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“Jewish life in Cuba”

Comunidad hebrea de La Habana Beth Shalom
Ranked #83 of 234 things to do in Havana
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed April 19, 2018

Although there are two other synagogues in town (a Sephardi one nearby and an Orthodox in the old town), this is the main community building and the largest congregation. We experienced an unusual (for us) but beautiful Friday evening service conducted by a female and a male (honorary, self taught ) cantor as well as partly by two young ladies.The congregation itself is extremely varied in origin and appearance, but approachable and gentle like most Cubans.There is and always has been religious freedom for Jews in Cuba but I think they need material and moral support as their everyday lives seem to be similar to that of the rest of the population.

1  Thank GranZorro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed August 20, 2017 via mobile

We went there for Shabbat services with my partner and we felt welcomed and had a great experience. The service is all singed and with transliteration in the modern conservative prayer book. Afterwards we stayed for a nice Shabbat meal (bring $15 to pay for the dinner). The community is very welcoming and also can use donations.

6  Thank Patagonik8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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

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