Judith Laikin Elkin
Judith Laikin Elkin is an associate of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and founding president of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University, she is the author of The Jews of Latin America and co-editor of The Jewish Presence in Latin America. She edited the semiannual journal Latin American Jewish Studies for eighteen years.
A former United States Foreign Service Officer, Elkin has travelled widely in Asia, Europe, and South America. Her memoir, Krishna Smiled, recounts her adventures collecting books in South Asia for US government libraries. On her return to the United States, she developed a column of foreign news analysis for the Detroit Free Press and Toledo Blade. She has taught history and political science at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University and Albion College. During the Columbus Quincentenary Year, she directed a yearlong series of conferences funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities on the theme “Jews and the Encounter with the New World, 1492/1992” and also served as consulting historian on several exhibits, including “Voyages to Freedom: Five Hundred Years of Jewish Life in Latin America and the Caribbean” and “Mosaic: Jewish Life in Florida.”
“I Carry My Roots with Me,” an exhibition of Latin American Jewish arts and culture for which Elkin was historical consultant, opened at the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center on May 18, 2000.