The Jewish Community of Cuba has been present on the island for over 500 years. Cuba’s first synagogue was founded in 1906, and its first Jewish cemetery in 1910. The Jewish population soared to around 15,000 people in the first half of the 20thcentury, with the island accepting many immigrants from Eastern Europe at the time. However, following the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Jewish population shrunk by more than 90% to about 1,500 and shrinking.
Cuba’s Jewish Community remains small, but vibrant and ever-resilient. It welcomes visitors from around the world, and survives thanks to the outside support it receives, particularly from American travelers. The Community is proud to serve the greater community with its pharmacy located at the Patronato Beth Shalom Synagogue, and is more reliant than ever on outside support due to increased pressure from the American government.
The Cuban Jewish Community is also a diverse one. There are separate houses of worship for the Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Orthodox communities, as well as separate cemeteries. The Hotel Raquel has been welcoming members of the global Jewish community into Old Havana for decades. The Community even has its newest synagogue open for visitors in Santa Clara located in Central Cuba.
Take the opportunity to come support the Cuban Jewish Community during this crucial historical moment, as the Community faces additional hardships due to increased American economic pressure. We hope to see it remain as vibrant as ever.
Click the link below to learn how you can support Cuba's Jewish Community today.