Rabbi Manny Vinas claims discrimination; is recent larceny connected?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to Mexico and Argentina in mid-September is expected to improve trade ties for Israel and open the dialogue with Latin America’s Jewish community.
For the record, my brother is not adopted. He was born, and named in Argentina, where Jewish boys have names like Pablo, Jose, Federico, Mateo and Fernando.
In a small city in Venezuela, there are nine Jews. Five adults, two teens, two children. They pray the same prayers you do. They celebrate the same holidays you do. They worry about the safety of their children and of the Jewish people, like you do.
According to the Law of Return, Jewish converts who wish to make aliyah are required to undergo a conversion in a "recognized Jewish community," and then spend at least nine months actively engaged in Jewish life in said recognized community before they can move to Israel. However, for a group of nine Venezuelan Jews from Maracay who coverted to Judaism in 2014 under the auspices of a Conservative rabbinical court-and who joined a synagogue an hour's drive from their hometown and have been practicing and studying their religion for three years-they apparently are not "involved enough" in Jewish life to make aliyah.
"You are not Latina," Tanya Saavedra's stepfather once told her. "You are Jewish! You will never be able to get rid of that."
Rabbi Juan Mejia, a convert himself, provides a modern reading of the biblical story of Ruth to find some guidance.
It isn’t too hard to pick out Ruthie Heller in her 12th-birthday photo, even if she weren’t wearing colorful balloons fashioned into a hat atop her head.