Newsletter from the Cuban Jewish Community


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Newsletter, Cuban Jewish Community

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Newsletter from the Cuban Jewish Community

  1. 1.    Cuban Jewish Community Newsletter / Año 1 / No. 7 / Marc.-Apr. / 2011     Noticias    . 20 years of JDC’S work in Cuba.  The Cuban Jewish Community is pleased to present its quarterly . James Carter’s  newsletter, which is available in Spanish and English. Our . Purim Feast at the Majon Tikuninterest is to inform you about the activities that take place in our  We hope you enjoy it and we welcome any suggestions . Jalot Project.that could help us improve the work we are doing for you.    . Simcha Group’s Rikudim   Workshop.   . Presentation of Ruth Behar’s   book.20 Years of the JDCs work in Cuba. . American Congresswoman’s   visit.The celebration of 20 years of uninterrupted partnership between theCuban Jewish Community and the JDC was unforgettable. Together   . Community Passover Sedarim.with the visit of an important mission of members of the executive -------------------------------------committee   the JDC headed by Jerry Spitzer, the presence of ofSteven Schwager, Executive Director, Alberto Senderey, General The Cuban Jewish Community’sDirector for   Europe and Latin America and Fabian Triskier, Associate newsletter has been prepared by the Patronato of the Cuban JewishDirector for Latin America and the Caribbean, we witnessed the pride   Community in collaboration withthat the Cuban Jewish Community feels, its vitality, its activities, and members of its organizations.its commitment to Jewish continuity.   This newsletter is published on aWe began the community celebrations sharing the Havdalah quarterly basis, if you wish to   subscribe, click on the followingceremony and initiating the Purim festivities, together with the option:presidents of all the Jewish communities on the island, members of  the community, and the presence of Caridad Diego and Isidro Gómez, :::Subscribe to Newsletter  :::from the Office of Religious Affairs. Rabbi Shmuel Szteinhendler (our   If you wish to unsubscribe thenconstant guide throughout all these years) and Ivan Glait (former select the following option:  representative of the JDC in Cuba) delighted us with the story ofEsther’s Megillat, and later on awards were given in appreciation to :::Unsubscribe:::  the ongoing support offered by the JDC to the Cuban Jewish ---------------------------------------Community.  Amongst videos, violin songs, personal testimonies, the unmissible  rikudim presentations and other surprises, we could verify that thesehave been 20 years of deeds, not of words: a perfect example that          thanks to the constant support of the Joint, "Am Israel Be Cuba Jai".       
  2. 2. B Breve historia L La Comunida ad Hebrea de Cuba fu undada en 1906, agrup pa a 1500 ju udíos entre las congrega aciones de  G Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, G Granma, Cam magüey, Sanc Spíritus, cti S Santa Clara, Cienfuegos y Ciudad de C  L Habana. La  N Nuestra comunidad es sustentada     g gracias a las donaciones de hermanas d e  y hermanos de la Comun d nidad Judía in nternacional. Agradeceremmos siempre  s su apoyo: El futuro d de nuestra C Comunidad también de epende de u usted.  . Contact Info ormation  C Cuban Jewish Community h y.  C Calle I, Esq. a 13, Vedado,  P Plaza de la Rev volución    C Habana, Cuba. C. T Telf.: (537) 83 8953 32  F Fax: (537) 833 3778 3  Ja ames Carte ers visit t our Com to mmunity. E E-mail: beth_s shalom@enet. .cu   ormer U.S. President James Car La April, fo ast rter, shared part of th d he W Website: program of h visit to our count his try in our community During h y. his sta he  met with the President o the Cuban Jewish Communit ay of ty, ---------------- ---------------- - Ms Adela Dw s. worin and Vice Presiddent of the Patronato Mr. Dav e o, vid . Editorial Sta aff   Prinstein as well as mmembers o the board of direc of ctors of th he Pa atronato an various leaders o the prog nd of grams and community d . Marlén Prinst tein   projects that day by day take plac in our co ce ongregation With great n. . Hella Eskenazi ple easure  the former p e president ggot to know firsthand about th d he pa articulars of Jewish lif in Cuba and got to see for himself th fe a, r he . Daniel Motola a str ntity that distinguishes us as a communit rong   iden t ty. . Johanna Tock ker   . Annette Eli   . Photographs .A Ariel Benclowicz   .C Collaborator rs   . Brian Montoto   .T Translation       .D David Friedma an       ---------------------------- ----    
  3. 3. Purim Feast a the Majo Tikun ( at on (Sunday S School) . Educational & & Recreation Center. A space  create for  our  yo A  ed  oungsters The Majon Tik   kun Olam, the flagship project o our com of mmunity, on nce in which  they  can  have  access  to  a  n agai shows it excellence and hug contribu in ts ge ution to the progress of e small compute er lab, pool ta able, ping Jewish life  in o country and especially in our congregati our ion. p pong,  gym,  st tudy  room  and  game On t this occasio it turned the Purim Feast into a unique moment. T on d m o The rooom  with  X‐Box  an nd  Wii.   receeption of a myriad of children with the parents who nev n eir s, ver  stop   pped dress sing-up, to celebrate as a fam o e mily one of the finest A perfect  spo to  spend  time  with  A  ot tradditions of th festival, was very distinctive. The prese he ence of sennior your  friends,  a  pleasant  place  to  yexec cutives of the JDC, as well as member of the Board of t   rs the sttudy,  learn  and  have  fun.  On Patrronato of t the Cuban Jewish Co ommunity gave the celebration a n   T Tuesdays  and Saturdays  we  also  d remarkable glo ow. h have a physica al education t trainer to From the hand of the Kita Hei, a gro m d a oup of youngsters fro our Majo om on,   h help  you  wit fitness  plans  and  th we heard the story of Q Queen Esthe This tim with a play that n er. me not o other  youth  activities.  You can  use  a u only demonstr y rated the aacting poteential of th youngst he ters, but aalso   o our  Youth  Center  dur ring  the their complete connection to the pla which w n ay, was setup with beautiful foollowing  hoours:    Mon nday  to scennery design   ned and bu with their own ha uilt ands. The smallest on s nes Saturday  from 10:00am  to  4:00pm;  m deligghted us w with songs and dances, displa s aying their energy a r and T Tuesdays  10:0 00am  to  8:00 0pm  and vitality. The re   evelation of the day wa undoubt f as tedly the prresentation of n Saturdays  2:00pm  to  8:00pmthe Shofar Choir, compo osed mostly by adult members of the Maj y jon  and children f   of different a ages. Its greatest achhievement: making ea achof the membe ers and vis ent at the synagogue vibrate, n sitors prese e not   y   o the chose songs, b because of the lar number ofonly because of en but e rge rpeople that for rmed it.  For the closing the usua parade o costumes took place, in order to g, al of s rchoo ose the   best amongst the brillia t ance and in nventivenes of childr ss renand adults.  The celebration of Purim at the Ma m ajon Tikun Olam was a wonder s rful  scen that sho ne owed us its amazing a urprise us with each new ability to su wrelease. Many say that it was the best Purim p party held in the histo ory  of our commun nity.                          
  4. 4. ."A Abraham Marcu us Matterin"   Commmunity Library.     The "Abraham  Marcus  Matterin Library  e  n” Pu urim flavored Jalot P Project opeens  its  doors  Monday  to  Thursday Fo some t or   time the Jalot Proje ect, found ded by thhe Womens from  9:00am  to  4:30pm.  This  is  the  only  4 wish  Library  in  Cuba,  and  it  h about  Jew has Orrganization of our com mmunity, h has been d doing ongooing work tto   wish that ever Jewish h 10  000  volumes in  Spanish,  English,  s ful lfill its h ry home in ou city can enjoy Jalo ur ot, Yiddish and Hebre ew.  the bread use in the ce e ed elebration o Shabbat. of   . Yoouth Organizattion.  At this moment, Jalo not on ot nly counts with the hands o e of     rs, mothers and young women fgrandmother s from our coongregation n. Ma accabi  Cuba  Youth  Organizatio brings  on  toggether  young  Jews  over  13  y years  old  Ma membe ale ers have also joined, helping w with the preparation o of   throughout the co ountry.  this food. It  has  a  group  of  Israeli  folk dances.  k    The ey meet every  Tuesday at 5:3 30pm and Fo the Purim festivitie this pro or m es, oject took an active role makin ng Satturdays  at  6:000pm  to  dan nce,  play oznei Aman, a traditional and esse ential elem ment of this celebration n. spoorts  and  learn  more  about  Judaism.     To the deligh of the y o ht youngest in the Majon as well as the othe n, a er . Coommunity Pharmacy.  meembers of o commu   our unity, hundreds of cak filled wi jam wer kes ith re  ba aked, in ordder to savo Queen E or Esther’s vicctory, a he eroine in thhe The e Community P Pharmacy, unique to the his story of the Jewish pe   e eople. Once again, the female representatio e e on Cub ban Jewish Commmunity opens its doors  eve Tuesday  an Thursday  du ery  nd  uring  the no only offered us its e ot everlasting love, but aalso made an incredible a hou of  2:00pm  to  4:00pm.  Of urs  ffers  free   contribution to the edu ucation of present an future generations. nd serrvice  to  Jew wish  and  no on‐Jewish  pat trons.                                                       
  5. 5. Up pcoming Activ vities   Community Havdalah   . C Ri ikudim Wo orkshop fo Simcha Group me or embers On  Saturday,  May  14th,  we  will  elebrate  a  unique  co ce ommunity If you haven’t heard ab   bout it and youre over 55, we’re letting you r u Haavdalah,  since  following  t the  usual kn now that las April a R st Rikudim wor rkshop designed excluusively for   re eligious  ceremony  w we’ll  be Simcha group members started. s ce elebrating  Yo om  Haatzm maut,  the  he  Th only con ndition that you must to have is the desire to sharee an nniversary  of  the  Indepenndence  of  our love o dance. From mora Sumiko Zayon’s hand everyyo of h y th he State of Isra ael.  W  Wednesday from 10:00am you can enjoy the infinite power o of  Israeli folk d dances. Th worksho is inser his op rted into the Nationa al   Womens Org . W ganization  Rikudim prog gram that has been oongoing for over 15 years in our r yco ommunity a   and is sup pported by the JDC. So now yo know, i ou if M May  7th  at  2:00pm  we  will  be  obody had told you, you have the coordinat to come and shareno tes e e ce elebrating  Mothers  Day at  the  M y  our energy and furthyo   her strengthen your JJewishness, and wha at Pa atronato. All o our women arre invited. be etter way to do it than dancing!  o n      Pre esentation of Ruth Behar’s Bo n ook.  In March, Ms. Ruth Beha presente her book “Una Isla Llamada . ar ed k  Hogar” (A Pla called H ace Home) in ou community, at the Patronato ur  of the Cuban Jewish Com mmunity. T The presenttation pane was el    chaaired by the Vice Pres e sident of the Patronato Mr. David Prinstein, e   o dby the author and sever leaders o commun   r ral of nity groups andpro ograms.  The author commented with those present a e e about all th research he htha preceded the comp at   d pletion of th book. Sh also exp he he plained how wher own exp periences w were expressed throu ughout the book. The eboook’s illustr   rations were setup at the Pa atronato’s Hall as an nexpposition. W invite yo to come around our library and look up We ou e a p   bthis special book that t tells us aboout the sense of hom that our mebeaautiful islan has offered and still offers to many.  nd                      
  6. 6.    American Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Visit. On Thursday, April 28th, we welcomed to our community theAmerican Congresswoman for the state of California, Barbara Lee, who together with a delegation of 18 people was interested ingetting to know the history of the Jewish Community in Cuba.  Ms. Adela Dworin, President of the Community met with theCongresswoman and shared details of the performance of different community groups and projects that take place day by day in thecongregation. In the same manner and guided by the Presidents own hand, next to Vice President of the Patronato Mr. David Prinstein and Board members of this same institution, she wasgiven a tour of the facility that give faith to the permanence of Jewish life in our country. Towards the end of the visit, thecongresswoman showed her satisfaction in witnessing that the Jewish community in Cuba is still beating with increasing strength.            Community Passover Sedarim.   When we reach the month of April, perhaps the most awaited festival is the Feast of Passover. Its time for the family to share  the countless values that this celebration offers, but at the same  time it’s one of the occasions in the year that our community is busy in a endless number of events related to the festivity itself.   Already a week before the start of Passover all the energy of  the community members is focused on the distribution of Passover products. With the effort and the assistance of the  Canadian Jewish Federations, every Jewish home in Cuba can enjoy the feast’s proper food. With the arrival of the container  to our community, the Cuban Maccabi Youth Organization together with other members of the congregation volunteered  to unload the products. This confirms the commitment of the  younger generations. 
  7. 7.                   On Monday the 18th a Tuesday the 19th o April the Passover y and y of Sedarims w were held in our comm n munity. On the first night,  members o all ages c of came toget ther as a family to sha the are different pa arts of the Seder. The Morim Tze e evet from the Majon  Tikkun Olam, as good teachers d guided every mom T d do, ment of the  night and tthe children took part actively sin n nging and cheering up c p the hall of the Patrona t ato. It was really a sp pecial occas sion for  every one o those pr of resent.               Th second n he night the pprotagonist were the youngste ts e ers, makingg  uetru one of the key phr rases of the seder: “... and you will pass it e talo ong from generation to gener n ration.” On this occ n casion, thee Maadrijim Tzeevet comm mented and explained each of the steps, d d ,alw  ways full of vitality an energy. There was no shortag of songs f nd ge sannd joy, w which conf firms that the com t mmunitys future is sgu  uaranteed. 
  8. 8.                       Th Passove week co he er ould not h have finish hed better than bycelebrating at our own M  Majon Tikun Olam. As we are accustomed sto, the smalle ones wo , er ould not be left out of the celebr f ration andne  eedless to s say, that tthey were really up t the mom to ment. Thewe known “ ell “Sederito” (Little Seder) has beecome a ke part in ey  e events th take place as part of the cthe hat celebrations On this s.occasion the Majon’s Ha aggadah wa presente designe by and as ed, ed for the Majon’s student In the same manner each and every r ts. aon of the K  ne Kitot had ttheir space within the Seder which was e wdis stinguished by its enth d husiasm.                 
  9. 9. The Passover Feast was coming to an end and we could still hear  comments about the events that took place throughout theweek. One of the most important holiday highlights was theattendance of about 200 people to each of the sedarim. The  taste of freedom, the matzoth, the four questions, the fourchildren, the difference of these nights to the rest of the others  and the plagues, amongst many other concepts that we musttransmit are still present in each and every member of our  community. All the holidays have special values but this one isundoubtedly one of the most enduring to us.    © Copyright 2007 / Comunidad Hebrea de Cuba