| Review | Participants | Sponsorship |


In March 2003 as an initiative of the youth Macabi Cuba Organization, the talks with Mr Gidi Mark, International Marketing Director of the Taglit Birthright Israel began. The program is an educational opportunity for young Jews. To the question, why can´t the Cuban Jews participate in such a program? .Surprisingly the responses from the Jerusalem officials showed enthusiasm. Coordinations started to guarantee the participation of the Cuban Jews in the Taglit program.

Taglit is a unique experience in which the people of Israel through its government, the Local Jewish Agency, and Jewish Philanthropist participate. The goal is to present groups of Jewish ages 18-26 who had never visited Israel with an educational tour through Israel.

As in the Cuban case, as there were fund limitations for the local community to afford paying one third of the expenses and as the Taglit program is coordinated through ORT Cuba, Mr Robert Singer, Director General of the World ORT interceded in the preliminary conversations to try to find an immediate solution. It was then, when representatives of the Jewish Federation of Canada (UIA Federations Canada) through the offices of the Canada Israel Experience CIE, offered themselves to sponsor the trip of a group of Cubans and Canadians to visit Israel. In this way strengthening the friendship that links the two communities.

Mr Adam Minsky Director of National Programs in Canada, started his works as one of the coordinators of the Cuba Canada program- Israel Experience. The JDC, organization that worked in Cuba also covered part of the local expenses and supported the development of the project.

In this way, in August, the dream came true and ten Cubans were visiting Israel.

The Taglit program combines and incorporates components that help our young people understand the heritage and the connexion with Israel. At the same time, It gives them the tools and motivation to go to their communities and cascade their experiences actively. Besides that, this program can be seen as a way to strengthen the relations among the people of Cuba, Canada and Israel. After the August experience, there have been many programs between Cuba and Canada.

We have received the visit of the principal leaders of the Canadian Jewish Federations who were interested in this ongoing sharing. We have also shared with the first Jewish group of volunteers, the one that had participated in the Canada-Cuba Israel experience 2003.

With this interchange the intentions of the Taglit´s sponsors are fulfilled. They created this project to let thousands of youngsters from all the parts of the world to visit Israel and enhance the solidarity of the Israeli youth with the Jewish communities of the world. It also aims at motivating these young people to come back to visit Israel and promoting the role of Israel as a source of Jewish education.

So far, more than 48,000 youngsters have visited Israel for the first time. In this figure the Cuban people can already be counted as participants. We hope that new groups from our community will have the chance to live this once in a lifetime opportunity.

We are grateful to the following organizations for their support. The Canada Israel Experience, Taglit Birthright Israel, the JDC and the world ORT. We also thank the Office of Religious affairs and the representatives of the Cuban government who have helped us reach for our goals.


The first group of Cubans that visited Israel in August 2003 was composed by:

Coordinator: William Miller, 27, Director General ORT Cuba.
Honoured Guest: David Tacher, 52, President of the Jewish Community of Santa Clara,
Maria Luisa Zayon, 21, student 4th year journalism Havana Annette Ramos Eli, 23, Student. Architecture. Havana
Diana Zilberstein, 18, Student Music Havana
Yacov Veresniaga, 23, student Electric Engineering Havana
Marlén Rivera, 24, Student ORT.
Annie Frid, 24, Economist, Sancti Spiritus
Yoandri Pernas, 23, BA physical Education Teacher. Camaguey
Victoria Farin, 24, BA Mathematics and Computing. Santiago de Cuba

A year later, on July 2004, a second group replicates the experience, the participants were:

Coordinator: William Miller, 28, Director General ORT Cuba.
Madrijá: Tamara Russo Viota, 30, Chemist
Annie Luisa Baly Roque, 24, BA Economics
Sonia Gómez Canety, 22, Student. English language
Yohan Lamelas Fundora, 27, Member of the Seder Madrijim
Alina Ruiz de Villa Maliutina, 22, Student, History
Jeiro Montagne Babany, 24, BA Phisycal Education
Betty Nelsa Delgado Farin, 23, Student Chemistry
Amed Reyes Pernas, 20, student. Computing Sciences


UIA Federations Canada (Canada Israel Experience Taglit Birthright Israel)
World ORT
Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
Patronage of the Cuban Jewish Community





Tikun Olam


Taglit - Birthright