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WASHINGTON, June 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The recent four-year economic crisis in Argentina and how it affected the Argentine Jewish community is the subject of a new book unveiled Monday evening, June 26, 2006, by B'nai B'rith Argentina.

Cultural Diversity: Argentina 2001-2004 and the Jewish Community (Cultura de la Diversidad: Argentina 2001-2004 y la Comunidad Judia) looks at the decline in the Argentine economy that began in 1998 and peaked in 2001. During the crisis, the large middle class, which included most Argentine Jews, was reduced to poverty. Some say that as many as 35 percent of Argentina's 200,000 person Jewish community now live below the poverty line.

B'nai B'rith Argentina President Pablo Grinstein said the economic crisis provided an interesting backdrop to study anti-Semitism. "During the 2001-2004 social and economic crises in Argentina, B'nai B'rith Argentina decided to follow events carefully. Conditions facing the country were typical of other nations facing economic problems, which could breed anti-Semitism."

The study finds that Jews are an integral part of Argentine society, and that attitudes toward the Jewish community have not changed after the economic crisis. Also of note, the study concluded Jews are not being persecuted on the basis of their religion today in Argentina. And the study concludes Jews are more integrated into the Argentine society at large than other religious and ethnic minorities.

Dr. Eduardo Kohn, director of Latin American affairs for BBI says: "The publication of this book helps us all in Latin America understand what diversity means today in our societies. We need this kind of qualified investigation if we want to be able to take an in-depth look at the Jewish communities in today's Latin America. The book is invaluable because it gives us the best possible information about the environment surrounding the largest Jewish community in the region."


With members throughout the United States and more than 50 countries worldwide, B'nai B'rith International is a national and global leader in the area of United Nations reform, international affairs, domestic policy, senior services, and Jewish identity. As the oldest and most widely known and respected Jewish organization, B'nai B'rith advocates for Jewish unity, security, and continuity in the United States and worldwide. 

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