Antisemitism in Latin America
In partnership with Jewish Book Council, Natan Fund, and
Jewish Funders Network
Antisemitism has been rising globally — not just in the United States — and while we may read about events in Britain, France, or other European countries, reports from Latin America are less frequent. Professor Ilan Stavans spent several years traveling in Jewish communities throughout Latin America, resulting in his recent book, The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America, the 2020 Natan Notable Book winner. In conversation with JFN President and CEO, Andrés Spokoiny, Prof. Stavans will reflect on his experiences and discuss how the history and culture of the region distinguishes antisemitism there from the prejudices and attitudes that surface here. When faced with antisemitism and anti-Zionism, how have Latin American Jewish communities acted and reacted? How have these forces shaped communal life, political activities, philanthropy, and religious affiliation across Latin America? These and other important questions will illuminate the similarities and differences facing global Jewry.
Additional events in this series: https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/events/jews-and-latinos-immigrants-across-a-century
Internationally renowned essayist, translator, editor, and teacher, Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities, Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, the publisher of Restless Books, and the host of the NPR podcast In Contrast. His many books include The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories(1998), the memoir On Borrowed Words (2002), Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language(2003), the three-volume set of Isaac Bashevis Singer: The Collected Stories (2004), The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature (2008), The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2011), Quixote: The Novel and the World (2015), The Seventh Heaven: Travels through Jewish Latin America (2019), and How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish (2020). The recipient of numerous prizes, his work, translated into fifteen languages, has been adapted into film, TV, theater, and radio.
Andrés Spokoiny is a long-time Jewish communal leader with a history of leading successful organizational transformations. He served as the CEO of Federation CJA in Montreal and, prior to that, Andrés worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Community (JDC) in Paris. As Regional Director for Northeast Europe, he was responsible for a number of pan-European projects.
While at JDC, Andrés also served as the Director of Leatid Europe, a leadership training institute for Jewish lay and professional leaders, and directed the International Center for Community Development, a partnership of JDC and Oxford University to produce applied research and knowledge management for community development practitioners.
Before his Jewish communal work, Andres worked for IBM and was responsible for training, development, hiring, and recruitment for IBM’s Latin America Southern Region during a period of major restructuring. Originally from Argentina, Andres has a multidisciplinary academic background including business, education and rabbinical studies in different institutions around the world. He is fluent in Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Yiddish, and is proficient in Russian and German.
Jewish Book Council is nonprofit organization that educates and enriches the community through Jewish literature. Founded in 1944, Jewish Book Council is the longest-running organization devoted exclusively to the support and celebration of Jewish literature.
Natan Fund is a giving circle — a grantmaking foundation where members pool their charitable contributions, set the group’s philanthropic strategy and agenda, and collectively award grants to emerging initiatives, working actively with their leaders to help them grow.
Jewish Funders Network is an international community of private foundations and philanthropists with over 2,500 members from 11 countries around the world whose mission is to promote meaningful giving and take an active part in the processes that change the thinking and action patterns of philanthropy in the Jewish world. JFN Israel, established in 2008, enables Israeli funders to exchange ideas about their philanthropic involvement and expand their giving circles, both in Israel and overseas.