chapter  7
21 Pages

The Origins of Zionism in Latin America

WithHaim Avni

This chapter explores three sets of issues involved in Latin American Zionism: the role played by Latin America in the history of the Zionist movement; the impact of Zionism on Latin American Jewish life and institutions; and the position of Latin American Zionists within the World Zionist Organization. The encounter between the Zionist movement and Latin America preceded by six years the establishment of the World Zionist Organization. The fact that Zionism was deeply ingrained among the Jewish colonists in Argentina gave the Zionist leaders cause for much pride. Zionism was also present in the early history of the Latin American communities. The enthusiasm that the Balfour Declaration generated among the veteran and new Zionists had its maximum impact on Chilean Jewry. Small groups of Jews, sometimes made up of only a few individuals, settled in small and remote places where no Jews had lived before.