“Marginal Immigrants”: Jewish-Argentine Immigration to the State of Israel, 1948–1967

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ABSTRACT The article focuses on two common issues in the study of immigration to Israel: the scope of Argentine Jewish immigration and its socio-demographic composition. I devote special focus to the institutional-organizational aspect of the migration and the activists who contributed to it in an attempt to confront Israel's immigration policy and its execution in Argentina. To address this topic, the article tracks the stories of tens of thousands of Argentine immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1948 and 1967 through the combination of both qualitative and quantitative sources, especially an electronic database consisting of the personal information of 10,487 Argentine immigrants. The scope of the Argentine migration is analyzed, relative to both Argentina's Jewish population and the rate of overall Jewish immigration to Israel. The article continues with a reconstruction of the demographic, social, and economic backgrounds (i.e., gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, family makeup, profession) of the Argentine immigrants. By cross-referencing and integrating quantitative and qualitative data along with firsthand accounts of the migration, the article presents a detailed, thorough, and wide-ranging picture of the immigration process in all its complexity. This comprehensive image renders visible what lies beyond the scope of statistics on both the Argentine Jewish and overall contemporaneous immigration to Israel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-76
Number of pages27
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


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