Call for sensitivity to refugees as Uruguayan Jewish umbrella marks 75th year

Marcy Oster

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – The head of the Latin American Jewish Congress called for sensitivity towards Syrian refugees.

“We cannot be insensitive to those being persecuted in Syria who lost all of their belongings, are forced to abandon their hometowns and live as refugees,” said Saul Gilvich, General Secretary of Latin American Jewish Congress during a ceremony Tuesday marking the 75th anniversary of the Comité Central Israelita del Uruguay, or Central Jewish Committee of Uruguay.

Since last year, Uruguay has granted asylum to five Syrian refugee families.

Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and Daniel Martinez, the mayor of the capital city of Montevideo, attended Tuesday’s ceremony which also included a toast to the beginning of the year 5776  on the Jewish calendar.

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In March, Vazquez  named Bernardo Greiver as secretary general of the Foreign Ministry  — a move that was seen as signaling closer Uruguay-Israel ties. Greiver, who is Jewish, has spoken publicly in recent years in favor of strong ties between Israel and Uruguay.

Latin American Jewish Congress President Jack Terpins; World Jewish Congress Treasurer Chella Safra; and the executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress,Claudio Epelman, also participated in the ceremony.

The Uruguayan Post unveiled two commemorative stamps, marking 75 years of the Jewish political umbrella and 100 years of Jewish organized life in Uruguay, that were the product of a design competition organized by the state company, ORT University of Uruguay and the Jewish Central Committee of Uruguay.

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