Jose Caro, an Argentinean immigrant to Israel who led an organization to assist and integrate Hispanic immigrants in Israel, has died.
Caro, the president of the Association of Latin-American Immigrants or OLEI, based in Raanana, died on Monday at the age of 62.
Through OLEI, Caro helped Spanish-speaking immigrants to Israel integrate into their new society. He fought for the application in Spain and Portugal of the Law of Return — which allows anyone who can prove they have a Jewish grandparent to become an Israeli citizen — and promoted cultural gatherings for members.
He was the founder of an international Spanish-language book fair in Israel, which drew global Spanish-speaking institutions such as the Cervantes Institute of Spain and the embassies of Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panamá, Paraguay and Peru.
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He also founded the “Ritmo Latino” cultural center, a home for artistic expression from the Hispanic world. Its main project was to create a Spanish-language theater company to present works throughout Israel.
As a director of the book fair, Caro involved Israelis in promoting the Spanish language in Israel. The 2016 fair included Israeli singer David Broza, who often sings in Spanish; Yair Dori, the Argentine-Israeli producer who popularized telenovelas, or Spanish-language soap operas, in Israel; and an orchestra playing Spanish and Hebrew songs to more than 1,200 attendees.
An attorney, Caro also carried on the struggle for justice over the two terrorist attacks targeting Jewish sites in his home country: the 1992 attack against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. He also kept alive the memory of late AMIA prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died in 2015 under suspicious circumstances.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
Some 120,000 Latin Americans live in Israel, including 80,000 from Argentina.