish education was accepted by acclamation. The largest contingent of young people present at the convention brought forth its own “demands” for qualified professional leadership and an end to ostentation in communal life.