Brazil: enamel pin of the Jewish Community of Sao Paulo ("Círculo Israelita de São Paulo"), circa. 1920s-1930s; not maker-marked; size: 11mm x 40mm; weight: 0.85g.
Design is of blue and white enamel with emblem at center and stylized metal lettering all around, "Circulo Israelita De S. Paulo".
An immigration wave of European Jews reached Brazil after the First World War and by 1929 in Brazil itself there were over 30,000 Jews and 27 Jewish schools. In April 1926 the "Circulo Israelita" was founded by young Jews who came from financially established and "emancipated" families (eg. families who had overcome the sprit of being "Ghetto Jews'), and had several branched in the center of Sao Paulo.
The "Circulo Israelita" was considered an 'elite' club, whose main activities were entertainment, encouraging social interation and attempting to tackle issues affecting the Jewish community.
Brazil was composed of many ethnic groups, from Europe and the Middle East, and in the spirit of the time each ethnic group tried to establish itself and integrate into the surrounding culture through proficiency in sports: in 1927 the Circulo Israelita established the Maccabi sports club ("Clube Esportivo Israelita Brasileiro Macabi"), as a Jewish sports organization; throughout the 1940's-60's both organizations were important pillars to the Jewish community (in the 1950's-60's the Pan-American Maccabi Games were held in Brazil and South America).
The "Circulo Israelita" existed as an independent Jewish organization until 1971, when it merged with its Maccabi branch and is now known by that latter name. A relatively rare item as although the Brazilian Jewish community numbers almost 100,000 members, very little of its history is documented.
מילות מפתח: מדליות מוסדות עמותה עמותות יהודיות בית בתי ספר מרכז קהילתי ברזיל יודאיקה יוקאיכה