Monday, August 15, 2011

The vanishing Jewish Cowboys of Argentina

NPR had a piece this weekend on the vanishing Jewish Cowboys of Argentina, rather optimistically titled: Argentina's Jewish Villages Keep Traditions Alive.

Unfortunately, the news from the Pampas is not good: The community is vanishing:
In the 1890s, Russian Jews fleeing anti-Semitic violence and discrimination arrived by the thousands to a remote corner of the Argentine Pampas. They founded hamlets similar to the shtetls they left behind. They spoke Yiddish, built synagogues and traditional Jewish schools — and became farmers and gauchos, the mythical Argentine cowboys. 
Now, only a dwindling number of their descendants remain,
A shame. Less diversity makes the body of Judaism weaker. A Judaism that knows, recognizes and remembers just one genuine tradition is a Judaism that's blind to history, and unequipped to address its future.

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