Meeting with the Central Committee of the Jewish Community of Mexico and Tribuna Israelita, June 2021. Excellent prospects.
For the Embassy of Mexico to the State of Israel, joint work with the Mexican community in Israel and the Jewish-Mexican community in Mexico is a special priority, valuing and taking full advantage of their activism, entrepreneurship, and commitment to the development of our respective countries in support for the strategic strengthening of the bilateral relationship. Next, we share with you an informative text about the Jewish Community in Mexico, written by Tribuna Israelita:
Community of Communities
The Jewish presence in Mexico dates back to the year 1519 when the first Spaniards arrived. However, the current Jewish Community began to be formed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Jews from Europe and the Ottoman Empire sought new horizons due to instability and anti-Semitism.
In Mexico, the Jewish immigrants developed a community membership based on the diversity of countries from which they came.
The first formally established community in Mexico was the Sociedad de Beneficencia Alianza Monte Sinaí, founded in 1912 to help Jewish immigrants. In 1914 the land for the first Jewish cemetery in Mexico was bought. In this way, the incipient Jewish Community expressed its desire to take root in this country. Currently, this community groups together the original Jews of the city of Damascus, Syria, and Lebanon.
In 1922 Jews from Central and Eastern Europe established the Ashkenazi Community. Later, in 1938, the Maguén David Community was created, made up of Jews from Aleppo, Syria. Shortly after, in 1941, the Sephardic Community was formally organized, made up of Jews from Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans. All these communities maintain the Orthodox religious denomination.
In the middle of the 20th century, the largest institution of the Jewish Community of Mexico, the Israelite Sports Center, was created, which is attended by members of all communities. In 1957 the Beth Israel Community was established, being the first of a conservative denomination in Mexico, founded by English-speaking Jews mainly from the United States. Finally, in 1961 the Bet El Community was formed, also of a conservative denomination, but Spanish-speaking.
At the same time, Jewish communities were created in Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Tijuana, and more recently in Cancun and San Miguel Allende. All these communities provide religious, social, cultural, educational, social assistance, and conciliation and arbitration services. A great variety of magazines, newspapers, and digital media are published reflecting the different ideological tendencies of the communities and institutions.
In 1938, faced with the intense persecution that Jews faced in Europe, under the threat of Nazism and due to changes in the General Population Law, which limited the possibility of Jewish immigration to Mexico, the Central Committee was created as a pro-refugee institution. Six years later, Tribuna Israelita was established to combat anti-Semitism.
Today, the Central Committee is the representative institution of the entire Jewish Community of Mexico. Its main function is the relationship with the authorities at the federal, state, and
municipal levels, as well as with the political and social forces of the country. The Central Committee is an active member of the national agenda and participates in various fields, such as security, human rights, the fight against discrimination, and the promotion of social work in favor of those most in need.
In turn, the Central Committee belongs to the World Jewish Congress and works jointly on issues of bilateral interest with Jewish institutions in the United States, such as the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, while maintaining close ties with Jewish institutions and communities throughout the world, particularly in the United States, Latin America, and Israel.
Through Tribuna Israelita, links are established with the media, social networks, religious and academic groups, projecting a real image of the Jewish Community, helping to eliminate prejudices and stereotypes.
Through the Community Security Committee, it maintains institutional safeguarding and civil protection programs.
The Social Action Committee is in charge of supporting community members who suffer major crimes, working together with the corresponding authorities.
To project the Jewish Community towards the next generation, and establish the policies and actions to face the most pressing problems, the Strategic Analysis Committee was created.
Education has always been a central pillar in Judaism. In Mexico, more than 95% of the community's youth at school age attend schools belonging to the Jewish Education network. All schools comply with the official curriculum and are incorporated into the Ministry of Public Education. In addition, they provide the Jewish education that allows students to maintain their ancestral values and transmit them from generation to generation.
At the same time, the children and young people of the community participate in organizations that provide them with an adequate framework for their integral development and that reinforce their Jewish-Mexican identity. The university students, for their part, are active in their respective higher education centers, organizing in conjunction with Tribuna Israelita "Jewish Cultural Days" to transmit a greater knowledge of Judaism in general and of the Mexican community in particular. The Mexican Federation of Jewish Youth groups and represents all these instances.
The dynamic participation of Jewish women's organizations, represented by the Feminine Federation, is reflected in national and community projects. For more than eight decades, they have established aid programs for different social sectors of the country, providing support to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, orphanages, nurseries, the Red Cross, and government social work agencies, performing important work in cases of natural disasters. working in coordination with the National Disaster and Emergency Assistance Committee, better known as CADENA.
Aware of its environment, the Jewish Community promotes and participates in a large number of innovative social projects aimed at improving the quality of life of the less favored sectors.
Through institutions dedicated to fostering relations between Israel and Mexico, academic, cultural, technological, and commercial exchanges take place.
New needs and new challenges gave rise to the creation of various inter-community organizations, which with the participation of thousands of volunteers work in the prevention and treatment of addictions; domestic violence; integration into society of people with a disability; technologic education; business training; promotion of ventures; health programs and activities for older adults.
Intellectuals, academics, scientists, artists, large, small, and medium-sized businessmen, public officials, and leaders of civil society organizations, all of them members of the Jewish Community of Mexico, contribute their work daily to promote the development of the country.
With more than a century of organized life, the Jewish Community remains firm, united, active, and vibrant, integrated into the social and cultural mosaic of Mexico.