History of the Jews in Honduras

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Jews have lived in Honduras since the times of the Inquisition. Today, some 40-50 Jewish families live in the country. The community is concentrated primarily in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Other families are found in the port city of La Ceiba.

History[edit]

A Jewish home in San Pedro Sula

There have been Jews in Honduras since Hernando Cortes conquered the Aztecs, accompanied by several Conversos. Later, Jews arrived there to escape the Inquisition.[1]

Due to the power of the Catholic Church in Honduras, few Jews migrated there during the Spanish Colonial Period. In the 1920s, a few German Jews settled in Honduras as a result of invitations from the government. Beginning in the 1940s some Ashkenazic Jews fleeing World War II came to Honduras thanks to the influence of local Jewry.

Present day[edit]

On 3 August 1997, the community in San Pedro Sula dedicated the Maguen David Synagogue to serve as a community centre for future generations.

Anti-semitic and anti Arabic graffiti in San Pedro Sula, Honduras

With the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis, the local Jewish community became embroiled in the controversy.[2] Rumors swirled throughout the Honduran media of Jewish and Israeli involvement in the coup d'état.[3] A commentator on Radio Globo, David Romero, suggested on the air that perhaps it would have been better if the Jews had been exterminated in the Holocaust.[4] His comments drew ire from ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa and the Anti-Defamation League.[5]

In recent years, some Honduran Jews have made aliyah to Israel.[6][7]

References[edit]

  • Amaya Banegas, Jorge Alberto (2000). Los Judíos en Honduras [The Jews of Honduras] (in Spanish). Editorial Guaymuras. ISBN 99926-15-58-3. 

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Rosen, Rachel. "Honduras". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Ravid, Barak (2009-10-09). "Rumors of Jewish, Israeli involvement swirl around Honduran coup". Ha'aretz. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  3. ^ Malkin, Elizabeth (2009-10-06). "Radio Host’s Remarks Add Troubling Note to Honduran Crisis". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  4. ^ Cuevas, Freddy (2009-10-06). "US slams Honduran radioman's anti-Semitic remarks". Associated Press. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  5. ^ Schmidt, Blake (2009-10-08). "Zelaya Condemns Radio Host’s Comments on Holocaust". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  6. ^ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4005799,00.html
  7. ^ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4326518,00.html

External links[edit]

See also[edit]