History •  Jewish Studies and Latin America

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Rethinking Jewish-Latin Americans

Edited by Jeffrey Lesser
Edited by Raanan Rein

This edited volume places Jewish-Latin Americans within the context of Latin American and ethnic studies. It departs from traditional scholarship that segregates Jews as inhabitants in Latin America republics rather than as citizens of Latin American republics. The essays draw examples primarily from Argentina and Brazil, the two South American countries with the largest Jewish populations, and span from the late nineteenth century into the 1990s.
By giving primacy to the national identity of Jewish-Latin Americans, the essays included here emphasize human actors and accounts of lived experiences. Lesser and Rein's thought-provoking introduction outlines seven new formulations of the relationship between Jews, the nation-state, and their Diasporic experience. Individual contributors then pursue new perspectives of the Jewish experience, including those of the working class, labor organizing and anarchist activities, women, and the reconceptualization of racism and anti-Semitism.

Edna Aizenberg, Marymount Manhattan College of New York
Judah M. Cohen, Indiana University
Roney Cytrynowicz, the Arquivo Histórico Judaico Brasileiro
Sandra McGee Deutsch, University of Texas at El Paso
Donna J. Gu, Ohio State University
José C. Moya, UCLA and Barnard College at Columbia University
Rosalie Sitman, Tel Aviv University
Natasha Zaretsky, Princeton University
Erin Graff Zivin, University of Pittsburgh


Jeffrey Lesser is Winship Distinguished Research Professor of the Humanities and director of Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University. He is the award-winning author of numerous books, most recently A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese-Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy, 1960-1980.

Raanan Rein is professor of Latin American and Spanish history and vice rector of Tel Aviv University. Rein's many publications include In the Shadow of Perón: Juan Atilio Bramuglia and the Second Line of Argentina's Populist Movement.

Lyman L. Johnson is professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is also the general editor for UNM Press's Dialogos series.


"( Rethinking Jewish-Latin Americans) 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 well-researched social and economic histories exploring the breadth of the Jewish experience."


Jewish Book World

"This is a valuable collection of essays written by highly qualified scholars, achieving brilliantly the objectives proposed by the editors."


The Latin Americanist

"While the solid scholarship that sustains the work presented warrants its usefulness for specialists, its direct style and well-presented case studies make it accessible for undergraduate students and for the general public. It represents a turning point in Latin American Jewish studies that will hopefully become a necessary reference for scholars of ethnicity and Jewish studies, both within and outside Latin America."


Hispanic American Historical Review

"This rich collection of essays on Jewish-Latin Americans brings new methodological and theoretical considerations to a field that has been in need of change."


Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe

6 x 9 in. 304 pages 10 halftones