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Latin America

  • 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 ▸

  • Around the Jewish World Sandinista Leader Ortega Returns to Power, Worrying Nicaragua’s Jews

    The return of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega after his victory in Nicaragua’s presidential election has the country’s tiny Jewish community on edge. During Ortega’s last stint in power, as head of the left-wing revolutionary government from 1979-90, the entire Jewish community fled into exile while the Sandinistas built cozy relations with the PLO and other… More ▸

  • In Venezuela, Jewish Journalist Tries to Hew an Independent Course

    He’s a prominent Venezuelan self-described leftist who calls United States foreign policy toward Cuba foolish and supports Bolivian President Evo Morales. The Bush administration revoked his visa to enter the United States. Asked why, he joked to JTA, “Perhaps I’m a danger to El Imperio.” Yet Teodoro Petkoff is no protege of Venezuelan President Hugo… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World Argentine Jewish Groups Welcome Call for Iranian Arrests in Amia Case

    Argentine Jewish groups are reacting with enthusiasm, but also caution, to a prosecutor’s demand for the arrest of a former Iranian president and seven others in connection with the 1994 bombing of Argentina’s main Jewish center. Most victims’ relatives’ groups, the Jewish central institutions and local government officials, as well as political leaders, welcomed the… More ▸

  • Situation Tense for Journalist Who Criticized Argentine Mayor

    An Argentine Jewish journalist who criticized local elected officials was attacked and now lives under police protection. Carlos Furman, 33, who lives in Santa Elena, came under attack after making anti-government comments on a local radio station. Furman criticized the city’s mayor, Domingo Daniel Rossi. Rossi, former vice governor of the Entre Rios province, was… More ▸