BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — An Argentinian rabbi is running for mayor of Buenos Aires.
Rabbi Sergio Bergman, who launched his candidacy April 13, is believed to be the first kipah-wearing candidate for the top post governing Argentina’s largest city. Buenos Aires, the capital, has a population of about 13 million and a budget of $5.9 billion.
The elections are scheduled for July 10.
Bergman in 1994 founded Memoria Activa (Active Memory), a group that has been demonstrating every Monday for more than 10 years in front of the Argentina Supreme Court seeking justice for the victims of the AMIA Jewish center bombing that year.
He is the senior rabbi of the traditional Congregacion Israelita Argentina, a synagogue built in 1897 and declared a Historic National Monument in 2000. Bergman also heads the Fundacion Judaica (Jewish Foundation).
The rabbi, who is running as a candidate in his own movement but is close to the Pro Party that is now in power, launched his bid with coffee and kosher food for guests, including officials of the current city government.
He talked to the crowd about Argentina’s morality and a return to law. Bergman also called for a "serious fight against drug traffickers without confusing them with our immigrant brothers."
Bergman has been trying to spur Argentinians’ participation in politics for the past three years with his movement Argentina Citizen, during which time he talked about running for political office.