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Publication Date: November 1999

Publisher(s): Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women

Author(s): Judith Laikin Elkin

Series: Working Paper Series no. 6, November 1999. pp. 39-48

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Population and demographics (Women)
Social conditions (History)

Keywords: Women; History; Culture

Type: Brief


The author surveys the Latin American Jewish community in the historical context of its proximity to the Catholic Church and situation within a patriarchal and machismo culture, and the traditional ideas of family prevalent in the region. Overall, the Jewish community enjoys lower infant mortality and longer life spans than its neighbors. Women are more likely to have higher education, and tend to have fewer children than their non-Jewish counterparts. The rate of intermarriage is higher, especially among men, for those with higher education. The author discusses the cultural pressures on the community and the diversity within the Jewish communities of Latin America.