Expensive to be a Jew...

Les Schaffer schaffer at SPAMoptonline.net
Sun Apr 15 19:03:38 MDT 2001

[ from Nestor ]

Julio Pino has made me a present of an excellent article from the New
York _Forward_, on the tragedies of Argentinean Jews under economic
neoliberal disaster. But a sentence here, made by an Argentine-born,
now Israeli, Jew, states a general truth that gives one of the clues
for the assimilation- ghettoization issue:

>  "It's expensive to be a Jew," said Shimon Waismel, who lives > in
>  Israel but keeps close tabs on his hometown.

The Jewish community in Argentina, at its heyday in the early 60s,
boasted about half a million people (some spoke of around 600,000). A
good deal got assimilated to the country, intermarried and became
plain Argentineans. Others (few up to the 80s, much more now) migrated
to Israel. Still others attempted to go to the United States. Please
note that the favorite emigration road for middle class Argentineans
is closed for Jews. What most middle class migrants do here is to
obtain the Spanish or Italian citizenship, due to relatives born
there. Thus, they become European Union citizens. Not so with Jews,
most of which came from "second" or "third" rank countries: Poland,
Russia, Hungary, Romania...

So that those Jews who want to remain Jews and are too old to migrate
to Israel and have a decent living there are really in a Catch 22. It
is really expensive to be a Jew. You should either quit Jewry or earn

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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