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‘Amazon Jews’ on Their Way to Israel

Hundreds of ‘Amazon Jews’ are planning aliyah.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/26/2013, 9:40 AM

An Aliyah flight (Flash 90)
An Aliyah flight (Flash 90)
An Aliyah flight (Flash 90)

Hundreds of descendants of Peruvian Jews are planning to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel, the Jewish Agency reports.

The community of Peruvians with Jewish ancestry has been dubbed the “Amazon Jews.”

The members of the community who will be moving to Israel have undergone a conversion to Judaism through the Conservative movement. Because the Conservative movement’s conversions differ from traditional Orthodox conversions the newcomers will not be recognized as Jewish by the government, despite being eligible for citizenship.

The Jewish Agency has already begun preparations for their arrival, and has obtained apartments in the city of Ramle for them to live in during their first months in Israel. Ramle was chosen because the city is home to a Peruvian-Israel community.

In 2004 the government froze aliyah of Jewish converts from India and Peru with Jewish ancestry. However, the decision was later changed and by 2010 aliyah from Peru had risen significantly.