Brazil: No longer safe for Jews?
JPost is reporting this morning that Jews are fleeing Brazil for Israel
Immigration to Israel, or aliyah, from Brazil has more than doubled in
the past four years, from 191 in 2011 to over 400 so far this year. The
average growth in aliyah for all of Latin America in the same period was
just 7 percent. Though it has approximately half the Jewish population
of neighboring Argentina, Brazil has sent more immigrants to Israel for
two years running. An estimated 120,000 Jews live in Brazil.
seek a better future,” said Gladis Berezowsky, 58, who helps run Beit
Brasil, a nongovernmental organization based in Israel established in
2014 to assist Brazilians seeking to move to Israel.
But unlike France, for example, the causes of Brazilian aliya don't seem to relate specifically to anti-Semitism. In other contexts, Brazilian Jews might be referred to as 'economic refugees.'
Brazil, a nation of 200 million, is facing its steepest recession in a
quarter century, with the economy expected to shrink by almost 2 percent
this year – down from more than 7 percent GDP growth in 2010. The
Brazilian real has shrunk 138 percent compared to the American dollar in
the past five years and the inflation rate has edged up to 10 percent.
The country is also one of the bloodiest on earth, with more than 58,000 Brazilians dying a violent death in 2014.
people are killed every year in Brazil through intentional violence
than anywhere else on the planet, including most of the world’s war
zones combined,” said Robert Muggah, a research director of a Rio-based
think tank that studies the intersection between violence and the drug
“The absurd violence in Rio was postponing our plans to
have children,” said Silvia Brafman, 33, who moved from Brazil’s
second-largest city to Haifa in late October with her husband. “The high
unemployment rate and lack of opportunities were the second reason to
head for Israel. The current stabbing wave here does not scare us at
all. What really frightens me most is the language, which can delay my
entering the job market.”
Whatever is motivating Brazilian Jews to come here, we are happy to have them. Welcome home.
Labels: aliya, Brazil