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“Understanding Jewish Cuba”

Comunidad hebrea de La Habana Beth Shalom
Ranked #107 of 279 things to do in Havana
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed April 3, 2017

Since we were on a Jewish mission, we were fortunate to have an audience with Adela Dworin and the head of the Hebrew school. Adela is a key player in the Jewish Cuban community and can answer most questions.
The synagogue is a lovely structure but they need help and donations so bring whatever you can. Their roof was severly damaged by hurricanes and our donations will help fix the damages. We also brought groggers for Purim, vitamins. art supplies, toothbrushes and paste, combs and socks. They need everything.
We were fortunate to attend a Shabbat service at 6PM on Friday night. Young people conducted the service and gave a D'var Torah. A Chilean Rabbi visits Havana occasionally and helps train them.
Felt great emotion meeting with our Jewish brothers and sisters in Havana.

5  Thank shapgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 20 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2017

A welcoming synagogue, with an active, youthful congregation. A friendly place. Friday evening service at 6 p.m. had lots of singing. Interesting to see how the sabbath is celebrated in Havana.
Enjoyed seeing the stone from the Warsaw ghetto too.

4  Thank diotimadancing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 1, 2016

The Beth Shalom Ashkenazi Synagogue in Havana is very impressive. It has a large sanctuary with movable pews.

We went there during the day and the pews were along the wall while the sanctuary was being used for a community event. We returned on a Friday evening for services and the pews were in place for sitting - rows facing front, and also facing on each side - very efficient and allows more people to feel closer to the center of the "action".

It is amazing how many locals attended - and they are of many races and color. Fabulous experience.

The Beth Shalom Jewish center also houses a pharmacy, which provides free medical and health-related supplies to anyone, Jews and non-Jews.

8  Thank Dennis D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 9, 2016

Really important to stop by and say hello and leave a little tzedakah if you can (they'll provide you with a receipt!). Note that the sanctuary is now rented out for an arts school during the week. They have shabbat services mostly led by the congregants with a visiting rabbi from Chile when needed. They also offer a Hebrew School for the 1200 remaining population as 90% of the Jewish community left for a better life in Israel, USA and Canada. The synagogue is listed on official maps as a location to visit which was nice to see the recognition. Keep in mind its a bit challenging to find someone that speaks English, however eventually you'll get to meet a synagogue worker. Worth the visit.

3  Thank JonnyMoosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed October 14, 2015

This is the biggest Jewish community center in Cuba. there's a synagogue attached to the center, and it is fully functioning with a visiting Rabbi who comes from other parts of Latin America to hold services. The center supports a free pharmacy which anyone in the neighborhood can visit for over the counter and prescription items that are very hard to find otherwise. The center sponsors lots of athletic activities for kids, and it even sponsors a series of teams for the Maccabbi games held in Israel every 4 years.

6  Thank PMGFPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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