4: Excerpt, Alberto Gerchunoff’s "Los Gauchos Judíos," 1910.
Los Gauchos Judíos, written by Alberto Gerchunoff in 1910, contains a series of vignettes depicting what life was like for new Jewish immigrants in Argentina. He writes about a range of topics including about how the immigrants learned to work the land, what it was like when they arrived, and how they ultimately blended their Eastern European identity with that of their newfound Argentinian identity.
Suggested Activity: Have students do a close reading of the excerpt. How does Gerchunoff portray the immigrants? Do they seem excited to be in Argentina? Are they longing for the lives they left behind in Russia? What insight do the "little verses in Russian, praising the soil" of Argentina give us? What new opportunities does Argentina give the immigrants?
Source: Gerchunoff, Alberto. Jewish Gauchos of the Pampas. (New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press), 1998.