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Jewish Buenos Aires

Jewish Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is one of the largest Jewish cities in the world outside of Israel, with more than 190,000 Jewish residents (although estimates vary, depending on who is counting).
 
 
Templo Libertad
Source: Wikipedia
 
There are three main barrios with high concentrations of Jewish residents: Once/Facultad, Belgrano and Villa Crespo (see barrio map). Of these, Once (On-say) is the oldest, with a large number of well-built, 3-6 story edificios built to house extended, middle class Jewish families above the street, and their wholesale businesses (especially fabrics) at street level.
 
These days it is still home to a high concentration of Jewish residents (including many Orthodox residents), and has the largest concentrations of synagogues (see section below) and Jewish schools and kindergartens. It is also the home of the new building of the AMIA (Asociación Mututal Israelita Argentina: the Central Jewish Community Centre, one block from Casa Jasmin).
 
So naturally, it also has the highest concentration of kosher restaurants, delis, butchers, supermarkets, panaderias, and other supplies of needs for those who keep kosher. (See below for section on kosher food.)
 
It also has many peluquerias specialising in the hairdressing and personal needs of Orthodox Jewish women. There are also two Mikvah in walking distance of Casa Rosa and Casa Jasmin: Larrea 730 (three blocks) and Ecuador 741 (women only, six blocks). (For more, see section below.)
 
While not strictly kosher ourselves (Rachel is Reform and Maggie is not Jewish), our Casa Jasmin may be able accomodate the needs of guests who wish to keep kosher.  [Ask us about this when you make a booking enquiry, or tell us how we can help you.]
 
Rachel attends Friday night Shabbat services at Templo Libertad, and you are most welcome to join her if you are staying over Shabbat.
 
 
 

Buenos Aires Synagogues and more

Whenever you are near a Jewish synagogue, school or community centre, you will find that street level security is operating.
 
This can be annoying to some tourists, as security guards or police will usually 'request' that you take no photos. However, if you reflect on the history of the bombings of the AMIA (Jewish Community Centre) in 1994, and the Israeli Embassy (in 1992), you may be more sympathetic to the concern they have for the well-being of the occupants of those buildings.
 
Out of respect for these concerns  we have not included any personal photos of syngogues here; we simply refer you to websites that already exist.
 
Distance from Casa Jasmin and Casa Rosa:
  • Easy walking         (up to 5 blocks - 10 minutes)
  • Moderate walking   (up to 10 blocks - 20 minutes)
  • Bus, metro or taxi  (check distance on interactive map - Calle is street name and Altura is street number)
Synagogues include:
  • Amijai, Arribenos 2355, Chinatown, Belgrano (Conservative) -see article
  • Beit Jabad, Billinghurst 664, Abasto (Orthodox)
  • Beit Jabad, O'Higgins 2358, Belgrano (Orthodox)
  • Beit Jabad, Uriburi 348. (Litvische Shul)
  • Beit Jabad Student Centre, Pasaje El Lazo 3133, Palermo (Orthodox),
  • Beis Shalom, Boulogne Sur Mer 626  Once (Orthodox)
  • Bet Hilel, Araoz 2854, Palermo (Conservative)
  • Communidad Chalom Olleros 2876, Colegiales (Unknown) 
  • Congregacion Sefaradi / Yesod Hadat, Lavalle 2449, Once (Orthodox)
  • Congregacion Emanu-el, Tronador 1455, Villa Ortuzar/Belgrano (Progressive) Also see history and architecture.
  • Congregacion Israeilita de la Republica Argentina        - Templo Libertad, Libertad 733, Tribunales (Conservative/Reform)
  • Gran Templo Paso, Paso 423, Once (Conservative)
  • Jabad Lubavich, Aguero 1164, Recoleta (Chabad Lubavich) 
  • Lamroth Hakol, Caseros 1450, Barracas (Conservative)
  • The Mataderos synagogue
  • Mishkan Centro de Espiritualidad Judía, M A de Sucre 1420, Belgrano (Liberal, not affililiated)
  • "Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer" Jose Hernandez 1750, Belgrano
  • Sefer Chaim,  Villa Devoto Federal Penitentiary Service Unit 2 - see story
  • Shaare Tefila, Paso 733 Once (Orthodox)
  • Ieshiva & Kollel JAFETZ JAIM, Boulogne Sur Mer 966, Abasto (Agudath Yisroel)
  • Yeshurun, Republica de la India 3035, Palermo (Orthodox)
  • Templo Anschei Galitzia, Uriburu 234, Once (Unknown)
  • Templo Bet Jai, Peron 2471, Once (Unknown)
  • Templo Dr. Herzl, Moron 3067, Flores (Unknown)
  • Templo Libertad, Libertad 733, Tribunales (Conservative/Reform)
  • Templo Shaarei Hashamaim, Viamonte 2348, Once (Unknown)
  • Templo Sucath David, Paso 724 / Tucuman 2750, Once (Orthodox)
A synagogue map is available at the Fiesta Judea website, along with some phone numbers for temples. Also try the MavenSearch or Walk2ShulJewish-Tours, Eventos or Tora.org lists for current phone numbers (we can't vouch for the accuracy of these).
 
Jewish Community, Educational Organisations & Museums
  • AMIA, Pasteur 633, Once
  • Centro Educativo Sefardi, Tucuman 213, Once
  • Delegacion de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA)
    Ayacucho 632, Piso 6, Once
  • Immigrant Museum, Avenida Antártida Argentina 1355, Retiro
  • Israeli Embassy, Avenida de Mayo 701 10 Piso Tel. 54 1 342 1465, Fax 54 1 342 5307 
  • Museo del Holocausto, Montevideo 919, Recoleta
  • Museo Judea de Buenos Aires, Lavalle 769 (next to Templo Libertad), Tribunales, guided tours Tues & Thurs 4pm - 6:30pm
Jewish Clubs and Sports organisations
  • Club Náutico Hacoaj  
  • Casa Sephardi (Sephardi social club)
  • Maccabi Sport Federation
  • Sociedad Hebraica, Sarmiento 2233 (Ashkenazi social and football club. Also a theatre.)

Judaica

  • Hasofrim / Arte Judaico, Paso 757 (Very helpful people, we get our mezuzot there)
  • Artesanos Beiajad / Judaica, in the AMIA, Pasteur 633, Once (Tuesday and Thursday from 14 a 16 hs)
Mikvot
  • Amijai, Arribenos 2355, Belgrano (Conservative)
  • Jabad Flores, Argarich 925, Flores (Chabad)
  • Mikvah Ajdut Israel, Moldes 2431, Belgrano (Side by Side, Supervision  Rabbi Daniel Oppenheimer)
  • Mikvah Ein Shoshana (Women only), Ecuador 741 (Bor Al Gabai Bor, supervision Rabbi Yosef Feigelstock, Beis Shalom) Tel: (541) 963-8780
  • Mikvah Maaian Jana, Helguera 2333, Villa del Parque/Devoto (Bor Al Gabai Bor, supervision Rabbi Yosef Feigelstock, Beis Shalom)
  • Mikvah Taharat Yeshurun, Gutierrez 3976 (Side by side, supervsion Rav Levi, Yeshurin Orthodox Sephardic Community)
  • Mishkan,  M A de Sucre 1420, Belgrano (Liberal, not affililiated)
  • Mikvah Israel Beit, Instituto Baharut, Larea 730 (Hashkara and Zeria)
  • Khal Jardeim, Bogota 3015, Flores, (Hashkara and Zeria, supervison Rabbis Ekshtein/Satmer)
Some phone numbers / contact people for  BsAs mikvot here or here and at Jabad Recoleta.
 
Eruv
 
There is currently no eruv in Buenos Aires, although we understand there is some discussion about constructing one soon. If we find a web reference we will post it here.
 

 
 
The first Jews in South America came with Columbus whose voyage set out on August 3 (also Rachel's birthday) 1492 - the day on which "the Catholic Monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon decreed that the Jews of Spain either had to convert to Catholicism, depart from the country, or face death for defiance of the Monarch". Seven Jews sailed with Columbus, and one is credited with the first sighting of land in the New World. (See Wikipedia.)
 
But most came in various waves of immigration after the mid-19th century. There have also been outfluxes, notably in the years of the military regime and after the 2001 economic crisis.
 
 
To read more on the history of Jewish Buenos Aires and Argentina, see:

And for Uruguay:

For various on-line personal perspectives of more current life in Jewish Buenos Aires:
  • FONZ has an unhappy experience with security at several Jewish events (2004) NOTE: Yes, it is essential to bring your passport to Jewish places /events, and if you have a letter of introduction from your Rabbi, all the better (but not essential).
  • Jeff Barry visits a Remembrance ceremony in Pasteur in "The AMIA bombing - 11 years later" (2005)
  • Lee Wunsch also visits the AMIA (2005)
  • Hendler film (2006) "Lost Embrace" made in Once in "Woody Allen-esque" style (Review)
  • Central Synagogue NY - 17 comments from their visit (2006?)
  • David Shneer visits Communidad Bet El in Belgrano for Kabbala Shabbat (2007, he also has 4 other pages on BsAs)
  • Deb Miller's quirky view of Once (not our experience at all)
  • Robert and Carol Norman offer a more serious view of their 2007 visit
  • Daniel Fink does some gallivanting, and
  • Paul Rockower loves the elegance of it all, and visits Bet Hillel
  • Florence Arbiser attends Passover fest in Palermo (2007)
  • Clarin writes up "Música y tradición judía en Palermo" (An Urban Rosh Hashana with photo, in Spanish, 2007)
  • Nathan Englander on "This Country of Mothers" (2007, 5 pages)
  • Daniel Loiederman on "A Yiddish celebration with Buenos Aires style" (2007)
  • Don and Linda Freedman (2008) wax lyrical about the Palacio del Aguas (3 blocks from Casa Jasmin) and visit Templo Libertad (8 blocks). Lots more too.
Jewish websites with useful information for visitors:
 
 
 

Tours of Jewish Buenos Aires

We don't really think you will need one of these if you stay at Casa Rosa or Casa Jasmin, because you will be living in the heart of Jewish Buenos Aires, and many of the places they visit will be at your doorstep.
 
But if you want a guided tour, and/or want someone else to organise entry and manage the security problem when you visit Jewish places, here are some relevant websites:

 NOTE: These tour sites are not connected with us, and some may be the same people in different guises.

  

Kosher food

Here are some places close to Casa Jasmin and Casa Rosa that we recommend:
 
  • Oh dear, we haven't written this part yet. Check back later!
 
And here are some website lists that may add to your dining choices: