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When Menashe Skulnik came to Buenos Aires


Yiddish archives expert Zachary Baker reads from Yiddish actor Menashe Skulnik’s memoir about his visit 1928 memorable visit to Buenos Aires.

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The Buried Story of Malka Abraham


A former prostitute from Buenos Aires who moved to Tucuman and amassed her wealth as a money lender, Malka Abraham was murdered in 1957. Her last will to bequest her fortune to the Jewish community school and to be granted a proper burial in the Jewish cemetery, stirred up a heated controversy which divided the community.

In his interview, reading from his book The New Ethnic Studies in Latin America, Prof. Raanan Rein recaps her story for the Laid to Rest documentary project.

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Remembering Rabbi Marshall Meyer in NY and in Bs.As.


I couldn’t have thought of a better place to present and talk about my film Laid to Rest than to a full house at the B’nai Jeshurun synagogue in Manhattan, New York. And, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to connect the dots between two Jewish communities through the legacy of the late Rabbi Marshall Meyer . The strong ties to Rabbi Marshall Meyer and to his legacy of social consciousness, are at the core of this documentary. Internationally recognized as a human rights activist, Rabbi Meyer worked in Argentina from 1958 to 1984 where he founded the Conservative Jewish movement at Templo Libertad. After two decades of civil rights and community work in Argentina during the “Dirty War”, Rabbi Meyer returned to the US to lead the B’nai Jeshurun community. When interviewed for the film, Rabbi Sergio Bergman praised Rabbi Marshall’s for his many contributions to the Argentinean Jewish community.

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Untold stories


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Laid to Rest in NYC


Excellent program and engaging speakers and panelists at the UJA Federation of NY’s “We Were Slaves: the Jewish Community Unites Against Sex Trafficking” conference. A packed two-day event exploring the Jewish history and Jewish obligation to combat sex trafficking, the program provided essential information about modern day slavery and what can be done to stop it. A presentation and clips from the documentary-in-progress Laid to Rest: Buried Stories of the Jewish Sex Trade offered gripping historical perspectives on a shameful “buried” chapter of Jewish history and its unique characteristics, bringing to focus community action and cultural fight from within against the sex traders.


Presented by UJA-Federation of New York’s Task Force on Family Violence

Organized with:
AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Equality Now
FEGS Health and Human Services
Jewish Child Care Association of New York (JCCA)
The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan; Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI)
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
New York Board of Rabbis
New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)
New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition
Project Kesher
Sanctuary for Families
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Uri L’Tzedek

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¡What a Whorehouse!


When in Buenos Aires talk like a porteño… especially when stuck in traffic. Gustavo, a Buenos Aires native and Laid to Rest’s location producer explains:

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Laid to Rest (production assembly)


Buried Stories of the Jewish Sex Trade

Location Producer/Videographer: Gustavo Hazan
Consulting Producer: Jonathan Barkan
Fine cut: Loren Miller
Assistant Editor: Leah Bartels
Composer: Ari Frankel
Sound mix: Bill Cavanaugh
Translation Assistant: Margo Kolenda
Title design: Ronni Komarow 

With generous support from:

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AMIA, Jewish life and memory


The Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (in English: Argentine Israelite Mutual Association), or AMIA in short, is located at the heart of Once, the historical Jewish neighborhood and former hub of Jewish life in Buenos Aires. Founded in 1893 as a Jewish burial association called Chevra Kadisha, it has since evolved into an organization that focuses on Jewish community development and cultural services.

On the morning of July 18, 1994, in one of the worst ever terrorist attacks in Argentina, a powerful bomb was detonated by the AMIA headquarters on Pasteur street. Tearing down the 7-story building, it took the lives of 85 people, injured 200 hundred more, and destroyed many of the community archives. The terrorist attack, which went unresolved in the years that followed, left the community in shock and horror.

Yaacov Agam‘s sculpture Monument to the Victims of the AMIA Terrorist Attack, which was erected on an elevated Star of David platform in the courtyard of the AMIA center, offers a 3D visual tribute to the victims while expressing a message of hope for justice and peace.

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In Memoriam: When Lerer Met Witler


As a gifted child-actor in Buenos Aires, Shifra Lerer, known by all as Shifra’le, lived and breathed Yiddish on the Jewish Theater stage since she was nine years old. One of her first roles was in a short lived controversial play about the “Tme’im.” Too young to understand what the play was about, she only remembers that it stirred up a heated public debate.

In this excerpt from a May 2010 filmed interview 95 year old Yiddish actress Shifra Lerer reminisces about her first encounter with stage and later life partner Benzion Witler. Shifra Lerer passed away in NYC on March 12, 2011.

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Reviewing “Tme’im”


My literary review of Haim Avni’s new book “Tme’im” (2009, Hebrew) on the topic of Jewish white trade was recently published in the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 edition of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association / The University of Texas, pages 25-26.

A distinguished scholar and one of Laid to Rest experts, Haim Avni is a Professor Emeritus of Contemporary Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He founded and headed the department of Jews of Latin America, Spain and Portugal at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, and served until recently as the Academic Director at the Central Zionist Archives.

Avni Haim. “Tme’im”: Sahar Be-nashim be-Argentina uve-Yisra’el. Tel Aviv: Miskal – Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed, 2009. 303 pages. ISBN 978-965-482-627-3

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