Jews began arriving in Paraguay from France, Switzerland and Italy toward the end of the 19th century, followed by a further wave of immigration in the early decades of the 20th. Part of that migration was comprised of Ukrainian, Russian and Polish Jews who had previously immigrated to Argentina. Between 1904 and 1905, several families from Argentina settled in Limpio. According to public records, they were received by a band playing music upon their arrival at the port of Asunción. Then, around 1908, the Sephardic immigrants began arriving from what was then Ottoman Palestine. This trend intensified during the First World War with the arrival of a second wave of Palestinian, Egyptian and Turkish Jews.
Another wave of immigrants from Ukraine and Poland began arriving in the 1920s, assisted by relatives already living in Paraguay. A number of the newcomers settled in Villarica, Artigas and Borja, though the majority made their way to Asunción.
Integration, both between Jews of differing origins and between Jews and the non-Jewish majority, was initially difficult. The poorest Jewish classes were located in the center of the capital in an area that was called "Palestinian Quarter." In Villarica, the country’s second city, there was a small but active Jewish community that developed diverse cultural and religious activities. By 1932, there were 120 Jewish families in Asunción.