There are several groups of Peruvian Jews in Israel.

B'nai Moshe

B'nai Moshe, commonly known as "Inca Jews" are small group of several hundred converts to Judaism originally from the city of Trujillo, Peru. They started to be formally converted during 1985–1987, and about 500 of whom emigrated to Israel in 1990s.

Most B'nai Moshe now live in the West Bank, mostly in Elon Moreh[1] and Kfar Tapuach.[2]

Amazonian Jews

A group of so-called Amazonian Jews from Iquitos, Peru immigrated to Israel in the late 20th century; they had to undergo formal conversion. Some of the Peruvians descended from male Sephardi Jews from Morocco who had gone to work in the city during the Amazon rubber boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They had intermarried with Peruvian women, establishing families that gradually became assimilated as Catholics. In the 1990s, one descendant led an exploration and study of Judaism; eventually a few hundred adopted Jewish practices and converted before making aliyah to Israel.[3][4] The first 98 new immigrants, 18 families, have emigrated to Israel in 2010, and settled in Beer Sheva and Ramla.[5]

Another 150 immigrants came to Israel from Peru during 2013 - 2014 and they were mostly settled in Ramla.[5][6]

As of 2020 there were more formal converts in Iquitos willing to move to Israel, but their applications stayed unprocessed for unknown reasons.[7]

The Fire Within: Jews in the Amazonian Rainforest (2008) is a documentary about the Jewish descendants in Iquitos and their efforts to revive Judaism and emigrate to Israel in the late 20th century. It is written, directed and produced by Lorry Salcedo Mitrani.[8][9] Before that Salcedo published the book (Salcedo: photos, Henry Mitrani Reaño: text) The Eternal Return: Homage to the Jewish Community of Peru [El eterno retorno : retrato de la comunidad judío-peruana] (2002) on the subject.[10]


90 more converted immigrants (18 families) from Peru were settled in Alon Shvut and Karmei Tzur in 2002, mostly from Lima.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Though not an inclusive bunch, Perus few Jews persevere" (retrieved January 24, 2022)
  2. ^ Ilan Stavans, The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America, p. 134
  3. ^ "Adopting Forebears’ Faith and Leaving Peru for Israel", By Simon Romero, June 21, 2009, The New York Times
  4. ^ Anastasia Mechan, "Jews from the Amazons", November 3, 2016 The Jerusalem Post
  5. ^ a b Rita Saccal, "The Jews of Iquitos (Peru)"
  6. ^ Zohar Blumenkrantz and Judy Maltz, "New Group of 'Amazon Jews' Arrives in Israel", Haaretz, 14 July 2013, accessed 19 August 2015
  7. ^ are Jews stuck in the Amazon? The Times of Israel September 1, 2020, by Rabbi Andrew Sacks, director of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and the Religious Affairs Bureau
  8. ^ "The Fire Within: Jews in the Amazonian Rainforest"
  9. ^ "Hidden Roots in the Jungle. A new film spotlights a far-flung group seeking connection with the mainstream" by ROBIN CEMBALEST JANUARY 07, 2009, Tablet Magazine
  10. ^ "Inside the NYJFF: Exploring The Fire Within", by Ronit Waisbrod, New York Jewish Film Festival correspondent
  11. ^ Neri Livneh, "How 90 Peruvians became the latest Jewish settlers", The Guardian, August 6, 2002

Further reading