| History | Aims of the Lodge | Executive Directors | Members |
| Activities | Future Plans | Contact |


arriba Brief History of the B'nai B'rith Maimónides Lodge

On May 17th, 1943, a month before the uprising of the Warsaw's Ghetto and in the midst of the turn about to come in the war against the Nazis, the B'nai B'rith Maimonides Lodge is founded in Cuba, recognized by the Central Office of Washington with the No. 1516, and sanctioned by the Government of the Province of Havana with the No. 12700.

The Cuban branch is established by the reference patterns of the International B'nai B'rith, the oldest and biggest of the fraternal and educational Jewish organizations, that was founded on October 13th, 1843 in order to, according to its own Statutes:

Unite the Israelites with the goal of promoting elevated purposes for the benefit of themselves and of humanity in general; of developing and elevating the moral and spiritual character of the people of our faith; of introducing the most pure principles of charity, honour and patriotism; of supporting the sciences and arts; of alleviating the needs of the poor; of visiting and assisting the sick; of coming on the rescue of victims of all types of persecutions and of protecting and assisting the widows and orphans, according to the most ample principles of humanity.

Its name means Sons of the Alliance and its emblem is the seven branches of the Menorah, those on the left side signifying light, justice and peace, those on the right benevolence, fraternal love and harmony, and the one in the middle, truth.


arribaAims of the Lodge

On the article No. 3 of the bylaws the aims of this lodge are, according to the principles of this organization existing in numerous countries around the world, those of promoting culture, visiting and assisting the sick and help the needy among the Jews living in Cuba.

There are several commissions of work to accomplish such aim: Solidarity, Culture and Feasts and Members.

Solidarity tasks refer to mutual aid among the members of the Lodge and those who need it within the Jewish community. Without turning into a beneficence society in the old way, the Lodge is devoted to help the most needed in a fraternal way.


arribaExecutive Directors


Lic. Isaac Roussó,    President
Eng. Simón Goldstein,   
Vice- president       
Lic. Jacobo Barlía,   
Secretary     
Julio Wisznia,   
Treasurer     
Lic. Isaac Gelen,   
Vice- secretary      
Dra. Rosa Behar,   
Vice- treasurer


arribaMembers

1 Eugenia Aeronovna Maliutina
2 Donna Albalah Levy
3 Lourdes Albo
4 Esther Asís Córdova
5 Salomón Balí Levy
6 Isidoro Baly Maya
7 Zoia Barach
8 Jacobo Barlía Arrieta
9 Rosa Behar Hasday
10 David Behar Dueñas
11 Roberto Behar Machulan
12 Israel Blumenkrantz Kaufmar
13 Salomón Bradman Turnowska
14 Ana María Cheni Sanchez
15 Mauricio Ciokler
16 Pablo Corrales Susi
17 Orlando Carlos del Risco Arado
18 Adela Dworin
19 Víctor Aarón Elnecavé Levy
20 Lázaro Elnecavé Torres
21 José Esquenazi Mitrani
22 Jaime José Esquenazi Felosztajy
23 Eugenia Farín Levy
24 Alberto Fernandez Barroca
25 Roberto Fernández-Fis
26 Pablo Fundora Piñeyro
27 Ana María García
28 Isaac Gelen
29 Simón Goldstein Rosenflu
30 Isidoro Guerón
31 Ana Guinzburg
32 Susana Hasday Niego
33 Yolanda Heller Martínez
34 Nelsa Hernandez Reyes
35 Yolanda Igelco Tykolinska
36 Esther Jequin Savariego
37 Benjamín Klivanski
38 Rebeca Langus
39 José Levy Tur
40 Raysa María Levy Jarel
41 Kenya Levy Mas
42 Grisel Lorenzo Levy
43 Shirley Maya
44 Alberto Mechulam Cohen
45 José Miller
46 Aylet Ojeda Jequín
47 Isaac Parra Grimburg
48 Mario Felix Parra Grinberg
49 David Pernas Levy
50 David Prinstein Señorans
51 Nereida Quintana Maya
52 Isaac Roussó Lilo
53 Luis Roussó
54 Benny Rutkevich Vainstock
55 Claudio Scherle
56 Elda Sevy Botton
57 Luis Sklarz Tejblum
58 Carlos Solomón Sansó
59 Salomón Sussi Sarfati
60 David Tácher Romano
61 Esther Toruncha
62 Raúl Vázquez Babani
63 Sofía Zubareva
64 Luis Winograd K.
65 Julio Wisznia Hepner
66 Samuel Zagovalov Montero
67 Frida Zaitman Bimblich
68 Alberto Zilberstein Toruncha
69 José Zilberstein


arribaActivities carried out by the Lodge

The Cuban B'nai B'rith has two branches of work: on one hand, the aid to the needy, and on the other, cultural activities with the members of the Lodge; although we intend to widen very quickly our field of action and extend it to other sectors of the Cuban Jewish Community and exchange with the non-Jewish people as well.

In relation to the first issue, that of helping the needy, the Tzedaka Fund was created in the year 2002 along with the Cuban Jewish Relief Committee, located in Pittsburgh and presided by our brother Stanley Cohen. This fund pursues to help people really in need, especially those over 70 years with no family support or with insufficient retirement pension. The success of this project promoted the creation of the Emergency Fund, whose aim is to help families who face certain difficulties due to their lack of resources. Such is the case of house repairs, electrical equipment repair or other items that are indispensable in homes. We have received generous help to this latter fund from other fraternal organizations such as the Jewish Cuba Connection sited in California and headed by Stanley Falkenstein; the Cuban American Jewish Mission, with an office in Oakland and led by Dr. Robert and June Safran; the Sephardic Friends, located in Tustin, California and headed by Roe Gruber and the JCC leaded by Miriam Saul, from Atlanta.

Regarding the cultural activity, we are looking forward to having the members of the Lodge participate on lectures and movie discussions about Jewish topics at least once a month.


arribaFuture Plans and Achievements

The creation and development of the Tzedaka Fund has been a decisive step to the rebirth of our B'nai B'rith Lodge. It has allowed us to show that we are capable of developing a serious project without too much expense and with a great transparency in our actions. That's only within the Cuban Jewish Community, because we have also developed a project through which fifty three very needed people have received help with the aid, financing and coordination of the Cuban Jewish Relief Committee. Certainly, only one condition has been set to these people, the condition of being worthy of that help. When all the benefits of this project are given to a person a letter is also delivered with a message that, among other things, reads:

…This should not be taken as a charity work. As you have seen, the name of the fund is Tzedaka that in Hebrew means Justice. Thus, this is not a lifelong service but something we believe you deserve at this moment, not only because of your need but also because of your behaviour. If any time, the behaviour of a beneficiary were contrary to the Jewish principles, in justice the aid would cease as well…

Donors and members of the committee that collect necessary funds have also expressed their satisfactions with the development of this task because they know for sure that their money goes to people who are really in need and deserve to be helped.

As explained previously, along with the Tzedaka Fund the Emergency Fund has allowed to repair some houses that were about to collapse in approximately a year time. Other families have been able to face repairing or replacement of indispensable electrical equipments.

Other activities of helping to members of the community, have been to get for the communitarian pharmacy, the enough amount of Pentoxiphiline, a medicine used in severe circulatory problems.
Other field of aid is the supply of eyeglasses to needy people. This project is being developed with the support and assistance of Stanley Falkenstein, from the Cuban Jewish Connection and the ophthalmologist Dr. Barry Leonard.

An outcome of these visits and contacts was the emergence of another unplanned field of help. This time it was not about providing specific aid to members of the Jewish Community but to a pediatric hospital in Havana City. It came up in the summer of 2002, when several groups visiting our community met and all of them had brought medicines for the communitarian pharmacy. There were not only medicines but also materials used in hospitals such as disposable syringes, serum devices, surgery gloves, etc. When expressing our concern about it, we proposed to take part of those medicines and hospital supplies to be donated to a children hospital, and so they were to the Juan Manuel Marquez Pediatric Hospital.

Such thing, that could have been completely coincidental, has become a habit for those who visit us and keep in touch. Thus, our Lodge is an efficient collaborator of that assisting centre. In all this time, our work has had many emotional moments. One example is when dolls were brought to be distributed among hospitalized children. The importance is that such dolls were no bought in a store but had been hand-made by an old lady from a home for seniors in Los Angeles, California, especially for Cuban children in the hospital.

Another important example was the idea of a Hillel youth group group from Cornell University, Ithaca in New York of buying paint and actually paint part of this hospital, leaving a wall painting made by them as a remembrance.

Again we must remind that this is not a charity work in the old way we knew years ago, but a tzedaká, an act of justice. Our children and those of other people outside our community attend that or any other hospital in Cuba. The Jewish Community is just a small part of the whole great Cuban people community.

Despite the fact that these activities of collaboration and help have been determining to ensure the prestige of our Lodge today, we don't want to have it as our only branch of work. Even though we have decided to conclude our routine meetings with lectures on Jewish topics, that is just a first step to a cultural promotion program we want to develop involving members of our organization with binds with the rest of the Jewish community or even out of it. We've carried out our first attempts and we're determined to strengthen these set of activities that include lectures, conferences, concerts and movie discussions.

On May 2003 we had the celebration of the 60th anniversary of our Lodge. We were honoured with the presence of our supporters, Stanley Cohen, Stanley Falkenstein and June Safran, as well as several Cuban intellectuals.

On October 2003 we had the visit of Joel Kaplan, President of B'nai B'rith International. It has been an important event for us, and a great satisfaction to hear from him his satisfaction for our work.


arribaContact


Isaac Rousso Lilo   ( President )
E-mail:
iroussolilo@yahoo.com
Telephone: 832 2730


   
 

B'nai B'rith

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