More than fifty years before the first Jewish settlers arrived on the shores of Manhattan Island in 1654, there were already Jewish people in the Southern Hemisphere. Today, the Jews of Latin America reside mainly in Argentina (250,000) and Brazil (130,000).
Chosen People Ministries has been active in reaching the Jewish people of South America since the early 1940s. Emanuel Lichtenstein, who served with the Mission in Nazi-occupied Europe and barely escaped to Buenos Aires, began ministering to other Jewish refugees there shortly after his arrival.
In the 1960s, Victor Sedaca, an Argentine Jewish believer took on the leadership torch. Sedaca emphasized reaching out to the Argentine Sephardic Jews. Roberto Passo joined the Mission in 1982 and served for twenty years. Under his tenure, the work continued to expand its sphere of influence.
Today, the Messianic Community Center (Centro Mesiánico Comunitario) is located in the heart of the Jewish community on Sarmiento 3726. Besides regular services and studies in the Torah and Tenach, there are training events, special seminars and an organized outreach to the 20,000-plus Israeli tourists that pass through Buenos Aires each year.
Although Buenos Aires is the center of the Jewish life in Argentina, there are also Jewish communities in several other cities. Groups of volunteers serve as a bridge between the ministry center in Buenos Aires and other Jewish Argentine communities by bringing special Gospel-related activities to other cities in Argentina and throughout Latin America on a regular basis.