The agreement with CISCR, Costa Rica's central Jewish organization representing Costa Rica's 2,500 Jews, came about after the AJC Board of Governors met in San Jose, Costa Rica to help build a new community center.
American and Costa Rican Jewish communities
share not only our rich Jewish heritage, but
also a deep commitment to democratic values and
human rights," said AJC President Bruce M.
"This agreement emphasizes our shared communal interests and the importance of Costa Rica to the United States as well as Israel." Costa Rica is one of only two countries to maintain its embassy in Jerusalem.
"Our new relationship with the American Jewish Committee is an expression of support for our own task as well as an acknowledgement of the historic commitment that the Costa Rican community has been fulfilling," said Mr. Julio Klerszenson, President of the CISCR.
AJC and the Centro Israelita Sionista de Costa Rica work together to strengthen Jewish communal life; deepen bilateral relations between Costa Rica and the United States; enhance Israel's security, peace and diplomatic normalization; combat anti-Semitic and other hate groups in their respective societies and strengthen the forces of democratic pluralism and mutual understanding.
They also jointly advance the cause of human rights; promote education and memory of the Holocaust and counteract the dissemination of Holocaust revisionism; and encourage greater dialogue and understanding within the Diaspora and between Israelis and Jews in other lands.
Asociacion Corona de Oro (Gold Crown
The Asociacion Corona de Oro was established in 1987 with the sole objective of assisting and looking after the needs and interests of the Jewish community's senior citizens. Its main facilities are located within the Centro Israelita's main building. The association provides activities and programs for the elderly, designed and supervised by professionals in the field.
Israelitas Pro Beneficiencia (Association of
Jewish Ladies for Charity)
This group was established in 1952 and is dedicated to raising and channeling funds towards specific projects to help the needy in Costa Rica, focusing primarily on disabled citizens, children, teenagers and senior citizens. Projects have ranged from building hundreds of homes for low-income families to donating medical equipment to dozens of hospitals and medical centers to distributing toys in impoverished suburbs of San Jose.
B'nai B'rith de
In May 1957, 25 members of the Jewish Community founded the Costa Rica 2094 Lodge of B'nai B'rith. The lodge worked on charitable projects (financing homes for individuals with limited economic resources, aiding orphans); organized fundraisers; honored local personalities; provided conferences and courses on education and culture; and organized joint activities with the Christian community. Although the lodge became inactive during the 1980s, community members are currently working to re-activate this group.
Israelita (Jewish Cemetery)
In April 1931, the Jewish cemetery was officially opened on the grounds where it operates today. In the same year, the first organized community group was formed to manage the cemetery and provide the services required under Jewish Law. An all-volunteer Chevra Kadisha (Holy Society) has been operational for 75 years.
Comite Yad Vashem
(Yad Vashem Committee)
The Yad Vashem Committee was founded in August 1978 with the goal of building a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The monument is located at the entrance of the Jewish Cemetery. The group holds an annual commemorative act on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day).
(Jewish Sports Club)
The Deportivo Israelita was built in 1964 to offer members of all age groups a place to congregate, to practice sports and to hold cultural activities. Since its inception, the Club has been managed as a private entity where members pay monthly dues. About 500 families are active members. The club features three swimming pools, a soccer field, basketball and tennis courts, an outdoor Jacuzzi, locker rooms with saunas and steam baths, a kosher restaurant and ample garden areas for socializing.
de Costa Rica
Hanoar Hatzioni is a Zionist youth organization that reinforces Jewish identity and Zionist values. It is intended to work as a barrier against assimilation. Community children and young adults aged 9 and older meet every Friday night and Saturday afternoon. They are guided by a professional envoy sent from Israel and an elected group of leaders. Upon high school graduation, the Hanoar Hatzioni offers a one year Hajshara plan for young adults. Participants travel to Israel for a year where they participate in seminars and activities around the country.
First published in May 1985, Hayom is the monthly publication of the Costa Rica Jewish Community. It is the primary media outlet for news, articles and discussion on different topics that concern the local community. Circulation is free to members of the Centro Israelita.
Haim Weizman (Dr. Haim Weizman Institute)
Founded in 1960 and named after Israel's first president, the Haim Weizman Institute is the only formal Jewish school in Costa Rica. The school is recognized by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. The institute offers a full academic curriculum, plus courses in Jewish Identity and Religion and Hebrew, and includes pre-school, primary and secondary schools.
An Israel-based fundraising organization, Keren Hayesod seeks to bring underprivileged families to Israel and support the State of Israel.
Tel: (506) 2520-1013
Museo de la
Comunidad Judia de Costa Rica (Museum of the
Costa Rica Jewish Community)
The non-profit Museum is a cultural and educational entity, whose mission to collect, document, preserve and interpret documents pertaining to both the world and Costa Rican Jewish communities. The museum was inaugurated in September 2005, after 10 years of planning, organizing and collecting the historic and cultural documentation. The exhibits cover subjects such as Jewish culture and religion and the arrival of Jews to Costa Rica. A room is dedicated to the memory of Holocaust victims.
Tel: (506) 2520-1013 ext. 129
International Zionist Organization)
Costa Rica's WIZO chapter was established in 1940, and it quickly became an important association for charitable and cultural events. The chapter is divided into diverse age groups and its main goal is to work towards the continuity of the Jewish people and the stability of the State of Israel.