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Waning Essentialism: Latin American Jewish Studies In Israel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights several trends that should be considered by scholars of the Jewish experience in Latin America. It contributes to the discussions on Klal Yisrael and the way Israelis and Diaspora Jews look at each other. The importance of Latin American studies for the development of Latin American Jewish studies lies in the contribution of the former to the de-essentialization of the latter. One of the distinguishing marks of the new approaches to Latin American Jewish studies offered by various scholars is the effort to challenge the essentialism that typifies so many studies of the Jewish experience in this continent. One of the most important contributions of scholars of Latin America to the discussions among those devoted to the study of Latin American Jewry has to do with the effort to use the same language as that employed by scholars of ethnicity in this continent.

Keywords: Diaspora Jews; Israel; Klal Yisrael; Latin American Jewish Studies; Latin American Jewry; waning essentialism



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