The proposal to create a Jewish representation in the city occurred in 1927. The project took place partially in 1932 through the formation of the Federation of Jewish Societies, made up by the presidents of twenty societies that existed at the time in the capital city that were supposedly the authorized representatives of the Ashkenazi group. The Federation remained for two years. Then a Committee For Refugees arose that eventually became the Mexican Jewish Central Committee on November 9, 1938 in Mexico City.
The goals of the institution were to form an organic group of the whole Jewish Community in Mexico. The Central Committee began to work in a very difficult environment since its main activity was to support the refugees arriving in Mexican ports from Hitler’s Europe as well as the task of anti-defamation.
The Central Committee Fondshas twenty books of proceedings that tell the story of the work of the Central Committee between 1938 and 1992. In them we find the formation of the institution, the community composition in the Committee, money collections for Mexico such as Red Cross or the help granted after hurricanes or earthquakes suffered in the country, community leaders and help offered to refugees. The Documentation Center has 5,000 files in 178 archive boxes AGN12. This archive is unique and irreplaceable because it was donated by the Mexican Jewish Central Committee itself and there are no copies of its documents.
The most important sections are the administrative that holds the record of proceedings, accounting, reports from the board, assistance committee and membership; the Jewish Hospital that tells about the project of construction of a hospital to attend Jewish members; refugees divided into the Committee For Refugees, Assistance to Refugees and protection to Jews and Second World War with its branches: Allied Work of War, Anti Nazi Propaganda and protection to Jews.
3) JEWISH CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (1931-1957).
Since the very first years of Jewish immigration into Mexico, commerce and small industry were the occupations of most of the new arrivals. The environment for merchants was very auspicious because intermediaries between large industry and the consumer mass were few. This situation benefited many of the immigrants so they could devote themselves to sales on the installment plan and later on to get a small capital for a store or workshop.
From the outset, the community required an organization able to protect and assist Jewish merchants. Men of this type together with small newly arrived producers needed juridical protection, advice and representatives who could intervene before the government authorities.
Having its own Chamber of Commerce became a question of prestige for the community because other smaller groups had their own chamber by then.
The Chamber of Small Jewish Businesses was founded on June 27, 1929 not just to coordinate among themselves but for the need of having representative organs before Mexican society. The first problem it had to face was the regulation of the Federal District authorities that their stands had to be taken away during lunchtime. However, that institution existed during only seven months. It dissolved on January 27, 1930.
In the protocols of the constitutive assembly of the Jewish Chamber of Industry and Commerce that took place in Tacuba 15, on March 24, 1931, it was stipulated that Mr. Barrou would be the president and Jacobo Landau the secretary.
The Chamber desired to have better relations with the Federal District and the state governments so that they could make a joint effort to strengthen and develop national industry and commerce.
Its creation had two main reasons: a) to be an instrument of defense of the interests of its members and b) to be united against anti-Semitic campaigns. The Jewish Chamber backed its members through advice, information about matters such as imports, exports, contract signatures, etc.
During its existence, the Chamber was devoted to:
1) Offering commercial, industrial and agricultural information both inside the country and abroad.
2) Obtaining the residence and legal entrance of members’ families and to hire juridical counsel.
3) Representing the community before the State.
4) Helping obtain licenses for small merchants, for peddlers and for manufacturers.