| Situation | Brief history of Santa Clara | Brief history of Caibarien |


Jewish Community of Santa Clara.
Address :Edif 5 Apto 8.Reparto Cardoso
President:David Tacher

Hebrew Community of Caibarien.
Address:Calle 16 #1719
President:Berta Levy
Vice president:Julio Rodriguez Eli

Brief History of Santa Clara

If you still remember your first love, you will understand, the feelings we have been living since we began with the community work, creating a Jewish Community with genuine principles and values requires a lot of effort and above all the strong will to carry out this project. It is necessary for every community member to realize how important he or she is within the community and how important it is to feel spiritual fulfilment in every move he or she takes.

The Or- Jadash Community of Santa Clara emerges in 5756 during Rosh Hashaná, with a mission: to revive Judaism in our city. We are the followers of The Ancient Community that existed in our city. We are closed to celebrating our seventh year. These years have been full of relevant moments for our souls. And these moments had an impact. We have given and taken and this has allowed us to grow as human beings.

In the religious field new services have been incorporated Kabalat Shabat, Rosh Hashaná (with Shojar), Hanuka, Purim, Pesaj and the remembrance of the Shoá, Shavuot.

During many years we have been engaged in the reconstruction of the Jewish Cementery, which is in time, the burial center of the Communities of the Central part of the country. And which was in a stay of decay. Today we are proud of what it is.

Socially, we have established relations with different institutions both, religious and cultural to spread the values and realities of the Jewish life, many times unknown and sometimes distorted. In this regard, we have made:

- An exhibition of the Jewish Symbols with a workshop in The City House.
- An ecumenical meeting with The Diocese of Santa Clara where the main topic was the Shoá and mutual sharing within the necessary respect. We had the precence of the Bishop, Dr José Miller and officials from the Joint Distribution Committee, JDC, as well as members of the Christian and Jewish Communities.
- A lecture at the José Martí National Library as part of the program to celebrate the Dutch exhibition about Ana Frank.
- Tzedaká works both from the Community and its members.

All these activities have made us gain recognition in our social environment and live a life full of sense and commitment. Through all these years, we have interchanged with other communities in the country. We have strong links with them and we have also had contacts with groups from the USA with which we have lived important moments. Different topics have been discussed as well as the urgent need of integration of all the Yehudim.

No matter how few we are, we have given humanity our ideas as a wonderful heritage.

Brief history of Caibarién

Some time ago, watching all family photographs, my cousin Esther found one from the 1930´s in which these was a Jewish Community made of immigrants who settled in Remedios and Caibarién, towns from the former province of Las Villas, and grouping the territories of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Santi Spiritus. There was an important number of Jews, the majority of them Sefaradim, who devoted themselves to commerce. This former province had a synagogue in its capital city, Santa Clara, two cemeteries, one in the capital city and the other in the town of Camajuaní.

Unfortunately, there are not survivors from this historical photograph, but as it was Bikur Jolim, which means “ Help for the Sick”, we are sure they made a wide and beautiful communitarian work, based on unity and solidarity among all the Jews, the established and the ones arriving at the country.

While I was watching the photograph, I remembered my childhood and I saw the little metal boxes in the Jewish houses with their inscriptions and a map of our Holy Land. These boxes were for the needy, and as my grandfather told me, they were part of the aid sent to our brothers in Palestine, before and after the foundation of our Israel. These boxes were delivered in the synagogues and all the Jewish families contributed with something. I also remembered everybody knew and helped each other in difficult times
During The Rosh Hashaná days. The “Or El” Community of Caibarién reaches 7 years of age. Here we are the descendants of the group of Jewish who arrive in Cuba with their hearts full of love and hope. They sacrificed themselves to educate and made us proud of our origins and traditions. And though we are not many in our synagogue, we have in the central region four Jewish communities which have enliven Judaism and have worked for its continuity by giving their children their feeling of solidarity, love and respect.

We have the aid of all the Cuban Jewish Community and our brothers in other countries. We also have the support of the JDC ( Joint Distribution Committee ) which has made possible with both, the material and spiritual efforts to make a great big family
We wish well to all our brothers. May all their wishes come true.