Brazilian, Cuban religious officials meet

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Brazilian Jewish officials met Cuba’s religious affairs minister to talk about religious cooperation.

Jack Terpins, president of the Latin American Jewish Congress, met Tuesday with Caridad Diego Bello at Cuba’s consulate in Sao Paulo. Representatives of several religions attended the meeting, including Chabad Rabbi Yossi Schildkraut.

The meeting’s objective was to discuss the positive relationship among religions in Brazil and learn about how Cuba tackles the issue.
 
The Cuban minister discussed Jewish engagement in Cuba’s public life, mainly in the public health arena, and how Jewish religious streams get along well in the country. Bello recalled Fidel Castro’s 1999 visit to a synagogue during Chanukah. She added that Jewish communities are an example to be followed by others.
 
For Terpins, also a former president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization, the meeting was positive and "opened doors."

"The minister’s speech proves that the Jewish people are united and present, value the exchange of positive experiences among religions, and mainly assures that dialogue is a strong tool for peace," Terpins said.
 
Schildkraut said several initiatives between the nations will be promoted, including the delivery of Brazilian matzah to Cuba for Passover.
 

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