Manuel Tenenbaum, Latin American Jewish Congress head for 3 decades, dies

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Manuel Tenenbaum, who served for three decades as head of the Latin American Jewish Congress, has died.

Tenenbaum died and was buried Tuesday in his home city of Montevideo, Uruguay at the age of 81.

Tenenbaum was born in 1934 in Montevideo, to Polish immigrant parents. He became the president of the Jewish youth movement of Uruguay and was the first president of the Latin American Jewish Youth Council.

He was the head of B’nai B’rith Uruguay from 1972 to 1974, and president of the Central Jewish Committee of Uruguay, which he represented at World Jewish Congress meetings, from 1976 to 1978.


In 1978 Tenenbaum was named executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, the regional branch of the World Jewish Congress, leading the regional organization from its Buenos Aires office until 2007 when he retired.

World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said in a statement that Tenenbaum “was greatly respected and admired among Latin American Jews, and he was a man of many achievements. His work in South America did a great deal to put the WJC and the LAJC on the map there. He established close relations with elected leaders, church representatives and civil society.”

Tenenbaum was director of a secondary school in Montevideo, on the faculty of the Jewish teachers’ seminary and a college professor. He authored several books and many papers on Jewish history and received a number of awards for his work.

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