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Costa Rica Will Have a Jewish First Lady with the Inauguration of Luis Alberto Monge to the Presiden

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With the scheduled inauguration of Dr. Luis Alberto Monge to the presidency of Costa Rica on May 8, a Latin American republic will have a Jewish first lady for the first time in history, according to a report by the American Jewish Committee’s Mexico and Central America office.

Doris Yankelewitz Berger de Monge was born in Son Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city. Her family is part of the small Costa Rican Jewish community, which, with almost 2,500 members, has been an integral part of this democratic country since the first arrival of Jews in the 1920s.

Dr. Monge, a lawyer, was the first Ambassador of Costa Rica to Israel in 1962. He has represented Costa Rica at the Intermational Labor Organization, the Regional Interamerican Organization of Workers, and the Center of Democratic Studies of Latin America. He was a member of Costa Rica’s Congreso (Parliament) for three separate terms, and acted as the president of the Congreso during his last term, from 1973-4.

President-elect Monge won the Costa Rican presidential elections of February 7on the Partido Liberacion Nacional (National Liberation Party-PLN) ticket. Both he and Mrs. Monge are active in the party; she plays on active role in the women’s section of the PLN. They have a daughter, Lena, now in high school.

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