BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — The first Reform rabbinical school in Buenos Aires has ordained its first rabbi.
Rabbi Diego Elman has started working at Mishkan: The Jewish Spirituality Center in the Argentine capital following the approval of his rabbinical studies by a specially convened rabbinical court, or beit din, late last month.
Elman is the first rabbi to be ordained by the Ibero American Institute for Rabbinical Education of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, or WUPJ, in Buenos Aires. The official ordination ceremony will be held in mid-May at the city’s iconic Temple Libertad, the oldest Jewish house of worship in the country.
Rabbinical leaders of the Reform movement in Latin America — Reuben Nisenbom, Roberto Graetz, and Sergio Bergman – made up the court.
Graetz, who traveled from San Francisco to Argentina to serve on the beit din, stressed the importance “of having arrived at this auspicious moment for the consolidation of a liberal Jewish movement in the region.”
Ibero-America is a region in Central and South America made up of areas where Spanish or Portuguese are the predominant languages, usually former territories of Portugal or Spain.
In addition to Elman, the court evaluated eight other students from Argentina, Brazil and Chile. They were promoted to the final stage of the school’s rabbinical training.
The institution, which was launched in 2016, also has students from Belgium, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Spain.
Buenos Aires also is home to the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, founded in 1962 by Rabbi Marshall Meyer, which has ordained approximately 110 Conservative rabbis since 1972.