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Panama


History of Jewish immigration

Jews come to the shores of the Isthmus of Panama from the first explorations of the Spaniards and along the conquest.
However, those who arrived with the Spanish expeditions lived concealing their faith and traditions, and that under the Spanish Empire was the Inquisition and the Jews were persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Middle of last century, they began arriving in Panama Jews from the Caribbean in search of a better future. The immigration of Jews from Curacao and Aruba intensified with the construction of the railway and the time of the California Gold Rush, which in 1849 became the Isthmus transit instead of adventurers.

In 1876, a group of Sephardic Jews from the Caribbean and Europe founded the Benevolent Society and Funeral Kol Shearith Israel, which became a congregation in 1936.

Late last century and early today, they began arriving in Panama other Sephardic Jewish families from Morocco, Bulgaria, Egypt. Set out in the countryside, others in the cities of Panama and Colon.

World War II brought new waves of Jews contingencies and refugees. Many Jewish families emigrated from Europe arrived under this cozy Republic. The final years of the forties and early fifties, witnessed a wave of migration of families from Syria, mainly in Aleppo.

In 1963, together with other congregations and Jewish organizations in Panama, KSI co - founded the Council of Jewish Communities.
In 1979, the Congregation decided that women should be allowed to read the Torah from the pulpit. In 1989 , after the invasion of Panama and the fall of the military dictatorship that had ruled the country since 1989 , KSI again rises up to the occasion and do important social work, assisting those disadvantaged with their needs basic.

The Jews who arrived in Panama did to stay, so they opted for Panamanian nationality. Already by the 1990s Jews Panamanians are actively integrated in all areas of socio-economic life of the country.

The Jewish population in Panama is about 8,000, and is concentrated in the City of Panama. According to the World Jewish Congress, in the past two decades immigration has tripled the number of Jews in the community , which includes over 1,000 Israelis.

Both the four synagogues, and the four Jewish schools in the country represent the variety of traditions in the community as such.
These four schools, each with its own distinctive ideology, home to 98 percent of the school-age population of the Jewish community.

The Jewish community of Panama is the largest importer of kosher products throughout the region. It´s amazing that this community, despite its small size, can hold a number of kosher restaurants, two shojatim (ritual slaughterers) fulltime four bakeries, two cheese factories and two kosher supermarkets, one of which it is the world except Israels largest kosher supermarket.

Panamanian Jews do not assimilate or emigrate in substantive amounts, and most of its members activated in Jewish life.

A little about the country

The Republic of Panama, is a country located southeast of Central America.
The country is the geographical setting of the Panama Canal, designed to facilitate communication between the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and that significantly influenced world trade. Its status as a transit country in the early became a meeting point of cultures from around the world.
According to the census of 2010, Panama has a population of 3,322,576 inhabitants.

The December 31, 1999, in full compliance with the Torrijos -Carter Treaties, the Republic of Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.
The Republic of Panama is an Independent and Sovereign State.

The political division of the Republic of Panama 9 provinces.

The Republic of Panama is an isthmus strip with a total area of 75,517 km ², surface waters : 2,210 km ² . Total: 78,200 km ²

Generally has a tropical climate. The average temperature is 27C degrees.

The majority of the population speaks Spanish, which is the national and official language of the country only, but several indigenous languages​​, including Ngäbere spoken by more than 133,000 people are also spoken. English also has some spread among the population.

The currency is the Balboa (official) (PAB ) and U.S. dollar ( legal tender) ( $, USD).