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When the Local Trumps the Global

When the Local Trumps the Global

The Jewish World of São Paulo, Brazil, 1924–1940

(p.155) 10 When the Local Trumps the Global
Jeffrey Lesser
NYU Press

This chapter examines the life of Jewish immigrants in São Paulo, Brazil, during the period 1924–1940 to highlight the importance of the local and how national policies reinforced and promoted intracommunal conflicts. In the years after World War I, Jews made up a significant portion of the increased eastern European migration to Brazil. The eastern European Jews who had arrived first in Brazil made issues such as the Yiddish language and Zionism part of a “community standard” that seemed foreign to many central European Jews. This chapter considers the communal life of Jewish-Brazilians to better understand the processes of immigration and ethnic identification as a national, rather than diasporic, phenomenon. It also analyzes the conflicts between two very different groups of Ashkenazi Jews who populated São Paulo: German refugees and those who were of religiously traditional, mainly working-class origin.

Keywords:   intracommunal conflicts, Jewish immigrants, São Paulo, Brazil, European Jews, communal life, Jewish-Brazilians, immigration, Ashkenazi Jews, German refugees

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