Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Note about Translation and Transliteration

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pp. vii-viii

Note on Previously Published Material

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

It definitely does take a village to produce a book; in fact, we may even say that it takes several villages. Throughout this project, I have traveled across countries and oceans, meeting friends who discussed this project with me, invited me into their homes, and continued to help me in countless ways even from afar. I am indebted to them all; any of the book ’s shortcomings, however, are mine alone. Crossing oceans and borders, and finding time to write, was achieved by financial support from several institutions....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

Istanbul native Estela Levy r ecalled in her auto­-biography:

On the night of January 12, 1919, violent riots marked the beginning of a working class outburst that later came to be called “The Tragic Week.” We lived far from Once, the [Buenos Aires] neighborhood [in] which congregated a great number of Ashkenazi Jews and where these virulent acts were taking place.1 Those Jews suffered serious damage to their lives and possessions. We, the Sephardim, were still protected by [people’s] ignorance...

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1 Burying the Dead: Cemeteries, Walls, and Jewish Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Argentina

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pp. 25-52

There lies an old walled in Jewish cemetery in Avellaneda, a suburb to the south of Buenos Aires. The tombs, still bearing sepia pictures of the deceased and blurred Yiddish inscriptions, were once adorned with expensive marble monuments; now they are almost all destroyed by the passage of time, occasional vandalism, and a wish to forget. The cemetery abuts that of the Moroccan Jewish congregation, and the differences between the two graveyards could not be starker. In contrast to the unkempt grass and damaged...

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2 Helping the Living: Philanthropy and the Boundaries of Sephardi Communities in Argentina

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pp. 53-89

In 1927, sever al dozen Moroccan Jews founded the Legion de Voluntarios Kanfe Yona (Volunteer Legion, Kanfe Yona) in Buenos Aires. The objectives of this philanthropic society were varied: to facilitate medical attention and provide access to medicine; to create hospitals; found retirement homes, orphanages, and clinics; to visit the sick and provide comfort to those suffering; and to provide charity.2 Its reach was inclusive: any Sephardi man, woman, or child over the age of thirteen—member or not, resident...

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3 The Limits of Community: Unsuccessful Attempts at Creating Single Sephardi Organizations

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pp. 90-112

In 1933, the Sociedad Ḥesed VeEmet of Resistencia, Chaco, requested help in dealing with two issues: Could Jewish men married to non-Jewish women be buried in the Jewish cemetery? And could the non-Jewish women married to Jewish men be buried there?1 Most likely the result of a real situation they faced, and given a clear lack of knowledge about ritual matters, the Ḥesed VeEmet deferred the decision and consulted those they considered capable of providing advice. They wrote four letters: one to the Moroccan...

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4 Working for the Homeland: Zionism and the Creation of an “Argentine” Sephardi Community after 1920

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pp. 113-139

An article in the 1945 progr am of the Gr an Baile de la Colectividad ( Grand Community Ball) read: “For most of the Ashkenazim, the Sephardi community [Colectividad Sefaradí ] is an abstract nation with no content.” The anonymous piece continued:

For Sephardim, it [the community] is an assortment of people from various different origins with nothing in common. In fact, when a Sephardi Jew speaks of the community [ colectividad ], he thinks about the community he is from, and forgets that in this city there are many...

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5 Becoming Argentine, Becoming Jewish, Becoming and Remaining Sephardi: Jewish Women and Identity in Twentieth-Century Argentina

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pp. 140-172

On September 26, 1937, a té danzante was held at the Alvear Palace Hotel. It was organized by the Sociedad de Damas de Beneficencia–La Unión ( Women’s Beneficence Society, La Unión), created in 1922 by a group of Sephardi women from the Ottoman community. La Luz noted:

One of the most luxurious salons of the house [was] lit “ a giorno,” [floodlit] [and] was prepared with exquisite taste...[and] the efficient attention paid to all the guests by the untiring ladies of the group’s organizing committee merits mentioning. With exquisite delicacy, the impressive...

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6 Marriages and Schools: Living within Multiple Borders

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pp. 173-204

The play Un romance turco (A Turkish Romance) was written in 1920 by Pedro Pico, a journalist, dramaturge, and screenplay writer, and Samuel Eichelbaum, a leading Jewish Argentine play wright, and performed in the same year by the famous Muiño-Alippi theater troupe.1 The play narrates the developing romance between Judi, a young Sephardi Jewish woman, and Maraj, a Muslim young man. Set in the Buenos Aires fabric store of Judi’s father, Abujar, Maraj is presented to the audience as a trustworthy person...

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Postscript

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pp. 205-212

On July 18, 1994, a suicide bomber drove a van packed with explosives into the AMIA building in Buenos Aires. The explosion destroyed the building, killed eighty-five people, and injured more than one hundred. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentina. More than twenty years later, with the ongoing investigations marked by incompetence and/or cover-ups, the masterminds have yet to be identified or punished. In the days immediately after the attack, most Argentines reacted to the horrific event by expressing...

Notes

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pp. 213-248

Bibliography

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pp. 249-264

Index

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pp. 265-280

About the Author

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pp. 281-282