May 12, 2008 | 5:08 pm
Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
I think there are less Jews in Cuba than at Langer’s at any given time, but this small community (it’s actually numbers about 1,500) has spent the past decade on the rebound. Here’s what led to the decline in numbers so small that the synagogue, which still has no rabbi, couldn’t form a minyan, courtesy of Cox News Service:
when Castro’s government adopted communist ideals and began confiscating private businesses and properties, most Jews fled, many to the U.S.
“But they didn’t leave because of anti-Semitism,” [Adela] Dworin said. “In Cuba the behavior of the people toward the Jews was always very nice. There was never any persecution. I decided to stay because I always felt like a Cuban, proud of being born here, very Cuban and very Jewish.”
The long years that followed were difficult, but Dworin remained optimistic. When Castro met with religious leaders in the 1990s and reversed the state’s discouragement of organized religion, Dworin and others, including Dr. Jose Miller, began seeking out Cubans with Jewish roots.
Most of the island’s Jews by then had married outside the faith, stopped attending services and lost touch with Jewish traditions. With the help of American and international Jewish support groups, the small number of faithful in Cuba began rebuilding their membership and refurbishing their facilities.
“I cried a lot when we re-opened the big sanctuary in 2000,” Dworin said, noting that the extensive remodeling job was supported by American Jewish groups. “For so long we used the small chapel, but we grew so much we no longer had enough room for services there.”
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.
12.10.13 at 11:33 am | Some 35 years after the LDS dropped the ban, the. . .
12.5.13 at 7:11 am | In some of the most astounding news I've heard. . .
12.3.13 at 7:11 am | The Supreme Court granted certiorari in ...
11.25.13 at 8:55 am | Judge Crabb ruled that the clergy housing. . .
11.23.13 at 7:46 pm | A time-lapse starting with Hinduism in 5,000 BC. . .
11.16.13 at 10:41 am | His kebab cafe on hard times, Zablon Simintov. . .
11.13.11 at 3:43 pm | Forensic anthropology may have something new to. . . (316)
12.10.13 at 11:33 am | Some 35 years after the LDS dropped the ban, the. . . (208)
11.21.11 at 11:30 pm | Julian Edelman has been playing O, D and special. . . (165)