Author talk with Doris Rubenstein
On Sunday, Oct. 1, Or Emet will host a program by author and journalist Doris Rubenstein, who will discuss the history of the Jewish people in Ecuador. The program will run from 10 a.m.-noon at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul, 768 Hamline Ave. South in St. Paul. A social time will follow.
Between 1933 and the end of World War II, more than 3,000 Jews from countries across Europe fled what was an almost certain death to find freedom and safety in a small country in South America: Ecuador.
Most of them had never heard of Ecuador before there was nowhere else to run. Some left for the U.S. or Israel after five or 10 years. Others decided to make it their permanent home. Today, there are fewer than 1,000 Jews still living in Ecuador. Why did they decide to stay? Each family’s story is different.
Rubenstein lived in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1971-73 and became familiar with the Jewish community there, especially with the family of Enrique Cohen, whose family fled the Nazis when he was a toddler. She realized that the stories — even the existence of Jewish communities in small Latin American countries were untold, yet exciting, and set out to make sure the world knew about them.
The Sunday adult programs are free and open to the public and meet concurrently with the Jewish Cultural Sunday School. Attendees can choose to wear a mask and are expected to be up to date on vaccinations or have a same-day negative COVID test. Those who cannot attend in person may join over Zoom. Please register in advance here.
Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective.