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El Rabbi

Rabbi Rigoberto Emmanuel Viñas recently started New York’s first ever Spanish-language Jewish newspaper, Tora Tropical: Judaismo con Sabor Latino, with a $168,000 grant from the UJA Federation. The New York Post has the story:

Shortly after graduating valedictorian from Yeshiva at 16, Vi?as moved to New York, got a degree in social work, and began working as a Spanish interpreter in the South Bronx.

“I didn’t wear a yarmulke in those days,” Vi?as says. “Whenever I met a homeless person or a destitute person I would tell them, ‘Go to church.’ I mean, there’s more than one way to God …”

[…] The paper —published four times a year — has a circulation of 15,000, and recently jumped out of the Big Apple and is now reaching Arizona, Washington — even Brazil.

In its pages, you can read about the Jewish ruins in Lorca, Spain. Or interviews with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen about her stance on Israel. Or tales of Latinos who discovered their long-lost Jewish identity upon moving to America. Or news of the Jewish leadership conference in Guatemala.

Viñas, an Orthodox Rabbi who leads a pluralistic congregation, also founded the Centro de Estudios Judios Torat Emet, a Spanish-language Jewish studies center.

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