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.
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.