| Beth Shalom Synagogue | Adath Israel | Sefaradim Center |


Calle I esq. 13 vedado
Telephone: 5378328953

President: Dr Jose Miller
Vicepresident: Adela Dorin
Treasurer: Lic. Frida Zaitman
Secretary: Dalia Goméz

Brief History
June the 17th, 1951, is undoubtedly a relevant date for the history of our Community, since from this day, thanks for the perseverance of the patronage of The Hebrew Community of Cuba, the first stone of our social building was settled. This relevant fact reaffirmed our personality and identity in Cuba. Our parents came to Cuba with their hearts and minds in sorrow for the spectacle The European World has after World War I, struggles, prejudices, devastation and wretchedness. In Cuba, they found generous and hospitable people, which opened their arms without reserves .Although they were not many they made an important contribution to the economy and culture of the country.
Soon, they become established and they proudly adopted the Cuban Citizenship. They educated their children in the teachings of their history, culture and ideals and they taught them to feel for Cuba, its efforts, struggles, sorrows and hopes
They raised the building in Havana as their wide house, comfortable center for upgrading and cultural improvement .A stone monument that symbolizes The Hebrew roots in Marti’s land.

Under this wide and cozy roof, we practice the religion of our ancestors .Charity institutions function there to help the sick by delivering medication for free. There is an ample library. Our youngsters practice sports .We celebrates cultural activities, parties and traditions. We have a Sunday school and a Technological Center and we open our arms to all the goodwill citizens who want to get closer to us.

With this initiative on June 17th, 1951, when we raised The House of The Cuban Jewish Community new horizons were opened to the Hebrews in Cuba. Our founding fathers were Herman Heisler, Isaac Gurwitzs, Leon Hiller, Ben Dizik, Julio Carity, Ida Portnoy and many others.

To them, we are indebted and grateful..


Acosta and Picota.Habana Vieja.

President: Alberto Zilberstein
Administrator: Luis Rousso.

Brief History
Seventy seven years after Adath Israel was founded is still faithful to its principles and objectives: to create an orthodox oratory, watch for the religious feeding laws, organize a Jebra Kadisha, and create rooms for the promotion and sustainability of our faith and the empowerment of the Jewish spirit. First, it was located at 103 Jesus Maria Street, Old Havana, and after the 50¨s it was situated in Acosta and Picota, only a few blocks from “The Capitol” in the heart of the historical center of Havana.

No matter the times, Sundays or holidays, the cold or hot weather ,the rain or even hurricanes, its doors have opened at dawn everyday, as witnesses of time and perseverance for the Shajarit services , and they do not close until twilight once The Minja and Maariv are through. We do not remember a day in which it has been closed. Adath Israel is a place to stay, to meet others, to pray, to reflect, it is a place for a sincere repentance and for the communication with the same God of our parents and grandparents. This place is a safe one for a Kadish to a relative or friend who is absent. And it is also a place for Shabat happiness or a mourning place in Tishia Be Av. The walls vibrate with Shojar, a deep cry awakening Gods mercy and why not? Our mercy. And in Iom Kipur we find faces, sometimes unknown or unfamiliar from any part of the world looking for pardon. As that´s the way we human beings are as we are that human.

No matter the renovating atmosphere of the building we still breathe history and tradition. We can as we did before in our pilgrimage through the desert, eat in a hut during Sucot or breathe exquisite scents of the Lulav or the etrog, or dance in Sinjat Tora celebrating our unity . As we are, to our rejoicing the people of the book. People of deep traditions, of deep hopes, of giant dream and our House, your House is there as a perennial link with god, you and your people.



Calle 17 esq. E .vedado

President:Jose Levy Tur
Treasurer: Dr Raquel Marichal

Brief History
To talk about Sefaradim Jews in Cuba and their presence here, it is necessary to go over the way which let them arrive to our country. Sefarad is the Hebrew word for Spain. That’s why the Jew was called Sefaradim during centuries, it is assumed that the Jews lived in Sefarad and developed their culture in many fields such as the fine arts, literature, science and commerce. Nowadays, we can still listen to the marvellous and moving worlds of the best Sefaradim poets as Yehuda Halevi or Ibn Gabirol during Rosh, Hashana and Iom Kipur. Mainmonides and Najmanides also lived and composed religious and philosophical words.
Many Spanish cities show, even nowadays, the imprints of the Jews that lived there. There were splendorous times, but there were also times of persecution, massacres and distress, this was the loved, cherished and longed for land.

1492 marked the end of the Jewish presence in the Iberian Peninsula. It is said that with the Expulsion Bill, signed by the Spanish Queen and King, nearly 300 000 Jews were thrown out of Spain. Otherwise they would have been converted to Christianism or exterminated. So, they followed the Mediterranean basin, from the northern part of Africa to Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey or the northern part of Europe, to Holland mainly.
From all the countries mentioned, it was precisely Turkey were the Sefaradim Jews were a great number .This migration led the country to benefit in all regards and it allowed the Sefaradi´s outstanding over the Turkish Jews. The emperor Bayeceto XI then said:...you call King Fernando a wise King, but he impoverished his own country while he enriched ours This new wave of immigrants soon adapted to the land which welcome them, there, they settled with their customs they had never abandoned.

It is worth reminding that the expulsion of the Jews coincided with an expedition led by Admiral Christopher Columbus, which turned into the discovery of the new world. That’s why in Cuba, there has been the Jewish presence for five centuries, many converted Jews arrived in the expeditions from Spain to America.
There is not much knowledge about the Jewish life during the colonial period. The antecedents of the Community we have nowadays go back to 1906 when the first institution, coming from the USA, The United Jewish Congregation was founded. The first wave of the Sefaradim Jews took place in 1907_1908 from Turkey and Syria. We can imagine the situation the first Jewish met as there was no place for their religious practice. Knowing there were other Jews, in this case American that did not speak their language, and had other customs or did not accept them, made the new environment an alien place for the new immigrants.

To get accustomed to the new situation, the Sefaradim began growing and eventually celebrating religious activities with the United Jewish Congregation, but meanwhile they were creating the necessary conditions to be independent, and to create its own Kal (Temple).As regards the social activity they were getting along well as ,in a way, they could communicate with the Cubans in their language.

When 1914 came, there was the right moment for the Sefaradim congregation which was created under the name of Shevet Ajim Hebrew Union. The years ahead correspond to the military events (see World war I and the Balcan War) which provoked new arrivals of the Jewish immigrants from Europe and Turkey as well, who escaped from these territories.

The Sefaradim Jews not only needed the synagogue but also the institution and organization to solve their problems .That’s why, they created the Charity Society Bikur Jolim to care for the sick, The Jevra Kadisha to bury their dead and The Theodore Herzl School for the educational instruction and for the transmission of the values of Judaism to the new generation.