On December 10, Javier Milei, “el loco” [the madman], officially became Argentina’s new president. One of the astounding aspects of the populist tribune’s rise to power is his relationship with Judaism. He made the chief rabbi of the Moroccan-Argentine Jewish community Acilba his “spiritual guide”, and declared that he would devote his life to the Torah once he had accomplished the political mission God had assigned him. Francesco Callegaro looks back at the strange theological-political knot in which Orthodox Judaism and the pinnacle of the Argentine state now find themselves intertwined.

Argentina’s Jewish community is mainly an outgrowth of European Jewry. Just as the nation’s overall population was constituted by waves of migration from Europe – in particular Spain and Italy – Jews from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France as well as a few from the Ottoman Empire and Spanish Morocco made the long way across the ocean, too. Researcher Jacqueline Laznow draws on culture, folklore, cuisine, and other sources to examine in this issue of K. Argentine Jewry’s integration in the New World.

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