RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Jews in Brazil "live in harmony" with their neighbors, the president of the World Jewish Congress said.
Ronald Lauder met Jewish and non-Jewish officials in Sao Paulo on Nov. 19 and 20.
Lauder, making his first visit to South America’s largest city, was welcomed by Latin American Jewish Congress President Jack Terpins and Claudio Lottenberg, the new president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization.
The WJC chief also met with Sao Paulo state Gov. Jose Serra and Sao Paulo city Mayor Gilberto Kassab.
Lauder and Serra discussed the fight against anti-Semitism. Lauder expressed his gratitude to Kassab for Sao Paulo’s warm welcome to Jewish immigrants.
Kassab told Lauder that Sao Paulo and New York, among the world’s largest cities, have several similarities and boasted of the peaceful coexistence in his city among people of various origins and religions.
"Jews who live in Brazil, and particularly in Sao Paulo, live in harmony," Lauder said.
Sao Paulo has a 60,000-member Jewish community in a population of 11 million.