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First Jew Elected to Brazil’s Academy of Literature

Arnaldo Niskier, an author and former Rio de Janeiro government official, has been elected a member of Brazil’s Academy of Literature. He is the first Jew in the history of the Academy to have attained this honor. The vote to accept him was unanimous.

The son of immigrants from Poland, Niskier was born here. He is a director of the Board of the Bloch Publishing Company which publishes numerous sports and news magazines and operates a television station. He was twice the secretary of the Rio de Janeiro government’s department of science and technology and department of culture and education.

Niskier, 49, is the author of two books on pedagogy and numerous articles on culture and education. He was a co-founder of Rio’s Jewish-Portuguese monthly magazine, Menorah, and of a weekly Jewish TV program. The Academy was founded in Rio in 1897 by the renowned Brazilian novelist, Machado de Assis.

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