Latin America

AJC has long been active with the Latino communities in the U.S and in international diplomacy with the highest levels of government in Latin America. Our diplomacy in this region is done principally through the Latino and Latin American Institute, the latest initiative in AJC's efforts to further American Jewish relations with the Latino community in the U.S. and countries across Latin America. The Institute works with AJC partners to strengthen Jewish life in the region, deter terrorism, ensure that democracy and pluralism remain strong, and advance relations between Latin American countries and the U.S. and Israel. Among the priority issues for the institute is the continuing threat of terrorism in Latin America. The 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy and 1994 bombing of the AMIA headquarters in Buenos Aires remain unsolved. AJC leaders frequently visit Latin American countries. We maintain international partnerships with the Jewish communities of Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Venezuela.

 


Argentina
Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA)
Tel: (54-11) 4959 8881

Fax: (54-11) 4959 8874

Sr. Luis Grynwald, President

Dr. Daniel Pomerantz, Executive Director

Lic. Anita Weinstein, Director, Federation of Jewish Communities

E-mail: amia@amia.org.ar

Website: www.amia.org.ar

In December 1998, AJC and the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) formalized a cooperative relationship to advance shared goals. Established in 1894, AMIA remains the central Jewish institution responsible for providing a wide range of communal services, social assistance, and educational programs to Argentina's Jewish community, the largest in Latin America.


For more than three decades AJC maintained an office in Buenos Aires. After that office closed in 1977, AJC continued to work cooperatively with AMIA on joint activities and publications from its New York headquarters. Throughout the years, AJC representatives have traveled to Argentina to address issues high on the Jewish and on the US- Israel-Argentina agenda.

In 1994 the AMIA headquarters building in Buenos Aires was bombed, leaving 86 people dead and another 300 wounded. This was the deadliest terrorist event in Argentina's history, and resulted in the largest Jewish death toll from terrorism outside Israel since World War II. Since 1994, AJC has issued an annual report on the status of the investigation. Moreover, AJC has been instrumental in keeping the issue alive in the court of public opinion and has maintained pressure on successive Argentinean governments to find those responsible.


In May 2004, President Kirchner addressed AJC and its Annual Dinner in Washington and pledged before world Jewry and American political leaders to bring closure to the AMIA case after years of mismanagement. During last year’s 10th commemoration of the attack, AJC was the only international Jewish organization to have sent a high level delegation to Buenos Aires to express solidarity with the Argentine community.


In March 2005, AJC praised the Argentine government's pledge before the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to renew investigations into the AMIA bombing. The Argentine delegation admitted to being derelict in the pursuit of justice, recognized the violation of the human rights of the AMIA victims and their families, and took responsibility for not safeguarding against the attack. Before the OAS hearing, a senior AJC delegation met privately with Alejandro Rua, head of the AMIA Unit in the Argentinean Ministry of Justice, one of the Argentine officials who testified before the OAS commission.

Costa Rica
Centro Israelita Sionista de Costa Rica
011 (506) 5201013
Fax: 011 (506) 2201951
cisdcr@centroisraelita.com
www.centroisraelita.com

President: Ing. Gustavo Prifer

In August 2000, The American Jewish Committee and the Centro Israelita Sionista de Costa Rica (the Jewish Zionist Center of Costa Rica), established a cooperative association to advance the interests of the Costa Rican and American Jewish communities.

The agreement with CISCR, Costa Rica's central Jewish organization representing Costa Rica's 2,500 Jews, came about after the AJC Board of Governors met in San Jose, Costa Rica to help build a new community center.

"The American and Costa Rican Jewish communities share not only our rich Jewish heritage, but also a deep commitment to democratic values and human rights," said AJC President Bruce M. Ramer.

"This agreement emphasizes our shared communal interests and the importance of Costa Rica to the United States as well as Israel." Costa Rica is one of only two countries to maintain its embassy in Jerusalem.

"Our new relationship with the American Jewish Committee is an expression of support for our own task as well as an acknowledgement of the historic commitment that the Costa Rican community has been fulfilling," said Mr. Julio Klerszenson, President of the CISCR.

AJC and the Centro Israelita Sionista de Costa Rica work together to strengthen Jewish communal life; deepen bilateral relations between Costa Rica and the United States; enhance Israel's security, peace and diplomatic normalization; combat anti-Semitic and other hate groups in their respective societies and strengthen the forces of democratic pluralism and mutual understanding.

They also jointly advance the cause of human rights; promote education and memory of the Holocaust and counteract the dissemination of Holocaust revisionism; and encourage greater dialogue and understanding within the Diaspora and between Israelis and Jews in other lands.

Mexico
Tribuna Israelita (TI)

011-525-540-3273/520-9393
fax: 011-525-540-3050
Jorge Salamonovitz, President
Mrs. Renee Shabot, Executive Director
Tribuna@ort.org.mx

In October 1998, the American Jewish Committee established institutional ties with the highly-regarded Tribuna Israelita, based in Mexico, in an effort to advance joint interests.

Founded in 1944, TI is the analysis and opinion agency of the Jewish community of Mexico. It promotes an ongoing dialogue with influential leaders in Mexico and cooperates with diverse national organizations. In combating intolerance, and anti-Semitism in particular, TI generates a series of publications on the religious, ethical and philosophical facets of Judaism, and the Jewish presence in Mexico, as well as on racism.

AJC and TI will collaborate and consult on matters of common interest through the exchange of research, analysis, archival data and other materials.

AJC President Bruce M. Ramer expressed the significance of AJC's new association with TI: "Our aims, in so many ways, coincide with TI and are a perfect fit. Beyond that, this relationship emphasizes the importance of Mexico to the U.S. and the Jewish communities of the world, and is an example of the urgency for all Jews to work together to pursue Jewish communal interests."

TI President Jorge Salamonovitz commented: "The exchange of information and experiences will enhance the relationship between our institutions and, at the same time, provide us with new tools to improve our own work on behalf of the Jewish communities in Mexico and the U.S."

Venezuela
Confederación de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV)

Tel: (58-212) 551-0368
Fax: (58-212) 550-1721

Fred Pressner, President
Rebeca Perli, Executive Director
info@caiv.org

In June 2004, Dina Siegel Vann, Director of the AJC Latino and Latin American Institute, traveled to Caracas to sign an institutional agreement with the Confederación de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV), the representative organization of the Jewish community of Venezuela.

CAIV is responsible for promoting close relations with Venezuela's government and civil society and with institutions abroad. CAIV encompasses five organizations: The Jewish Association of Venezuela (Sephardic), the Jewish Union of Caracas (Ashkenazi), the Venezuelan Zionist Federation, B'nai B'rith of Venezuela, and the Federation of Venezuelan Jewish Women. Also affiliated with CAIV are several youth movements and representatives from smaller communities in Venezuela.

The agreement was the culmination of close ties that have developed through the presence of Venezuela's leadership during the last annual meetings. In addition, AJC has been monitoring very closely the unstable situation in the country under the Chavez presidency and has lent its support in times of need. An important CAIV delegation traveled to Washington to participate in the conference The Middle East Terrorist Activity in Latin America and the Caribbean in March, 2004 on Capitol Hill.

AJC voiced its alarm at the unwarranted raid on the community day school by Venezuelan school forces on November 29, 2004 that left many students and their families traumatized. Government forces reportedly were searching for arms, based on the false accusations spread by Venezuelan state media, purporting that Israeli intelligence was connected with the recent assassination of federal prosecutor Danilo Anderson.
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