Losers And Keepers In Argentina
It is 1889 when Rifke Schulman, a young Jewish woman, is sent to Argentina by her family to escape the pogroms of Russia. She helps set up a small agricultural community called Moises Ville. There, she becomes a librarian and meets the love of her life, Henoch Rosenvitch. Unfortunately, Henoch is married. To escape from her feelings for Henoch, Rifke moves to Buenos Aires. Here she meets with poverty, white slavery, union organization, brutality and love.
The Rifke Chronicles are her journals, and they make up a large part of this fictionalized work. In them, Rifke describes the people she becomes close to and how they live their daily lives. Interspersed with these journal entries are bits and pieces of stories from the lives of people from the 20th century, descendants of Moises Ville founders and other pioneering Jews.
Nina Barragan maps a fascinating piece of history in this story of Rifke Schulman and Argentina. She both reminds and compels people not to lose touch with their heritage. Her characters seem so believable that her reminder at the end of the book that is a work of fiction seems startling. I recommend this book for anyone, especially for those with an interest in the history of Jewish Latin America.