Rethink­ing Jew­ish-Latin Americans

Jef­frey Less­er and Raanan Rein, eds.
  • Review
By – January 3, 2012
Argenti­na and Brazil are the two Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries with the largest Jew­ish pop­u­la­tions (Argenti­na – 200,000; Brazil- 120,000 – 140,000). It is these two Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries that are the pri­ma­ry focus of the book, Rethink­ing Jew­ish-Latin Amer­i­cans, edit­ed by Jef­frey Less­er and Raanan Rein. The authors intend the book to spark new ways of think­ing about eth­nic­i­ty in Latin Amer­i­ca through a focus on Jews.” It is a com­pi­la­tion of twelve short aca­d­e­m­ic arti­cles on a wide range of aspects of the Jew­ish expe­ri­ence in Latin Amer­i­ca such as the role of Zion­ism in Argenti­na and Brazil; Uruguay’s Holo­caust memo­r­i­al; the sim­i­lar­i­ty of the immi­grant expe­ri­ences of Arabs, Japan­ese, and Jews in Latin Amer­i­ca; the role of women’s orga­ni­za­tions in Buenos Aires; stereo­types of Jews; Jews in pol­i­tics and polit­i­cal activ­i­ty; — plus more. 

The book is a gold­mine of read­ings for the Latin Amer­i­can­ist.” It also offers an inter­est­ing jour­ney into the world of Latin Amer­i­ca for the aver­age read­er who enjoys well­re­searched social and eco­nom­ic his­to­ries explor­ing the breadth of the Jew­ish expe­ri­ence. End­notes, index, sug­gest­ed read­ing list.
Car­ol Poll, Ph.D., is the retired Chair of the Social Sci­ences Depart­ment and Pro­fes­sor of Soci­ol­o­gy at the Fash­ion Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy of the State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York. Her areas of inter­est include the soci­ol­o­gy of race and eth­nic rela­tions, the soci­ol­o­gy of mar­riage, fam­i­ly and gen­der roles and the soci­ol­o­gy of Jews.

Discussion Questions