Event: The Jews of Cuba: The Road to Paradise and the Land We Called Home
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Cost: $8M/ $10NM
In 1927, Miriam Levinson’s grandfather set out for Paradise (the United States) and wound up in Cuba. For the next 30 years, her family called Cuba home—a Jewish paradise on a tropical island. A Jewish community of more than 15,000 settled in Cuba during the 20th century. In the 1950s, Cuban Jews were at the height of their prosperity. After the revolution, most of the Jews left Cuba, but it remains close to their hearts.
Miriam Levinson, an Ashkenazi Jew, was born in Cuba and relocated to the United States with her family in the late 1950s. She heads the Jewish Community Center Travel Department in Chicago, where she gives talks on Jewish life worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.jccnv.org.
The film Adio Kerida follows Ruth Behar on a Cuban-American search for Sephardic memories. You can purchase the movie for $29.99 from Women Make Movies.
Filmmaker Ruth Behar has also published two related books: “An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba” and The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology that Breaks Your Heart.
One thought on “Cool Jewish Events: The Jews of Cuba: The Road to Paradise and the Land We Called Home”
Coincidentally, just today a friend gave us Ruth Behar's book on Cuban Jews as a gift. Turns out that Ruth Behar is the sister of one of my husband's high school classmates from Miami Beach where there were lots of Cuban Jews. (He likes to describe his high school as being 40% Jewish, 40% Cuban, 40% Black, and a small percentage of others, with the total being over 100% due to many people being in more than one category.) My husband is half Cuban (actually 1/4 Cuban and 1/4 Spanish), although from the non-Jewish side of his family. However, his grandmother said that her maternal family name indicated that they were probably “conversos”.