WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE OF THE CUBAN JEWISH COMMUNITY

Thanks to the endeavour of many valuable comrades we can publish the Website of the Cuban Jewish Community. We aim at showing life in our community as it is, by giving as much information as possible about history, traditions, customs and peculiarities of the Jewish life in Cuba.

Nowadays, in the world, there are diverse Websites about the Jewish Community in Cuba, but none of them has been developed in our Community; thus, much of the information shown in them doesn’t reflect the true characteristics or lacks information about relevant issues of the development of our congregation.

By publishing this website, the Hebrew Community of Cuba creates an informative and illustrative site that will let other Jews know about the history, groups, organizations and projects developed in our Community.

CUBA AND ITS JEWS

In 1893, when Jose Marti was fighting for the necessary war, which would bring independence for Cuba, he wrote for the newspaper Patria, the journal of the Cuban revolutionary party , promoter of the independent movement he had founded in the exile, an article about the racial issue he wrote was threatening to damage the union of the revolutionaries. From this article we quote:* ... racist has been a confusing word, we have to clarify the term. Who would dare to be conceited about his race and think he has special rights?

Men have no special rights just for being from one race or another; say man, and you would say all rights. What divides men, everything specifying, everything framing or isolating men is a sin against humanity.

These are Marti’s concepts. His principles are the foundation of our Republic and our national spirit. Our concepts of nationality and citizenship reject the old religious and racist prejudices which exclude any individuality, ethnic or cultural. These have been changed for respect and mutual understanding, tolerance and coexistence that grow from human comprehension.

Since its origin, the most intelligent leaders of The Jewish Community have looked for, through the most relevant non Jewish citizens, their traditions and customs, both religious and cultural and they were understood and accepted naturally as the lifestyle of a part of the citizenship, which particularly constituted a different community, but in general is as Cuban as any other.

In this way, this immigrant community that began coming to Cuba from the very beginning of our Republic was forming families and upbringing their children: The First Cuban Jews.

Everything our Community has created is a part of the historical and cultural inheritance. The Historian of the city of Havana, Eusebio Leal Spengler PhD has known and assessed this value and relevance in the historical center.

The opening of The Raquel Hotel with its Cuban-Jewish atmosphere and its kosher food, the permanent exhibition of “The Forgotten” painted by Victor Manuel, one of the greats of the Cuban fine arts, who was inspired by the tragic incident of the ST. Louis Ship with more than 900 Jewish passengers, who at that time were persecuted by The Nazis while looking for the shelter in America, and had to go back to the Holocaust Europe as it didn’t find where to land.

Dr Leal has to reproduce the painting and place it at The Raquel Hotel and that is another sign of his and the Cuban people’s respect for the imprints of the Jewish presence in Cuba. This year a booklet was published by The Fernando Ortiz Foundation under the sponsorship of the writer Miguel Barnet, this launching was made with enthusiasm in the first days of February.

The Jewish Community thanks Dr Eusebio Leal, Historian of The City of Havana, Dr Miguel Barnet, President of The Fernando Ortiz Foundation, and B, A. Maritza Corrales, publisher of the booklet for their contribution in pointing out the place The Jewish Community has in the history and life of The Republic of Cuba.

Jose Miller, Dr.

 

   
 

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