Argentina & the Jews: A History of Jewish Immigration

Argentina & the Jews: A History of Jewish Immigration

Argentina & the Jews: A History of Jewish Immigration

Argentina & the Jews: A History of Jewish Immigration

Synopsis

This volume traces the shifting patterns of Jewish immigration and Argentine immigration policy, both as manifestations of cultural and historical processes and as forces shaping the emergence of a large and energetic Jewish community.

Excerpt

Mass migration has been, without question, one of the dominant features of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During these years, millions of people decided to leave their homes and cross the ocean in search of new channels for their talents and energies, new lives for themselves and their families, and, often as not, refuge from economic and political discrimination. In return, the countries that took them in gained a valuable source of manpower. A prime example of the symbiosis between the needs of the newcomers and the host society is presented by the United States, where immigrants helped to forge a powerful new nation. The only parallel in Latin America is Argentina, where a conscious effort was made to imitate the United States. Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay made similar though short- lived attempts to attract immigrants in later years, but the countries in the Andes and the Amazon Basin, as well as those in Central America, remained totally unaffected by the global tide of immigration and its influence on culture and life-style. In respect of culture and life-style, immigration was of supreme importance for the Argentine Republic.

Migration was a highly significant historical phenomenon for many peoples--for the Italians, the Spaniards, the Irish, and others. For none, however, did it play as pivotal a role as for the Jewish people. For the Jews, immigration was closely bound up with other fundamental historical processes, both directly and indirectly. Some of the problems that charac-

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