Explore Havana’s Jewish Heritage
Cultural Cuba creates customized Support for the Cuban People Itineraries that explore Havana’s Cuban Jewish Heritage.
We are happy to provide the significant current needs of the Jewish Community that would benefit most from your visit.
Visit to the heart of Jewish Life in Cuba. Temple Beth Sholom – “The Patronato”
Tour the Sephardic Center, which provides Jewish programming for Jews and non-Jews. The center has the only Holocaust Museum in Cuba, established by Steven Spielberg.
Walk around the historic Jewish Quarter, located close to the city’s port. Once teeming with Jewish-owned shops, kosher restaurants, synagogues, and schools.
Travel outside Havana to visit the Jewish Cemetery and the only Holocaust Monument in Cuba.
Perfect for any size group and any configuration (individual families or Temple groups).
A Brief History of Jewish Heritage and Community in Cuba
The Jewish Community has not been immune to the island’s political ups and downs. Cuba was merely a transit point for many Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe on their way to the United States. The passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, which severely curtailed Jewish immigration to the United States, left thousands of Jewish immigrants now unable to proceed to the United States, and as a result they, settled permanently in Cuba.
Throughout the rest of the 1920s and 1930s, thousands of Jewish immigrants continued to enter Cuba from Europe, largely because of Nazi and fascist persecution. Gen. Fulgencio Batista took in some 6,000 Jewish diamond cutters and their families from Belgium and elsewhere who introduced the diamond polishing industry to Cuba during World War II, establishing 24 plants in one year. At one time, between 30 and 50 such facilities operated in Havana — turning the tropical Caribbean Island for a short time into a major world diamond-polishing center.