Foundation to Launch Latino/Jewish Relations Project
With the emergence of the Latino Community as the fastest growing ethnic group in the country, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding believes that it is critical to assess the need for dialogue and interaction between the Jewish and Latino communities. In an effort to facilitate this dialogue, The Foundation is planning a number of initiatives to help both communities begin to explore areas of cooperation and understanding, including conferences, surveys, etc. "We look forward to these new opportunities for the Latino and Jewish communities to explore and coalesce around issues of common interest," said Foundation President Rabbi Marc Schneier. "These various activities will go far toward establishing the bases for significant and meaningful dialogue between our two communities," he said.
Among the several activities planned by The Foundation is a Latino/Jewish Leadership Conference to be convened in New York City. This landmark conference will bring together local leaders from both the Latino and Jewish communities to discuss issues of concern, particularly those stemming from the recent mayoral election. Another activity will be the second Latino/Jewish Congressional Round Table discussion to be held later this year in Washington, D.C. this event will once again bring together congressional leaders to discuss issues of national concern for both Latino and Jewish communities. The Foundation has already released the results of a first-ever national landmark survey of Latino-Jewish relations, wherein over 500 Jewish and Latino individuals were interviewed from all across the nation. The survey measured perceptions, misconceptions, attitudes, shared values and concerns in order to determine what prescriptions would be needed to strengthen relations.
"The Latino community, which according to the 2000 Census Bureau statistics, is the nation's largest and fastest growing minority, numbering almost 34 million people," said Dina Siegel Vann, Latin American Affairs Director of B'nai B'rith International. "It is incumbent upon the Jewish community to create a coalition with Latinos to address areas of mutual concern," she said.
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