Fundación IWO - Instituto Judio de Investigaciones

  • IWO Foundation - Institute for Jewish Research
  • Yiṿo in Argenṭine

Address

Casa Simón Dubnow
Ayacucho 483
Buenos Aires
C1026AAA CABA
Argentina

Phone

+54 11 4953 0293

Fax

+54 11 4953 9614

History

IWO Foundation is a non-profit organization that, since 1928, conserves, researches and disseminates documentary materials on the history, culture and languages of the Jewish people. The name IW originates from the abbreviation of Idisher Visnshaftlejer Institut, which stands for the Jewish Institute of Investigation in Yiddish.

The IWO Foundation maintains a library, a historical archive and a museum, creating areas for study, inter-generational communication and the meeting of cultures. It was created in the year 1925 in Vilnius, the cultural center of the Jews of Central Europe. In 1928, its headquarters were established in Buenos Aires and it began to work independently from the Second World War onwards as the IWO of Vilnius was systematically looted and destroyed during the war years. IWO Foundation offers a wide range of cultural activities, including courses on Yiddish and Jewish culture, training workshops on cultural heritage topics, book and conference presentations, concerts, and much more.

The IWO Foundation has signed an agreement of cooperation with the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires. The purpose of this agreement is to foster activities of interest for the signatories, as well as for the general public, by strengthening the cooperative bonds and institutional coordination that contribute to the fulfilment of overlapping aspects of the statutory missions of both institutions. These aspects include: the preservation of documentation and the memory of the Shoah and the promotion of a culture of respect for Human Rights; non-discrimination; the prevention of persecution of minorities; and the fight against anti-Semitism, among others.

The IWO Foundation is also taking part in a program of microfilmation and digitisation with the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Mémorial de la Shoah. The aim of this agreement is to describe, digitise and copy to microfilm materials from the IWO’s Historical Archive that refer to the Holocaust, resistance and cultural reconstruction, such as the archives of the Landslait Fareinen, the Comité Popular de Lucha Contra el Fascismo y el Antisemitismo, the archive of Shmerke Kaczerginski, and others. The program began to be formally implemented on July 2006.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

The Legislature of the city of Buenos Aires incorporated the IWO Foundation’s Library, the Historical Archive and Collections into the Cultural Patrimony of the City of Buenos Aires, under the terms of Law 1227/03 on 3 September 2009. This was in recognition of the work done by the IWO Foundation to preserve records of Jewish immigration to Argentina, spread the richness of Jewish culture and open a space for dialogue, diversity and integration.

The Chamber of Deputies of the Nation declared of the work carried about by the IWO Foundation in relation to the conservation, research and dissemination of documentary materials on the history, culture and languages of the Jewish people during November 2010 of Parliamentary Interest.

Archival and Other Holdings

IWO library and archives hold more than 60.000 volumes archives and artifacts related to the history of East European Jewry, the immigration to Latin America, the Holocaust, Jewish literature and languages, Jewish thought and religion, Israel and the middle east conflict, and more.

For example, the Archive and Library of José and Elena Moskovits were added to the IWO Library in 2013. This step marked a new stage in the project of archival collaboration between IWO, the Holocaust Museum in Washington and the Memorial of the Shoah in Paris. As part of this project, thousands of photographs, letters, reports, newspaper clippings, documents and life stories have been preserved and digitized.

Sources