Argentine Jews ask for Israel’s help with rampant assimilation

Sinagoga de la Congregación Israelita Argentina, a synagogue in Buenos Aires. Credit: GameOfLight via Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Leaders of Argentina’s Jewish community have warned that accelerated assimilation by Jews in the South American nation and worldwide is “placing the Jewish people’s future at risk.” The phenomenon, they said, is akin to “quiet terrorism.” 

Buenos Aires is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, numbering nearly 300,000 people. Recent data, however, suggests that more 50 percent of young Jews in the country lose touch with their heritage. Community officials said the issue transcends the “classic assimilation” of mixed marriages, and that it seems young Jews increasingly choose to shun their religion and even distance themselves from the State of Israel.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, Argentine Sephardic Rabbi Isaac Saka wrote, “This painful situation will lead to future generations, millions of Jews, who will be oblivious to their Jewish identity, and have no affiliation with the State of Israel. Millions of others might know they are Jewish, but they will lack any understanding of their heritage.”

Saka urged Netanyahu to form a special forum comprising the heads of Jewish communities and organizations worldwide to prevent accelerated assimilation, and suggested an international summit “to discuss this urgent, important, and dramatic issue’s implications on the Jewish people’s future.”

Posted on March 25, 2016 .