Jews and Lati­nos: Immi­grants Across a Century 

Thursday, August 20, 2020


In part­ner­ship with Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, Natan Fund, and Yid­dish Book Center

*View the Video Here*

Immi­gra­tion has been and con­tin­ues to be a hot­ly debat­ed issue in the Unit­ed States. In the ear­ly part of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, many of those immi­gra­tion debates sur­round­ed Jew­ish immi­grants; a hun­dred years lat­er, those same con­ver­sa­tions play out around Lati­nos com­ing to this coun­try. How has this con­ver­sa­tion shift­ed over the course of the cen­tu­ry? What are the rela­tion­ships of var­i­ous Lati­no com­mu­ni­ties with Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties, and how could those con­nec­tions be made stronger? Join Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and Natan Fund for a fas­ci­nat­ing con­ver­sa­tion with Spring 2020 Natan Notable Book win­ner, Ilan Sta­vans (The Sev­enth Heav­en: Trav­els Through Jew­ish Latin Amer­i­ca, Uni­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh Press, 2019), and jour­nal­ist and radio host Ray Suarez as they delve into the issues and ques­tions that chal­lenge Jews and Lati­nos in the Unit­ed States and in Latin America.

Addi­tion­al events in this serieshttps://​www​.jew​ish​book​coun​cil​.org/​e​v​e​n​t​s​/​a​n​t​i​s​e​m​i​t​i​s​m​-​i​n​-​l​a​t​i​n​-​a​m​erica



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.

Ray Suarez is a host of the radio and pod­cast series WorldAf­fairs, heard on KQED San Fran­cis­co and pub­lic radio sta­tions around the coun­try, and a Wash­ing­ton reporter for Euronews. He recent­ly com­plet­ed an appoint­ment as the McCloy Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor of Amer­i­can Stud­ies at Amherst Col­lege. Suarez host­ed Inside Sto­ry, a dai­ly news pro­gram on Al Jazeera Amer­i­ca, until the net­work ceased oper­a­tion in 2016

Suarez joined the PBS New­sHour in 1999 and was a senior cor­re­spon­dent for the evening news pro­gram until 2013. He host­ed the NPR’s Talk of the Nation from 1993 – 1999. In more than 40 years in the news busi­ness, he has worked as a reporter in Lon­don and Rome, as a Los Ange­les cor­re­spon­dent for CNN, and for the NBC-owned sta­tion WMAQ-TV in Chicago. 

Suarez is the author of three books: Lati­no Amer­i­cans: The 500 Year Lega­cy That Shaped a Nation (Pen­guin, 2013), The Old Neigh­bor­hood: What We Lost in the Great Sub­ur­ban Migra­tion: 1966 – 1999, report­ing on the caus­es of the des­ti­tu­tion found in the inner city, andThe Holy Vote: The Pol­i­tics of Faith in Amer­i­ca, exam­in­ing how orga­nized reli­gion and pol­i­tics inter­sect in Amer­i­ca. His next work, on immi­gra­tion, polit­i­cal, demo­graph­ic, and cul­tur­al change, will appear in 2022.

He is a con­trib­u­tor to the Oxford Com­pan­ion to Amer­i­can Pol­i­tics (June 2012), and many oth­er books, includ­ing How I Learned Eng­lish, Brook­lyn: A State of Mind, Sav­ing Amer­i­ca’s Trea­sures, and About Men. He’s been pub­lished in The New York Times, the Wash­ing­ton Post, and the Chica­go Tri­bune.


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. 

The Yid­dish Book Cen­ter is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion work­ing to recov­er, cel­e­brate, and regen­er­ate Yid­dish and mod­ern Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture and cul­ture. The Decade of Dis­cov­ery is a new ini­tia­tive of the Yid­dish Book Cen­ter designed to fos­ter a deep­er under­stand­ing of Yid­dish and mod­ern Jew­ish cul­ture. Begin­ning with the Center’s 40th anniver­sary in 2020, and con­tin­u­ing for each of the next ten years, the Cen­ter will select an annu­al theme around which we will curate and share con­tent and col­lab­o­rate with oth­er orga­ni­za­tions. The Yid­dish Book Cen­ter’s Decade of Dis­cov­ery is made pos­si­ble in part by a grant from the Leona and Ralph W. Kern Foundation.