In this Book

Taking Root
summary
“A very significant addition to the fields of Judaic Studies and Women’s Studies . . . this book makes a unique contribution to literary scholars interested in the Jewish presence in Latin America and in the literature of displacement in general.� —Isabel Alvarez Borland, College of the Holy Cross In Taking Root, Latin American women of Jewish descent, from Mexico to Uruguay, recall their coming of age with Sabbath candles and Hebrew prayers, Ladino songs and merengue music, Queen Esther and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Rich and poor, Sephardi and Ash-kenazi, Jewish immigrant families searched for a new home and identity in predominantly Catholic societies. The essays included here examine the religious, economic, social, and political choices these families have made and continue to make as they forge Jewish identities in the New World. Marjorie Agosin has gathered narratives and testimonies that reveal the immense diversity of Latin American Jewish experience. These essays, based on first- and second-generation immigrant experience, describe differing points of view and levels of involvement in Jewish tradition. In Taking Root, Agosin presents us with a contemporary and vivid account of the Jewish experience in Latin America. Taking Root documents the sadness of exile and loss but also a fierce determination to maintain Jewish traditions. This is Jewish history but it is also part of the untold history of Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and all of Latin America. Marjorie Agosin is a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College. She is the author of A Map of Hope and The Alphabet of My Hands. She is a member of the Spanish Academy of Letters and winner of the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor, 2001.

Table of Contents

  1. COVER
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  1. fm
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xxix
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  1. Chapter 1 Latin American Jewishness: A Game with Shifting Identities
  2. pp. 1-11
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  1. Chapter 2 A Sephardi Air
  2. pp. 12-15
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  1. Chapter 3 What! No Yiddish? Growing up Sephardi in Peru
  2. pp. 16-28
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  1. Chapter 4 My Past Is Present: The Complex Identity of a German-Jewish-Venezuelan-American
  2. pp. 29-44
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  1. Chapter 5 El Azar-Fate Put the Novel Cláper in My Hands
  2. pp. 45-57
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  1. Chapter 6 Memories of Comings and Goings
  2. pp. 58-95
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  1. Chapter 7 My Cuban Story
  2. pp. 96-109
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  1. Chapter 8 Crossing Creative and Cultural Barriers
  2. pp. 110-127
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  1. Chapter 9 Growing up Jewish in Columbia
  2. pp. 128-133
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  1. Chapter 10 Found in Translation: On Becoming a Cuban Jewish Writer
  2. pp. 134-147
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  1. Chapter 11 Mosaics: The Story of Her Life
  2. pp. 148-161
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  1. Chapter 12 Shared Memories
  2. pp. 162-171
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  1. Chapter 13 Judaism: An Essential Tool
  2. pp. 172-182
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  1. Chapter 14 A Passion to Remember
  2. pp. 183-194
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  1. Chapter 15 Poetry in the Clouds: A Costa Rican Journey
  2. pp. 195-204
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  1. Chapter 16 From Toledo to the New World: A Story of Secrets
  2. pp. 205-217
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  1. Chapter 17 Uruguay: A Story in Episodes
  2. pp. 218-228
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  1. Chapter 18 Of Spices and Spells: From Morrocco to Buenos Aires
  2. pp. 229-238
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  1. Chapter 19 Saint Anthony’s Intervention and Other Accounts of Growing up Jewish in Mexico
  2. pp. 239-250
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  1. Chapter 20 With All That I Am
  2. pp. 251-263
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  1. Chapter 21 A Tale of Courage and Fortitude
  2. pp. 264-271
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  1. Chapter 22 Too Many Names
  2. pp. 272-290
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  1. Contributor Biographies
  2. pp. 291-299
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