Anti­semitism in Latin America

Thursday, August 27, 2020


In part­ner­ship with Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, Natan Fund, and
Jew­ish Fun­ders Network

*Watch the Video Here*

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 serieshttps://​www​.jew​ish​book​coun​cil​.org/​e​v​e​n​t​s​/​j​e​w​s​-​a​n​d​-​l​a​t​i​n​o​s​-​i​m​m​i​g​r​a​n​t​s​-​a​c​r​o​s​s​-​a​-​c​e​ntury



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.