Argentine Rabbi Sergio Bergman wins historic victory in Congress vote


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Rabbi Sergio Bergman won a seat in the Argentina National Congress and will be the first rabbi to serve as a national lawmaker in the country.

Bergman, a Buenos Aires City lawmaker from the center-right PRO party, garnered 34.5 percent of the vote to edge Elisa Carrio of the center-left UNEN party, who had 32.2 percent.

Bergman will represent Buenos Aires City in the Lower House of the National Congress.

Speaking nearly two hours after the polls closed on Sunday evening, Bergman thanked his supporters and the voters in his district.

“We were selected to improve the country as we did before in the city,”  he told the media. “We were selected to protect the law and the constitution.”

PRO is the ruling party in Buenos Aires City and its leader, Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, announced on Sunday that he will run for president in 2015.

Analysts say Bergman’s political future will be linked to Macri’s performance in 2015.

Bergman is the founder of the Judaica Foundation, a network that includes synagogues, educational institutions, social programs, charitable funds, a gay alliance and rural farms.

The senior rabbi of the traditional Congregacion Israelita Argentina, he is the founder of Active Memory, a group that demonstrated every Monday for a decade seeking justice for the victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.



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