Israelite Association of Venezuela

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Tiféret Israel Synagogue, the main synagogue of the Israelite Association of Venezuela

The Israelite Association of Venezuela, (Spanish: Asociación Israelita de Venezuela), known as Tiferet Israel, founded in the 1920s by Sephardic Jews, is the oldest surviving Jewish organization in Venezuela. An association of Sephardic Jews, it supports a large synagogue in Caracas and counts about 800 families among its members.[1]

Holocaust Memorial in Caracas

2009 attack[edit]

In late January 2009, the synagogue was badly damaged in a well-organized attack, following an article inciting anti-Semitic violence, which appeared (later removed, and replaced by an apology) on a government website, after the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict. [2][3][4] An armed gang consisting of 15 unidentified men broke into the synagogue, tied and gagged security guards and occupied the building for several hours.[5] Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli graffiti was daubed on the walls [6] and the synagogue office and Holy Ark were ransacked. They also called for Jews to be expelled from the country. Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro condemned the act as a "criminal act of vandalism". The Information Minister Jesse Chacón also condemned the attack and denied it had any connection with the government.

See also[edit]