1 Nisan, 5760
Latin American Jewry Head Protests Against Neo-Nazi Conference in Chile
The accent was on youth, as 400 people attended the 7th Meeting of Latin American Institutions and Community Leaders that convened two weeks ago in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The meeting included for the first time an 80-member young leadership delegation, who came to Cuernavaca from Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile.
The conference was sponsored by the JDC, the Central Committee of the Mexican Jewish Community -- whose president is Ishie Gitlin -- and Tribuna Israel. The World Zionist Organization's Hagshama Department played an official part in organizing the program dedicated to the 80 young participants.
Haim Hayet, the head of the World Zionist Organization Hagshama ("Fulfillment") Department said that the involvement of youth in a meeting of community leaders is of the utmost importance for Jewish peoplehood. He together with Rabbi Joe Wernik, head of the World Zionist Organization's Department for Zionist Activities, appeared on a panel which discussed Israel-Diaspora relations. Hayet noted that in Latin America the communities accept the centrality of Israel in Jewish life.
The following resolutions were proposed to the meeting participants by the young leadership caucus:
1. that the communities support the youth in their protest against the upcoming neo-Nazi conference due to be held in Chile; (In this regard, the Hagshama Department has organized demonstrations at all Chilean missions in Latin America as well as a petition against the event.)
2. that the communities should open their doors to all Jews and not only to those who are wealthy;
3. that the communities support Israel in its quest for peace.While the Latin American communities, together with JDC, have held numerous meetings since 1990, this one was dedicated to seeking creative answers to meet the needs of the communities as they face the changing realities and growing complexities of Jewish life in their region. "Our challenge," said the organizers, "is to create communities strongly committed to justice, that take advantage of the wonderful possibility of reinventing themselves in an active connection with the rest of the Jewish people and in a permanent revaluing of Jewish life."