Torn between leaving or staying in chaos, Venezuelan Jews turn toward Spain
Once a month in Caracas, Estrella Benmaman turns her home into a restaurant, putting a new spin on her Fez-born grandmother’s recipes
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.