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Central America

  • For Accused Collaborator, Stay in Costa Rica May Be Ending Soon

    Costa Rican authorities are awaiting the arrival of an extradition request for an accused Nazi collaborator who was indicted on war crimes charges this week. Bohdan Koziy, a Ukrainian national who has lived in Costa Rica since 1987, was indicted this week by a court in Katowice, Poland, at the request of prosecutor Ewa Koj,… More ▸

  • Candidate for El Salvador’s President Vows to Move Israel Embassy if Elected

    The leader of El Salvador’s most popular political party said this week that he would close his country’s embassy in Jerusalem if elected president next year. In a television interview with a small station in San Salvador, Shafik Handal, leader of the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front legislative bloc and the front-runner for the… More ▸

  • Alleged Nazi Criminal May No Longer Be Cozy in Costa Rica

    An accused Nazi war criminal who has been living here for nearly two decades may soon be extradited to Poland. Officials of the Polish Embassy here say that in the coming days they will seek the extradition of Bohdan Koziy. The diplomats said they are waiting for the arrival of paperwork from Poland’s Institute of… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World Watchword is Security for Guatemala’s Jews

    Outside the high wall that surrounds Sharai Benjamin Synagogue, guards are checking visitors’ identification. A sign above the metal detector warns, “Firearms prohibited.” In the sanctuary, all eyes are on the b’nai mitzvah twins, but memories drift to the terrifying abduction of their grandfather. Though it happened years ago, friends and family vividly remember the… More ▸

  • For Israelis Traveling in Guatemala, Home is Just a Computer Click Away

    It’s late afternoon, and a group of young Israelis are doing what everybody else does in this Central American tourist town — shopping for bargains. But as they browse through the brightly colored tapestries, shoulder bags and scarves in the marketplace, or just walk the town’s cobblestone streets, they admit their minds sometimes wander to… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Liberal Jews Seek Support, Solutions in Central America

    Proving that Jewish solidarity can flourish in a most unlikely place, a little-known alliance of liberal Jewish congregations has emerged in Central America. Eager to share their experiences, representatives from congregations throughout the region converged on Costa Rica’s capital last month to participate in the annual meeting of the Union of Liberal Jewish Congregations from… More ▸

  • U.S. Jews Show Support for Costa Rica, El Salvador

    Costa Rica and El Salvador may not be feeling lonely these days thanks to heavy tourism, but visits like the one this week from the leadership of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations are still welcome. Of course, unlike other visitors, the six-person delegation had an unusual purpose: to show appreciation for… More ▸

  • Hurricane Mitch Levels Synagogue in Honduras

    Members of the tiny Jewish community of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, were proud when earlier this year they were able to make the final payments on the small house that serves as their synagogue. The members of Communidar Evreya B’Tegucigalpa also purchased prayer books and an air-conditioning unit and installed a bimah, or dais. “We were very… More ▸

  • Talks with Arafat Tied to Bid by Costa Rica for U.N. Council

    A recent meeting between Costa Rica’s ambassador to Israel and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat may have as much to do with the United Nations as aiding the Palestinians. The Aug. 4 meeting in Jericho was the first high-level meeting between a representative of the pro-Israel Central American country and a Palestinian leader. Costa Rican… More ▸