Stark Contrasts and Traffic: A Jewish Odyssey in Sao Paulo

In the Brazilian metropolis of 11.2 million, there are tremendous economic disparities among its roughly 60,000 Jews. Of course the religion that really unifies everyone here is soccer.

The sense of the exotic almost wears off the moment one lands in the traffic of a polluted and congested São Paulo highway. The southern sun is strong in December, the air heavy with smog. White buildings, skyscrapers, palm trees, plateaus in the distance. Everything here tastes, smells, sounds green. Water tingles in every air molecule. “Traffic will be much worse when World...