culture/multiculturalism · Hispanics/Latinos · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · language

Reader Story: On Being a Cuban Jew

Dear Aliza:

Recently, my mother, who was born and raised in Cuba by Jewish parents and left to come to America at age 19, was in the hospital. There, she shared the room with a Puerto Rican woman who was so happy to be sharing her room with a fellow Spanish speaker, she couldn’t keep quiet.

(Editor’s Note: When older Latinas get together, they share their whole lives stories and this Puerto Rican woman was no different.) The Puerto Rican woman told my mother her family’s whole life story…including that her son had married a Jew who, she said, wanted to take all her son’s money. (A Jewess as golddigger?)

My mother didn’t say anything in response. But two hours later, her rabbi walked into the hospital room. The Puerto Rican woman saw him and didn’t say another word to my mother for the rest of her stay.

—Gayle in Jerusalem

3 thoughts on “Reader Story: On Being a Cuban Jew

  1. Aliza,

    I have been enjoying your blog every since I read the article in the Riverdale Press. You might be interested in this talk which will be given at CSAIR, the conservative synagogue in Riverdale.

    Lunch n' Learn

    Saturday, October 24, 2009
    After a kiddush luncheon, our speaker, Enrique Levy, will speak on “The Jews of Cuba: Past and Present.” A historical introduction to the Jewish communities of Cuba from the time of the Jews' arrival on the island until today, with an emphasis on their current status and the religious, social, educational and economic challenges confronting the small and dwindling number of Cuban Jews.

    Enrique Levy has served as a docent on six humanitarian missions to the Jewish communities of Cuba. He is the proud father of CSAIR member Yael Levy.

    Menachem Mendel (a.k.a. Michael)


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