Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Latin America, Jewish communities are booming

Participants celebrating during services at
the World Union for Progressive Judaism Conference of Jewish Communities
in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug. 2012. (Diego Melamed)
Nearly wherever one looks, Jewish life is growing in Latin America, which is now home to an estimated 500,000 Jews. The growth comes as the region continues to transform economically as part of a social evolution following the end of military dictatorships that ruled many countries into the 1980s.

From 2000 to 2010, poverty in the region dropped  from 44 percent to 32 percent of the population, according to the Economic Committee for Latin American and the Caribbean, or CEPAL. In large part it is because of the increase in jobs that has come from rising prices for the region’s commodities and natural resources, such as copper, oil, soybeans, meat, fruits and other agricultural products.

And more growth is on the horizon. Latin America will contribute to global growth more than Europe in the next seven years, according to CEPAL, which released a study in August that said the 2013-2020 period “will be a low-growth cycle for industrialized economies while it will display dynamism in emerging economies.” -- Diego Melamed, JTA

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