Jewish Diaspora in Uruguay

Since 2019, a team of PLU researchers–Dr. Rona Kaufman, Dr. Giovanna Urdangarain, and students Riley Dolan (2019), Kiyomi Kishaba (2021), Ellie Dieringer (2023), and Parker Brocker-Knapp (2023)–have been collecting, recording, translating, and sharing the testimonies of Uruguayan Jews who have experienced the Holocaust, migration, and the diaspora. Our research began at the Hogar Israelita in Montevideo, Uruguay, which was founded in 1937 as an orphanage for Jewish orphans and the aged who fled Europe during the Nazi reign. The team interviewed residents of the Hogar who survived the Holocaust or whose parents migrated to Uruguay before the war. The team also interviewed an Israeli rabbi with a congregation in Montevideo, the daughter of a survivor living in the Hogar, and a survivor living in Montevideo but not in the Hogar. Collecting narratives allows us to learn more about the Holocaust, about the role that Uruguay played as a refuge for Jews, about how the suffering of the first generation resulted in suffering of subsequent generations, and about the Jewish diaspora.

Michael Rubinstein

Ionit Leibovici

We thank the following individuals for their support:

Hogar Israelita Residents

Irma Altman
Pablo Cwainbaum
Geanette Kunkes
Pola Mikin
Sara Pietnica
Enrique Shapira
Hilda Waksman

Giza Alterwajn
Eva Nathan
Michael Rubinstein
Sandra Veinstein
Rita Vinocur

Hogar Israelita Staff

Yoni Kurlender
Ionit Leibovici
Mariana Pasquet
Rachel Suhami
Diego Perelmuter

PLU Faculty, Staff, and Family

Christopher Albert
Iwona Boniecka-Hicker
Beth Griech-Polelle
Jennifer Jenkins
Bruce Kadden
Juniper Kaufman
Lisa Marcus
Kevin O’Brien
Josh Smith
Ken Stoner
Marianne Taylor
Tamara Williams
Julie Winters

Research for this project was made possible with generous support from the following:

Kelmer-Roe Research Fellowships in the Humanities
Wang Center Student-Faculty Research Awards
The Kurt Mayer Endowment
Digital Humanities Lab