Jacobo Kovadloff, longtime AJC Latin American affairs staffer, dies

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A longtime American Jewish Committee staffer on Latin American issues has died.

Jacobo Kovadloff, who joined AJC’s staff in 1970 as director of the organization’s South American office in Buenos Aires, spent 19 years with the organization and remained a consultant on Latin American affairs for AJC after his retirement in 1989/

Kovadloff founded the first university-level course on Jewish studies in Argentina and edited Comunidades, the only Jewish yearbook published in Spanish and dealing with Latin American Jewry.

He assisted a number of Jews and non-Jews targeted by the Argentinian military after it seized power in the mid-1970s, and then, with his family, was forced to flee the country in 1977 after receiving death threats from right-wing extremist groups. But he continued in his role as Latin American affairs director for AJC from the organization’s New York headquarters and played a central role, the organization said, in AJC’s efforts to support the Argentine government’s investigation of the 1994 AMIA terrorist bombing.

"Jacobo devoted his entire life to defending the Jewish people, building bridges between the Jewish people and other communities, standing strong for the advancement of democratic values and human rights protection, enhancing understanding of Israel’s quest for peace and security, and strengthening ties between the United States and Latin America,” said AJC executive director David Harris in a statement. “We are all, in one way or another, the beneficiaries of his tireless dedication.”

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