Follow the group of 10 CESJDS High School Spanish students, and their teachers, as they travel around Argentina through their student blog! This trip is designed to explore the life and culture of Buenos Aires, including Jewish Buenos Aires, to gain first-hand experience with a Spanish-speaking country, and to visit a Jewish day school and be hosted for a night by a Jewish day school family.
Today was our fourth day in Buenos Aires and was focused specifically on the Jewish community of Argentina. We rode through the Jewish neighborhood of Once, which is home to textile businesses as well as kosher restaurants and supermarkets. Our first stop was AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina), the Jewish community center which was bombed in a terrorist attack in 1994. Unfortunately, the Jewish community in Argentina has faced two terror attacks, one at AMIA and one at the Israeli Embassy in 1992. We had a meaningful experience at the new AMIA building which commemorates the victims of the bombing with a memorial created by David Agam as well as a memorial with the names of the 85 victims and the phrase "Memoria y Justicia" ("Memory and Justice"). After visiting AMIA, we stopped by a kosher supermarket before heading to the Jewish Museum, where we learned about the beginning of Jewish life in Argentina and the first Jewish gauchos (similar to cowboys). We then saw Templo Libertad, an incredible stained-glass synagogue in the center of downtown Buenos Aires. For lunch, we ate at the only kosher McDonalds outside of Israel, which was surprisingly good! We then gathered in a cafe to watch the Argentina v. Croatia World Cup game. While Argentina unfortunately lost, we were still able to have the great experience of watching a fútbol game, which is a significant part of Argentine culture. In the evening, we watched a ballet performance at the Colón Theater, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. We could not end our day without a trip to Freddo, an ice cream parlor which has become a frequent stop for us during our trip (I strongly recommend the dulce de leche ice cream). We look forward to visiting Jewish teenagers at the Tarbut school tomorrow for another exciting day!