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The Jewish Community of Aruba

Aruba

Island in the Netherlands Antilles (or Dutch Antilles; formerly Dutch West Indies), located off the coast of Venezuela.

Beth Israel Synagogue / The Jewish community of Aruba
Adriaan Laclé Boulevard #2
P.O. Box 5397 Royal Plaza
Oranjestad, Aruba

email: Info@bethisraelaruba.com
website: https://bethisraelaruba.com/

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: less than 100 out of 110,000. 
Israelitische Gemeente (Jewish Community of Aruba) A. Laclé Blvd. #2. Aruba. Phone: 297-582-3272

History

The first Jew to settle in Aruba was Moses Salomo Levy Maduro (1753). The Jewish population totaled 19 persons in 1816; 32 in 1825; and 23 in 1867. After 1924 a number of immigrants came to the island from Holland, Surinam, and Eastern Europe. A Jewish center was established in 1942 and four years later a Jewish community was officially organized. The community's 'Beth Israel' synagogue was dedicated in 1962. In 1970 the congregation numbered 35 families, and was served by a chazzan-teacher.

Place Type:
Country
ID Number:
148748
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:

Caribbean

A region of the Americas that consists of a number of islands surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. 

Curaçao

An island nation in the southern Caribbean Sea, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The "Mother of the Caribbean Jewish Communities".

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: less than 300 out of 160,000. Main Jewish organization:

Sinagoga Mikvé-Israel – Emmanuel (Jewish Community of Curaçao)
Phone:  599-9-4611067
Email: directiva@snoa.com

 

HISTORY

Curacao is located approximately 40 miles (65km) north of Venezuela. The island is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and was part of the Netherlands Antilles before its dissolution in 2010.

The Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue is the oldest surviving synagogue in the Americas and is generally referred to as the Snoa. Most of the island's Jews are members of the congregation, while a minority are members of Shaarei Tsedek. Next to the synagogue is the Jewish Historical Cultural Museum. Mikve Israel offers regular services on Shabbat and holidays.

Shaarei Tsedek offers weekly Orthodox services on Friday night, Shabbat morning, and Shabbat afternoon. The congregation has met in a striking new building with a transparent domed roof since 2006.

The Curacao community Hebrew School meets four times a week.

The Beit Chaim Bleinheim cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Western Hemisphere. Among those buried in the cemetery is Ribca Spinoza (Baruch Spinoza's half-sister, who died in 1695). It is open for visitors by appointment only. The Mikve Israel cemetery is located in Berg Altena.

Curacao has no kosher restaurants, but a variety of products in local supermarkets are certified kosher.

Approximately 300 Jews were living in Curacao in the year 2000.

HISTORY

The first Jewish person to come to Curacao was probably Samuel Cohen, who served as an interpreter to the Dutch Army when it fought the Spanish in 1634. After Curacao was conquered by the Dutch, the Dutch West India Company sought to attract Jews (and others) to the island in order to further their economic interests. The first organized group of Jews to settle in Curacao was led by Joao de Yllan in 1651. They were followed in 1652 by a group led by David Nassi. A third group from Brazil was led by Isaac da Costa, who was granted freedom of religion, the right to protection, and permission to build a synagogue. By the time da Costa arrived on the island, the Jews had also been granted an area referred to as the "Jewish Quarter."

The community Mikveh Israel was founded in 1659, the same year that the Jewish cemetery was consecrated. The community's first synagogue was dedicated in 1674, and a second synagogue was built in 1681 a second synagogue was built. A third synagogue was established in 1732 and has remained standing into the 21st century. The yeshiva Etz Chaim V'Ohel Ya'akov was established in 1674.

Josiau Pardo, who was originally from Salonika, was appointed as the congregation's first chakham in 1674. Jacob Lopez de Fonseca served as the chakham between 1764 and 1815; he was born in Curacao and sent to Amsterdam for his rabbinical education.

Curacao became the center of Jewish life in the Caribbean. Its Jewish community helped support other Jewish communities in the area, particularly those in countries under Spanish colonial rule. Jews who died in places with no Jewish cemetery were buried in Curacao. Mohels from Curacao circumcised people from the Americas and Europe who wanted to return to their Jewish roots.

The Jewish community grew, helped by immigrants from Amsterdam, Bayonne, Pomeroon, and Martinique, as well as Conversos from Spain and Portugal. By 1729 there were more than 2,000 Jews living on the island (about half of the total white population). Due to overcrowding on the small island, a number of Jews immigrated; in 1693 approximately 70 Jews from Curacao left for Newport, Rhode Island where they joined Jews from Barbados in establishing a community.

In spite of the community's growth and success, there were significant arguments that took place within the community. These disagreements could get so heated that they sometimes led to excommunications, and official interventions by the government. Forty years after the death of de Fonseca, the congregation appointed Aron Mendes Chumaceiro (1810-1882) as chakham. He served until 1869, during which time the congregation was divided by personal rivalries. Despite his excellent work, Chumaceiro was often subjected to hostility and opposition by some of the congregation's leading members. This animosity led a second group to secede from Mikveh Israel (another group had already left the congregation). This breakaway group formed a Reform congregation, Emanu-El, in 1864 and established a synagogue in 1866. Under Chumaceiro the original congregation introduced a number of modifications to their ritual practice, including a mixed choir and organ music. Mikveh israel and Emanu-El would ultimately re-merge in 1963 and form The United Netherlands Portuguese Congregation Mikve Israel-Emmanuel; the united congregation adopted the Reconstructionist prayer book and joined the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Beginning in 1926 a number of Ashkenazi Jews settled in Curacao, many of whom arrived from Romania. In 1932 they founded the organization Union Center. Later, in 1969, this community opened the Shaarei Tzedek Synagogue.

After the riots of May 30, 1969 a number of Jews left Curacao. Later, the economic crisis during the mid-1980s led to a further wave of emigration from Curacao.

Approximately 750 Jews lived in Curacao in 1970.

Venezuela

República Bolivariana de Venezuela - Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

A country on the north coast of South America.

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 7,300 out 0f 31,500,000. Main Jewish organization:

Confederación de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV)
Phone: 58 212 551 0368
Fax: 58 212 550 1721
Email: caiv.org@gmail.com
Website: www.caiv.org

 

Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

A two-island Caribbean state off the coast of Venezuela. 

21st Century

In the early 2000s, the Jewish population was estimated at about 50 individuals out of 1,350,000 inhabitants. 

The Jewish community of Trinidad & Tobago
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jewishtnt

Cuba

Archipelago of islands consisting of Cuba, Pinos, and 1,600 smaller islands.

There were Jewish converts among the first European settlers on the island in 1492. Groups of Jews fleeing from Brazil during the Portuguese Reconquest (17th century) settled in Cuba despite inquisitional persecutions and promoted a flourishing trade with the Antilles and Western Islands. In the 18th century Jewish merchants extended this trade to Hamburg, Amsterdam, and New York. Several of them were severely persecuted during the 17th and 18th centuries by the Inquisition.

The contemporary Jewish community, however, does not represent a line of continuity with the Jews of the 18th century. Its formation began after independence from Spain was achieved (1898).

Cuban constitutions from 1902, 1928, and particularly 1940 established the principle of freedom of religion and separation of church and state; thus, the legal basis for Jewish existence was attained. The dictatorial governments - including that of Fulgencio Batista - did not affect the Jewish community, mainly because of its apolitical character.

Fidel Castro's revolutionary regime likewise did not discriminate against the Jews. Nevertheless, the position of Cuban Jewry changed radically in the wake of the Castro revolution (1959).

The origins of the Cuban Jewish community are linked to the war of independence (1868) and the Spanish-American war (1898). Jews from Florida were among the active supporters of liberator Jose Marti and his people, and American Jews began to settle on the island as veteran soldiers or as businessmen at the end of the 19th century. In 1904 they founded the Union Hebrew Congregation with a reform synagogue and in 1906 they acquired a cemetery. During the years prior to World War I, immigrants began to arrive from European Turkey and the near east. In 1914 the Sephardi Jews established a community organization called Union Hebrea Shevet Achim.

Immigration from east Europe began in 1920-21, but for most of these Jews, Cuba was only a transit point on the way to the United States. Most of the immigrants who arrived between 1920 and 1923 had left Cuba by 1925. But as a result of the stiffening of U.S. immigration laws in 1924, thousands of immigrants suddenly found themselves compelled to stay in Cuba, and even after 1924, thousands of Jews continued to arrive there.

The Centro Israelita constituted was the main communal body of east European Jews in Havana. During the 1920s the Centro Israelita centralized diversified activities, ranging from welfare assistance to immigrants, a clinic, a library, and an evening language school, to a student center and a drama club. Despite the fact that its membership was not solely Zionist, the organization adopted the Zionist anthem and flag and the Star of David as its symbols. At the same time there were other Ashkenazi organizations during the 1920's, including the Communist-governed Kultur Fareyn, founded in 1926. The religious Jews established the "Adas Isroel" in 1925. From 1929 the Zionists maintained the Asociacion Sionista and alter the Union Sionista de Cuba, which was an important force in the 1920's and 1930's.

The refugees from Europe, who managed to slip in despite severe immigrations laws and whose overall number in the years 1933-44 was estimated at about 10,000-12,000 (about 50% from Germany and Austria and the remainder from Poland and other countries), left Cuba, for the most part, shortly after their arrival. According to an estimate, in 1949, only 15% of them remained there. After World War II Jews did not reach Cuba in large numbers.

Anti-Semitism increased in the 1920s and during the 1930s it spread rapidly with the radicalization in Cuban nationalism. A sustained anti-Jewish campaign was organized and financed by local and foreign Nazi elements in collusion with the German embassy. Government circles sanctioned anti-Semitic measures, internal repression, and the cessation of refugee immigration. In one case, the direct victims of these tendencies were the 907 Jewish refugees who, upon reaching Cuba on May 15, 1939, aboard the "Saint-Louis", were barred from entry and obliged to return to central Europe. The anti-Semitic climate was finally neutralized from the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The attempts on the part of the Ashkenazim to centralize community organization culminated in 1949 with the foundation of the Patronado de la Casa de la Comunidad Hebrea and the construction of a large community center in the wealthy Vedado area. However, Cuban Jewry remained essentially split into three sectors - Americans, Sephardim, and Ashkenazim - each with its own cemetery and other services.

The American settlers in modern Cuba engaged mostly in import and export, as well as in sugar and tobacco farming. The vast majority were well-to-do. The Sephardim, most of whom arrived in Cuba penniless, developed peddling and small business. The east European immigrants, on the other hand, came during a severe economic slump. Their absorption into a country with tropical climate, bereft of industry, and inundated with cheap labor from neighboring Haiti, proved very difficult, and many also turned to peddling. During World War II, Jewish refugees from Antwerp introduced the diamond-polishing industry and within one year established 24 plants that employed about 1,000 workers. The economic situation of the Jews steadily improved, and by the end of the 1950s the Jewish working class had almost completely disappeared.

The revolution of 1959, headed by Fidel Castro, was sympathetically received by many members of the Jewish community, especially the leftists and the students. Indeed, the revolution brought about, for the first time in the history of Cuban Jewry, the appointment of a Jew as minister (the engineer Enrique Oltuski Osachki), and neither during the revolution nor after its success were any anti-Semitic attitudes adopted. The revolution practically destroyed, however, the economic stability of the majority of Cuban Jews. Thousands of Jews decided to emigrate, and the majority found refuge in the United States (many in Miami). Out of a Jewish population of about 10,000-12,000 before the revolution, in 1965 there were about 2,500 Jews and in 1970 only about 1,500, approximately 1,000 in the capital and the rest in the cities of the interior. Jewish institutions, however, did not disappear, and during the high holidays of 1966 five synagogues were still functioning in Cuba.

Despite the regime of austerity, Cuban authorities permit the existence of a kosher kitchen, as well as the acquisition of unleavened bread and special products for the Jewish holidays. The Zionist movement continues to exist, and its members meet at specified times and carry on various cultural and educational activities. The Albert Einstein school also functions and offers courses in Hebrew and Jewish studies as well as Jewish history.

Cuba's population in 1967 was 7,937,200; Jewish population - approximately 1,500. In 1970 there 400 Cuban Jews in Israel, most of them on Kibbutzim. Between the years 1948 - 1997 661 Cuban Jews have emigrated to Israel.

In 1997 there were 800 Jews living in Cuba. The Jewish communal organization in Havana was active and four synagogues functioned in the country.

During the year 1999 400 Jews emigrated from Cuba to Israel.
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The Jewish Community of Aruba

Aruba

Island in the Netherlands Antilles (or Dutch Antilles; formerly Dutch West Indies), located off the coast of Venezuela.

Beth Israel Synagogue / The Jewish community of Aruba
Adriaan Laclé Boulevard #2
P.O. Box 5397 Royal Plaza
Oranjestad, Aruba

email: Info@bethisraelaruba.com
website: https://bethisraelaruba.com/

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: less than 100 out of 110,000. 
Israelitische Gemeente (Jewish Community of Aruba) A. Laclé Blvd. #2. Aruba. Phone: 297-582-3272

History

The first Jew to settle in Aruba was Moses Salomo Levy Maduro (1753). The Jewish population totaled 19 persons in 1816; 32 in 1825; and 23 in 1867. After 1924 a number of immigrants came to the island from Holland, Surinam, and Eastern Europe. A Jewish center was established in 1942 and four years later a Jewish community was officially organized. The community's 'Beth Israel' synagogue was dedicated in 1962. In 1970 the congregation numbered 35 families, and was served by a chazzan-teacher.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Caribbean

Caribbean

A region of the Americas that consists of a number of islands surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. 

Curacao

Curaçao

An island nation in the southern Caribbean Sea, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The "Mother of the Caribbean Jewish Communities".

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: less than 300 out of 160,000. Main Jewish organization:

Sinagoga Mikvé-Israel – Emmanuel (Jewish Community of Curaçao)
Phone:  599-9-4611067
Email: directiva@snoa.com

 

HISTORY

Curacao is located approximately 40 miles (65km) north of Venezuela. The island is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and was part of the Netherlands Antilles before its dissolution in 2010.

The Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue is the oldest surviving synagogue in the Americas and is generally referred to as the Snoa. Most of the island's Jews are members of the congregation, while a minority are members of Shaarei Tsedek. Next to the synagogue is the Jewish Historical Cultural Museum. Mikve Israel offers regular services on Shabbat and holidays.

Shaarei Tsedek offers weekly Orthodox services on Friday night, Shabbat morning, and Shabbat afternoon. The congregation has met in a striking new building with a transparent domed roof since 2006.

The Curacao community Hebrew School meets four times a week.

The Beit Chaim Bleinheim cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Western Hemisphere. Among those buried in the cemetery is Ribca Spinoza (Baruch Spinoza's half-sister, who died in 1695). It is open for visitors by appointment only. The Mikve Israel cemetery is located in Berg Altena.

Curacao has no kosher restaurants, but a variety of products in local supermarkets are certified kosher.

Approximately 300 Jews were living in Curacao in the year 2000.

HISTORY

The first Jewish person to come to Curacao was probably Samuel Cohen, who served as an interpreter to the Dutch Army when it fought the Spanish in 1634. After Curacao was conquered by the Dutch, the Dutch West India Company sought to attract Jews (and others) to the island in order to further their economic interests. The first organized group of Jews to settle in Curacao was led by Joao de Yllan in 1651. They were followed in 1652 by a group led by David Nassi. A third group from Brazil was led by Isaac da Costa, who was granted freedom of religion, the right to protection, and permission to build a synagogue. By the time da Costa arrived on the island, the Jews had also been granted an area referred to as the "Jewish Quarter."

The community Mikveh Israel was founded in 1659, the same year that the Jewish cemetery was consecrated. The community's first synagogue was dedicated in 1674, and a second synagogue was built in 1681 a second synagogue was built. A third synagogue was established in 1732 and has remained standing into the 21st century. The yeshiva Etz Chaim V'Ohel Ya'akov was established in 1674.

Josiau Pardo, who was originally from Salonika, was appointed as the congregation's first chakham in 1674. Jacob Lopez de Fonseca served as the chakham between 1764 and 1815; he was born in Curacao and sent to Amsterdam for his rabbinical education.

Curacao became the center of Jewish life in the Caribbean. Its Jewish community helped support other Jewish communities in the area, particularly those in countries under Spanish colonial rule. Jews who died in places with no Jewish cemetery were buried in Curacao. Mohels from Curacao circumcised people from the Americas and Europe who wanted to return to their Jewish roots.

The Jewish community grew, helped by immigrants from Amsterdam, Bayonne, Pomeroon, and Martinique, as well as Conversos from Spain and Portugal. By 1729 there were more than 2,000 Jews living on the island (about half of the total white population). Due to overcrowding on the small island, a number of Jews immigrated; in 1693 approximately 70 Jews from Curacao left for Newport, Rhode Island where they joined Jews from Barbados in establishing a community.

In spite of the community's growth and success, there were significant arguments that took place within the community. These disagreements could get so heated that they sometimes led to excommunications, and official interventions by the government. Forty years after the death of de Fonseca, the congregation appointed Aron Mendes Chumaceiro (1810-1882) as chakham. He served until 1869, during which time the congregation was divided by personal rivalries. Despite his excellent work, Chumaceiro was often subjected to hostility and opposition by some of the congregation's leading members. This animosity led a second group to secede from Mikveh Israel (another group had already left the congregation). This breakaway group formed a Reform congregation, Emanu-El, in 1864 and established a synagogue in 1866. Under Chumaceiro the original congregation introduced a number of modifications to their ritual practice, including a mixed choir and organ music. Mikveh israel and Emanu-El would ultimately re-merge in 1963 and form The United Netherlands Portuguese Congregation Mikve Israel-Emmanuel; the united congregation adopted the Reconstructionist prayer book and joined the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Beginning in 1926 a number of Ashkenazi Jews settled in Curacao, many of whom arrived from Romania. In 1932 they founded the organization Union Center. Later, in 1969, this community opened the Shaarei Tzedek Synagogue.

After the riots of May 30, 1969 a number of Jews left Curacao. Later, the economic crisis during the mid-1980s led to a further wave of emigration from Curacao.

Approximately 750 Jews lived in Curacao in 1970.

Venezuela

Venezuela

República Bolivariana de Venezuela - Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

A country on the north coast of South America.

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 7,300 out 0f 31,500,000. Main Jewish organization:

Confederación de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV)
Phone: 58 212 551 0368
Fax: 58 212 550 1721
Email: caiv.org@gmail.com
Website: www.caiv.org

 

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

A two-island Caribbean state off the coast of Venezuela. 

21st Century

In the early 2000s, the Jewish population was estimated at about 50 individuals out of 1,350,000 inhabitants. 

The Jewish community of Trinidad & Tobago
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jewishtnt

Cuba
Cuba

Archipelago of islands consisting of Cuba, Pinos, and 1,600 smaller islands.

There were Jewish converts among the first European settlers on the island in 1492. Groups of Jews fleeing from Brazil during the Portuguese Reconquest (17th century) settled in Cuba despite inquisitional persecutions and promoted a flourishing trade with the Antilles and Western Islands. In the 18th century Jewish merchants extended this trade to Hamburg, Amsterdam, and New York. Several of them were severely persecuted during the 17th and 18th centuries by the Inquisition.

The contemporary Jewish community, however, does not represent a line of continuity with the Jews of the 18th century. Its formation began after independence from Spain was achieved (1898).

Cuban constitutions from 1902, 1928, and particularly 1940 established the principle of freedom of religion and separation of church and state; thus, the legal basis for Jewish existence was attained. The dictatorial governments - including that of Fulgencio Batista - did not affect the Jewish community, mainly because of its apolitical character.

Fidel Castro's revolutionary regime likewise did not discriminate against the Jews. Nevertheless, the position of Cuban Jewry changed radically in the wake of the Castro revolution (1959).

The origins of the Cuban Jewish community are linked to the war of independence (1868) and the Spanish-American war (1898). Jews from Florida were among the active supporters of liberator Jose Marti and his people, and American Jews began to settle on the island as veteran soldiers or as businessmen at the end of the 19th century. In 1904 they founded the Union Hebrew Congregation with a reform synagogue and in 1906 they acquired a cemetery. During the years prior to World War I, immigrants began to arrive from European Turkey and the near east. In 1914 the Sephardi Jews established a community organization called Union Hebrea Shevet Achim.

Immigration from east Europe began in 1920-21, but for most of these Jews, Cuba was only a transit point on the way to the United States. Most of the immigrants who arrived between 1920 and 1923 had left Cuba by 1925. But as a result of the stiffening of U.S. immigration laws in 1924, thousands of immigrants suddenly found themselves compelled to stay in Cuba, and even after 1924, thousands of Jews continued to arrive there.

The Centro Israelita constituted was the main communal body of east European Jews in Havana. During the 1920s the Centro Israelita centralized diversified activities, ranging from welfare assistance to immigrants, a clinic, a library, and an evening language school, to a student center and a drama club. Despite the fact that its membership was not solely Zionist, the organization adopted the Zionist anthem and flag and the Star of David as its symbols. At the same time there were other Ashkenazi organizations during the 1920's, including the Communist-governed Kultur Fareyn, founded in 1926. The religious Jews established the "Adas Isroel" in 1925. From 1929 the Zionists maintained the Asociacion Sionista and alter the Union Sionista de Cuba, which was an important force in the 1920's and 1930's.

The refugees from Europe, who managed to slip in despite severe immigrations laws and whose overall number in the years 1933-44 was estimated at about 10,000-12,000 (about 50% from Germany and Austria and the remainder from Poland and other countries), left Cuba, for the most part, shortly after their arrival. According to an estimate, in 1949, only 15% of them remained there. After World War II Jews did not reach Cuba in large numbers.

Anti-Semitism increased in the 1920s and during the 1930s it spread rapidly with the radicalization in Cuban nationalism. A sustained anti-Jewish campaign was organized and financed by local and foreign Nazi elements in collusion with the German embassy. Government circles sanctioned anti-Semitic measures, internal repression, and the cessation of refugee immigration. In one case, the direct victims of these tendencies were the 907 Jewish refugees who, upon reaching Cuba on May 15, 1939, aboard the "Saint-Louis", were barred from entry and obliged to return to central Europe. The anti-Semitic climate was finally neutralized from the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The attempts on the part of the Ashkenazim to centralize community organization culminated in 1949 with the foundation of the Patronado de la Casa de la Comunidad Hebrea and the construction of a large community center in the wealthy Vedado area. However, Cuban Jewry remained essentially split into three sectors - Americans, Sephardim, and Ashkenazim - each with its own cemetery and other services.

The American settlers in modern Cuba engaged mostly in import and export, as well as in sugar and tobacco farming. The vast majority were well-to-do. The Sephardim, most of whom arrived in Cuba penniless, developed peddling and small business. The east European immigrants, on the other hand, came during a severe economic slump. Their absorption into a country with tropical climate, bereft of industry, and inundated with cheap labor from neighboring Haiti, proved very difficult, and many also turned to peddling. During World War II, Jewish refugees from Antwerp introduced the diamond-polishing industry and within one year established 24 plants that employed about 1,000 workers. The economic situation of the Jews steadily improved, and by the end of the 1950s the Jewish working class had almost completely disappeared.

The revolution of 1959, headed by Fidel Castro, was sympathetically received by many members of the Jewish community, especially the leftists and the students. Indeed, the revolution brought about, for the first time in the history of Cuban Jewry, the appointment of a Jew as minister (the engineer Enrique Oltuski Osachki), and neither during the revolution nor after its success were any anti-Semitic attitudes adopted. The revolution practically destroyed, however, the economic stability of the majority of Cuban Jews. Thousands of Jews decided to emigrate, and the majority found refuge in the United States (many in Miami). Out of a Jewish population of about 10,000-12,000 before the revolution, in 1965 there were about 2,500 Jews and in 1970 only about 1,500, approximately 1,000 in the capital and the rest in the cities of the interior. Jewish institutions, however, did not disappear, and during the high holidays of 1966 five synagogues were still functioning in Cuba.

Despite the regime of austerity, Cuban authorities permit the existence of a kosher kitchen, as well as the acquisition of unleavened bread and special products for the Jewish holidays. The Zionist movement continues to exist, and its members meet at specified times and carry on various cultural and educational activities. The Albert Einstein school also functions and offers courses in Hebrew and Jewish studies as well as Jewish history.

Cuba's population in 1967 was 7,937,200; Jewish population - approximately 1,500. In 1970 there 400 Cuban Jews in Israel, most of them on Kibbutzim. Between the years 1948 - 1997 661 Cuban Jews have emigrated to Israel.

In 1997 there were 800 Jews living in Cuba. The Jewish communal organization in Havana was active and four synagogues functioned in the country.

During the year 1999 400 Jews emigrated from Cuba to Israel.