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Latin America

  • Englander Ends Wait for First Novel with Tale of Disappearance in Argentina

    Nearly a decade ago Nathan Englander rocked the literary world with a debut short story collection that gave life to longing through a set of Orthodox Jewish characters yearning for lost love, youth, heritage or freedom. So it’s not surprising that in his highly anticipated debut novel, “The Ministry of Special Cases,” Englander again tackles… More ▸

  • Argentine Jews Can’t Turn the Page on Anti-zionist Panel at Book Fair

    A day after a panel discussion on the 1994 bombing of Argentina’s central Jewish institution took on anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tones, a group representing victims’ relatives questioned why such an event should be held at a prominent book fair. “In almost 13 years since the murder of our relatives, the Book Fair organizers have never… More ▸

  • Bidding to Build Trust in Police, Argentina Turns to Anne Frank

    Sara Reales admits she wasn’t sure how visitors to an exhibit on Anne Frank would react to having security and police cadets as guides. After all, noted Reales, a 20-year-old from the outskirts of Buenos Aires, police had caused great suffering in Argentine history, and still are sometimes implicated in abuses. “I saw people’s faces… More ▸

  • Annual Argentine Report Notes a Sharp Rise in Anti-semitism

    A Hitler poster displayed at a parking lot on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Anti-Semitic graffiti in a provincial public school. Swastika T-shirts sold at a national beer celebration. Anti-Jewish chants by fans at soccer stadiums. A threat to turn a schoolboy into soap. These were among the incidents detailed and analyzed in a comprehensive… More ▸

  • Nicaragua’s Tiny Community Splits over Who is a Jew

    Bitter divisions over who is a Jew threaten to split Nicaragua’s tiny Jewish community. At an April 30 assembly to elect a new board of directors, relations between the 50 Jews in the country deteriorated after two people whom some consider non-Jews were elected to the board. The assembly decided to allow anyone who "feels… More ▸

  • Expectations High As Facility is Built for Argentine Elderly

    Elderly Argentine Jews will soon have a new place they can call home when LeDor VaDor, a $10 million, state-of-the-art facility, opens in Buenos Aires. LeDor VaDor is the first home for Jewish elderly in the capital that has the community’s central institutions involved in its direction. The home, which was inaugurated March 27 but… More ▸

  • No Fish Story: Buenos Aires Revels in Gefilte at Passover Fest

    Tourists shopping in Buenos Aires’ fashionable Palermo Hollywood area may have smelled something fishy recently. Amid the innovative objects, modern art galleries and elaborate gourmet dining spots at Costa Rica and Armenia Square on March 24-25 was the second Urban Passover-Gefilte Fish Festival, which featured a contest for the best gefilte fish. The winner was… More ▸

  • Under Chavez’s Rule, Jews Fear for Future in Venezuela

    The floor of the small synagogue in the center of Coro, the oldest Jewish house of prayer in Venezuela, is covered in a thick layer of sand intended to recall the Children of Israel’s time in the Sinai Desert. It is also, however, a symbol of the transience of Jewish settlement in South America. Jewish… More ▸

  • Argentina’s First Lady Aims to Improve Rocky Ties Between Chavez, Jews

    Argentina s first lady is attempting to end a seven-year silence between Hugo Chavez, the bombastic left-wing president of Venezuela, and the country s embattled Jewish community. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who is widely expected to launch a bid to succeed her husband, Nestor Kirchner, in Argentina s presidential elections in October, will be the… More ▸

  • For Jewish Teens, Building Houses in Nicaragua Offers Sense of Purpose

    ? Aching from lugging cinder blocks and not having seen a flush toilet in days, the Jewish teenagers from posh New York City suburbs could have been forgiven for complaining about building simple houses in this rural Nicaraguan outpost. But the only complaints they offered were about their own upper-middle-class lifestyles back home and the… More ▸