South America

Try finding a mohel out here

September 8, 2016

Far from Lima, the coastal capital of Peru, where a thriving middle-class Jewish community of roughly 3,000 Ashkenazim is anchored by a web of institutions, a tiny grouping of Jews in the rainforest is just about clinging on.


Benji gets 'lost' for the fundraiser of lifetime

April 21, 2016

It was "the hardest thing" 12-year-old Benji Albert has ever done. But his two-week trek to the lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru raised well over £4,000 for a UK cancer charity.

Benji's grandfather died from a rare form of blood cancer and he has since taken on a number of fundraising challenges.


In Bolivia, hate means Molotovs and dynamite

By Adam Feinstein, September 23, 2014

Bolivia's Jews have expressed alarm over the rise in antisemitic incidents in the country - the latest being a dynamite attack on the main Jewish cemetery in the city of Cochabamba on September 13.

The president of the community, Ricardo Udler, has called on the government of President Evo Morales to take action to prevent further incidents.


Expelled Guatemala group is 'extremist sect'

By Adam Feinstein, September 18, 2014

The 230 Jews who were forced to leave the remote Guatemalan village of San Juan la Laguna for the capital, Guatemala City, earlier this month were members of the Charedi sect Lev Tahor, which has allegedly engaged in human trafficking and harboured sex abusers, according to search warrants issued by authorities in Quebec.


Amia bomb probe ruled ‘unlawful’

By Isabel de Bertodano, May 22, 2014

An Argentine court has declared unconstitutional a controversial agreement between Buenos Aires and Tehran to investigate the Amia bombing.

Prosecutors in Argentina suspect that the 1994 attack on a Jewish community centre was ordered by Iran and now a federal court has found that the joint truth commission, set up at the beginning of 2013, is unlawful.


The Incas who sacrificed all for Judaism

By Jonathan Gilbert, January 12, 2014

Peru’s Jewish community mirrors many across the diaspora. It is urban, well-educated, middle-class and business-oriented. Most members are descendants of European Ashkenazim. But the South American nation is also home to a small number of devout so-called Inca Jews — native Indians from the Andean highlands who were converted by a disillusioned Catholic.


In Uruguay, city’s Sephardi past hidden from tourists

By Jonathan Gilbert, August 9, 2013

The small city of Colonia is a historical jewel, a World Heritage Site of cobbled alleys and crumbling 17th-century architecture.

But this magnet for tourists, a short boat ride from Buenos Aires, also has a rich, little-known Jewish past.


Gloom at pan-Latin America gathering

By Adam Feinstein, May 2, 2013

Ageing and emigration are two of the principal problems facing Sephardi communities in Latin America, according to the ninth National Conference of Sephardi Jews in Rio de Janeiro last week.

The congress was attended by representatives from Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.


Don’t mourn Hugo the wicked

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 19, 2013

Two years ago I caused a certain amount of controversy with my reaction to the death of a Palestinian activist. I was told it was not the done thing for a Jew to express pleasure at the death of another human. Well, we have just celebrated Purim, on which we are expected to make merry at the deaths of hundreds of Jew-baiters in ancient Persia.


In Moises Ville, the Yiddish cowboys make one last stand

By Jonathan Gilbert, February 28, 2013

Ariel Rosenthal appears a typical gaucho, the name given to Argentine cowboys who work the land and rear cattle in the country’s vast Pampas.

He wears bombachas, rugged, loose-fitting trousers; alpargatas, cotton shoes; and a boina, a beret-style cap.