Adaptive Strategies of Jews in Latin America
This chapter explores the ways in which Jewish immigrants to Latin America dealt with the exigencies of their new homelands. Jews arrived in the New World intending to remain, bringing with them their families but little prestigious baggage in the form of skills or language. History shows that Jewish caution in entering Latin America was well founded. In the United States, most Jews and other immigrants managed to become absorbed into the primary groups of their host society, receiving the same political rights as native-born Americans and earning acceptance into all social contexts, although it might have taken more than one generation to achieve. The Buenos Aires neighborhood where Jews settled was “determined by preference within the boundaries of necessity.” Pluralism never has been accepted in Latin America; consequently, Jews attain the status of a tolerated minority but are not granted access to power within the government, the armed forces, the judiciary, or the law.