Mexico City is the capital city of Mexico. It is the most important center in the country, and the most populous city with 19.2 million inhabitants in 2005, of which around 45,000 are Jews. However, Greater Mexico City (Zone Metropolitana del Valle de México) extends beyond the limit of the Federal District. Mexico City is the biggest city in the world (territory) and has 4 902.3 km2 of territory.
Some people say that the Jews arrived in México with the arrival of the Spanish, but the first official sign of Jewish presence in Mexico was in 1861, when a room in a Masonic Temple was rented to be used as a praying place for Jews.
However, it isn’t until 1900 that the national public reveals the presence of 134 Jews living in Mexico.
In the year of 1908, the community was founded as the “Sociedad de Beneficiencia Alianza Monte Sinai” with 20 different founders, each with different ascendance, and in the same year it is first recognized as a social entity by a newspaper called “El imparcial” (The Impartial).
It was in 1918 that the president Venustiano Carranza makes a declaration that involves the Jewish community and allows and support the construction of a “Jewish worship house”.
From that point the community started growing and involving Jews from all around the world that arrived in Mexico for a better present and future.
The Jewish Community in Mexico had always been a respected and supported organization in Mexico, it has good relations with the government, organizations, media, other communities, religious organizations, etc…
A lot of people considered the Mexican Jewish Communities one of the most important and successful Jewish communities in the world.
Today, the community is divided into 4 important communities, depending on the place the Jews come from.
The first one is the Ashkenazi, that involves all the Jewish people that came from almost all of the countries in Europe, mostly Russia, Poland and Germany. This community has the oldest Jewish school in México, “Colegio Israelita de Mexico” founded in 1924 (Mexico’s Israeli School).
The sport center was founded by members of this community, but the sport center is the most important community organization/center in Mexico where Jews of all the communities gather to practice sport, cultural activities, youth movements and community events. The sport center was founded in 1950.
The second one is the Monte Sinai community that involves the Jews coming from Damascus, Syria (shamis). This community was the first community in Mexico and at the beginning, Jews from allover the world including Europe prayed in this community’s temples, but the difference of traditions forced the Jews to divide into communities. Though at first this appeared to be bad, as the time passed we realized that this helped the community to stick to their traditions and also to coexist between Jews.
The Maguen David community involves all the Jews coming from Aleppo Syria (jalebis). At the beginning they were together with the Shamis but because of some family problems the community was divided in two.
The last one is the Sephardic Community that involves all the Jews coming from Spain, Greece, and Turkey. This is the smallest community, followed by the Monte Sinai, then the Ashkenazim with the biggest one being the Maguen David Community.
The Mexican Jewish Community gives a lot of services to the Jews living in Mexico and after a lot of years, we have excellent organizations that not only helps the Mexican Jews to have a better life and future for their kids, but also supports México and thanks to its actions promotes the welcome that Mexico gave to the Jews in times of troubles.
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