The eyes of a dead man stare at visitors passing through immigration at Simon Bolivar International Airport. They follow drivers making the trek along the tortuous four-lane highway through a mountain range leading to town. And they reappear at public spaces throughout this city.
A street in the West Bank city of al-Bireh was named for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
For more than a decade, Venezuelan Jews have been holding their breath, subject to the whims of a mercurial president who used his bully pulpit to intimidate, rail against Israel and embrace Iran.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader's 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech on Tuesday.
Don Israel speaks no English, and I speak almost no Spanish. But I understood him well enough to realize that, as I began to plant one of the mango trees that would be placed in his field that day, he obviously thought I was doing it wrong.
A bloc of South American countries has signed a free trade agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
The Jewish Agency has established a Fund for the Jewish Future to strengthen the connection of young South American Jews to Israel and to the global Jewish community.
Peru joined several Latin and South American states in recognizing a Palestinian state. “Today the government communicated to the ambassador of Palestine in Lima recognition of the Palestinian state as free and sovereign,” Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said Monday, according to reports. Belaunde did not specify the borders of the state endorsed by Peru.
When Gabriela Böhm set out to create her documentary, "The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America," several years ago, she hoped to profile an as-yet-undiscovered secret community of Crypto Jews -- descendants of Jews forced to flee the Spanish Inquisition who continued practicing rituals covertly.
That means, "Why is this night different from all other nights," in Sranan.
But what's Sranan, you ask? Sranan is the primary language spoken in South America's Suriname, which has one of the oldest Jewish populations on the American continent. Is is also spoken in Aruba, Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles -- with a total of 426,400 speakers today.
The floor of the small synagogue in the center of Coro, the oldest Jewish house of prayer in Venezuela, is covered in a thick layer of sand intended to recall the Children of Israel's time in the Sinai Desert. It is also, however, a symbol of the transience of Jewish settlement in South America.
"So, where are you doing the seder?" asks my mother, on the other end of my computer's crackly speakers. I had just arrived in Patagonia, a beautiful region of Argentina, blessed with sparkling blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and forests on fire with the colors of fall.
Benjamin Alan Eder died on Dec. 11, 2001, lost at sea along with three other men aboard the F/V Nesika, at age 21.