Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Laura Limonic's book "Kugel and Frijoles: Latino Jews in the United States," was selected by the Latin American Jewish Studies Association for its 2020 "Best Book Award." LAJSA was founded in 1982 to promote and bring together scholars whose work focuses on the lives, languages, experiences, cultural production, and representations of Jews in and from Latin America.
"Kugel and Frijoles" analyzes the changing construction of race and ethnicity among Latino Jewish immigrants in major cities including Boston, New York, Miami and Southern California through the lens of contemporary Jewish immigrants from Latin America. Under normal circumstances the award would have been announced association's international research conference that was to be held in Curaçao at the end of June.
"This book is pioneering in its overview of the contemporary Jewish immigrant experience from Latin America and explores the distinctiveness of Jewish Latino populations in the process of integrating into U.S. culture," stated LAJSA with regards to the award. "Written in an accessible and engaging way, the book draws upon the concepts of heterogeneity, interconnectivity, and transnationalism among Jews originating from many Latin American countries and adopting national and religious identities in response to different situations."
Published in 2019 by Wayne State University Press, the 264-page book may be purchased online.
Dr. Limonic has an extensive background in public policy research and advocacy in the area of contemporary immigration to the United States and the integration trajectories of ethnic and ethno-religious groups. Her academic work has been supported by the Berman Foundation and the Association of Jewish Studies. She earned her PhD in Sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center, her Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from Brandeis University.