Jewish and Latino Americans Meet in Indianapolis: A Preamble to a Coalition?

Dennis Sasso, an Indianapolis rabbi who was born and raised in Panama, published an article in the May 25th issue of the Indianapolis Star titled “Jewish, Latino communities share bond of diversity.”

Sasso discusses a recent meeting in Indianapolis attended by leaders of the Latino and Jewish communities. He points out the similarities between the two groups:

Both groups see themselves as diaspora communities. Both have histories of immigration, discrimination and negative stereotyping. Both place high value on family, education and religio-cultural traditions.

Moreover, Sasso adds, both groups have common interests. Latino leaders “expressed interest in the Jewish community’s successful system of communal organization and active engagement in the civic and political life,” while Jewish participants “learned of the diversity of the Latino populations in our state and their interest in issues that are at the core of the Jewish public agenda.”

It is important, Sasso went on, “for diverse constituencies to know one another, to help each other succeed and to advance a common good that transcends party and ethnic identity politics.”

It is gratifying to see Sasso, who refers to himself as “One who is both a Jew and a Latino.” participate in the promotion of ties between both groups.

I don’t know if this is the case, but it is possible that leaders in both communities see the need to join forces to combat the burgeoning intolerant, racist and regressive political forces that Mitt Romney’s campaign has galvanized.

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