History of The Jews in Venezuela

The History of the Jews in Venezuela dates to the middle of the 17th century, when records suggest that groups of marranos (Spanish and Portuguese descendants of baptized Jews suspected of secret adherence to Judaism) lived in Caracas and Maracaibo. The Jewish community, however, did not become established in Venezuela until the middle of the 19th century. Today, tensions exist between the government of Hugo Chávez and the Jewish community, and as much as half of the community has emigrated in recent years. When Chávez took power in 1999 there were approximately 22,000 Jews in Venezuela—today that number sits between 9,500 and 14,000. This has led leading the Jewish Community Educational System to close one of the two large Jewish schools in Venezuela, leaving only two in the country, one large, and one small orthodox school. Currently at the large school, in some elementary grades, there are only around 40 students, down from an average of 130 students per grade of years past.

Read more about History Of The Jews In Venezuela:  19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century

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