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  • As Castro Ails, Jews in Cuba, Miami Watch with Baited Breath

    Cuban Jews on both sides of the Florida Straits are reacting with emotions ranging from joy to sadness to unbridled patriotism following the announcement that Fidel Castro — for the first time in 47 years — is no longer president of Cuba. An official statement read Monday on Cuban TV said Castro, who turns 80… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines As Bush Gets Tougher on Cuba, Groups Worry About Impact on Jews by Larry Luxner

    Jewish humanitarian groups are debating how tough new U.S. regulations aimed at depriving the Castro regime of dollars will affect Cuba’s estimated 1,500 Jews. “This strategy encourages the spending of money to help organizations to protect dissidents and to promote human rights,” President Bush said as the State Department made public a 423-page report prepared… More ▸

  • Despite Lack of Diplomatic Ties, Israeli Tourists Flocking to Cuba

    Israel and Cuba haven’t had diplomatic relations since 1973, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of Israelis from touring the Caribbean island anyway. “We assume that at least 10,000 Israelis have already visited Cuba,” said Daniel Faians, president and CEO of Polaris Group, a large travel wholesaler and airline agent based in Tel Aviv. Overall traffic… More ▸

  • Castro Attends Chanukah Fete in Historic Havana Synagogue Visit

    Cuban President Fidel Castro was an honored guest at a Havana synagogue recently, where he mingled with 200 congregants during Chanukah celebrations last month. The visit was Castro’s first to a synagogue, according to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, whose local official in Havana led the Chanukah program. Castro spent about two hours in… More ▸

  • Jewish Organization Considers Call for End to Embargo of Cuba

    Cuba has become one of the most popular destinations for American Jewish delegations. Now one national Jewish organization wants to do more than bring humanitarian and religious supplies to the island nation’s tiny Jewish community. The American Jewish Congress is moving toward calling on the United States government to end its decades-old economic sanctions against… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines: Jews of Cuba Undergoing a Communal Renaissance

    A quiet revolution is brewing in Havana. As the Cuban economy crumbles, crippled by the disintegration of the Soviet empire and a 30-year U.S. embargo, the island’s tiny Jewish community is undergoing a startling renaissance. Last year, there were about 750 known Jews in Cuba. This year, there are more than 1,200. Some are new… More ▸

  • End of USSR Means Hardships for Jews and Others in Cuba

    For the 892 Jews of Cuba, the disappearance of their country’s protector and patron, the Soviet Union, means pretty much what it means for the other 10 million inhabitants of the island: shortages. “It is very, very hard for all the Cubans,” Moises Asis, Cuba’s lone teacher of Judaism, said in a recent interview here…. More ▸

  • Cuban Jews Ready for Passover, Says Leader of Havana Community

    Cuban Jews have received their Pesach food shipments and are ready to celebrate the Jewish holiday, said Dr. Jose Miller, head of the Cuban Jewish community, who appeared Tuesday morning on “CBS Morning News” broadcast from Havana. CBS News host Harry Smith interviewed Miller as part of the network’s coverage of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s… More ▸

  • Emergency Airlift Brings Passover Staples to Cuba’s Jewish Community

    Two weeks ago, a small Beechcraft private plane owned by a New Jersey Jewish businessman landed twice in 48 hours on Cuban soil. The first time, it unloaded a small interfaith delegation of American clergy who had come to assess the needs of religious communities in Cuba. The second time the plane touched down, it… More ▸