The seminar analyzed the political situation across Latin America and examined the growing influence of Iran in the region. Particular attention was focused on the recognition of Palestinian statehood by nine Latin American countries. Discussion panels and meetings included talks on the future of Latin America and the Jewish community, effects of the Middle East conflict on Latin America, and the increase in global anti-Semitism that permeates academia, media and politics, especially within Latin America.
“Through this seminar, we identified and analyzed the unique challenges of Jewish life in Latin America,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said from Lima. “The recognition of a Palestinian state by Latin American countries and increase in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment among a population influenced more and more by Iranian and Palestinian interests is a troubling challenge facing all Latin American Jewish communities.”
Keynote speakers included Julian Schvindlerman, a professor, writer and analyst from Argentina ; Steve Levitzky, a Harvard professor and analyst and Julio Cotler, professor and sociologist. Levitzky gave a presentation on the political context in Latin America over the last 40 years, and Cotler spoke about the implications of the recent political evolution in the Middle East.
Mariaschin also led a discussion about focusing on what challenges are most important for Jewish communities today.
B’nai B’rith leaders attending the seminar included Mariaschin; B’nai B’rith Latin America Chair Pablo Grinstein; B’nai B’rith District 23 Vice President Marcelo Burman; B’nai B’rith Director of Latin America Affairs Eduardo Kohn; Ram Tapia Adler, B’nai B’rith International consultant for Latin America; President District 27 (Chile, Peru and Bolivia) Sergio Bitran; Executive Vice President District 27 Mario Sadovnik; President and Mentor of B’nai B’rith Peru Benami Grobman; Dani Schydlowsky, former president of B’nai B’rith Peru and President of the Jewish Community of Paraguay and B’nai B’rith Mentor Jack Fleischman.