Cuba is a relatively new vacation choice for tourists from the United States. I sell travel to iconic Cuba, which includes tours of the cobblestone streets of Old Havana and the island town of Cienfuegos. I also sell heritage travel excursions to Jewish Cuba, which many tourists are not aware of until I tell them.
There have been Jewish enclaves flourishing in Havana and the city of Santa Clara for a quite a long time. In fact, there have been Jews living in thriving Cuban communities for centuries. Havana itself is home to the Orthodox synagogue, but there is a Reform synagogue there as well, with a female rabbi. The mood there is absolutely joyful, so Friday night Shabbos services are always well-attended, with both locals and tourists filling the seats in order to be part of the festivities.
Those interested in learning more about Cuba’s Jewish heritage will also be interested in visiting the Holocaust Museum at the Sephardic Center in Havana. I met with Jewish leaders while I was there and learned all about the rich history of Cuban Jews, which was an interesting and at times emotional experience for me.
I love selling Jewish Cuba journeys to my clients who are interested in learning about this lesser-known and enlightening piece of history.