Jewish History and Jewish presence in Havana

October 17, 2020

The first jew arrived in Cuba with Christopher Colombus; he was Luis de Torres, a translator. Jews have been a part of Cuban history from the very beginning. In the 1950s, around 20,000 Jews were living in Havana, in the area of Belén and Acosta streets in Habana Vieja. The neighborhood was the spot if you were looking for kosher bakeries, cafés, and other businesses like clothing stores. Havana’s Jewish community nowadays is about 1,500. You can see the footsteps of this community in Havana, visiting the Adath Israel Synagogue; Parque de Los Hebreos; Chevet Achim synagogue in Habana Vieja. And in Vedado are Casa de la Comunidad Hebrea de Cuba with the Bet Shalon Synagogue and the Centro Sefardí that hosts a Holocaust museum. Also interesting are the two Jewish cemeteries in Guanabacoa, East of Havana.

 

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