“THE IMPURE”— Jewish Prostitution in Argentina


Jewish Prostitution in Argentina

Amos Lassen

Daniel Najenson’s personal documentary “The Impure” looks at the institutionalization of Jewish prostitution in Argentina in the early 20th century. During the wave of Eastern European Jewish emigration, thousands of Jewish women were tempted with promises of wealth by Argentinean brothels. The prostitutes and their pimps (in some cases the husbands of the prostitutes) were also newly emigrated Jewish men, who quickly developed a underworld in Buenos Aires. They were seen as “the impure,” provoking the shame of the Argentinean Jewish community. Najenson illustrates this by digging up revelations of his own family’s history and shows that “the impure” were inextricably woven into the social and political fabric of Argentinean-Jewish life. There were vicious organizations and brothels owners that practiced Judaism while trafficking thousands of unfortunate Eastern-European Jewish woman.

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