Buenos Aires, Argentina
ARGENTINA, South American Federal Republic, general population (2004) 39,150,000; Jewish population 190,000.
The period between the two World Wars marks the decline of religious life in Argentina. New immigration from Eastern Europe, especially from Poland, Lithuania, and Romania, introduced a strong anti-religious tradition, and there was a notable lack of religious authority and leadership. In 1928, Rabbi Shaul Sittehon Dabah of the Aleppan Jewish community, under the influence of Rabbi Aharon Halevi Goldman of Moisesville, and with his approval, published a ban against the performance of conversions to Judaism in the Argentine Republic. This prohibition, which is still maintained by the Orthodox communities in Argentina, was supported at the time by the chief rabbis of Ereẓ Israel, A.I. *Kook and Jacob *Meir, as well as by Rabbi Judah Leib *Zirelson of Kishinev and other authorities.
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