October 13, 1995
Cuban synagogue joins Conservatives
HAVANA (JTA) -- The Centro Hebreo Sefaradi of La Havana, Cuba,
has become the second Cuban congregation to affiliate with the
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
In a ceremony held this past July, Dr. Jose Miller, president
of the Patronato Synagogue of Havana -- which last year became
the first Cuban Conservative congregation -- welcomed the new
synagogue as a partner in the task of reviving Jewish life and
tradition in Cuba.
Two days later, in Santiago de Cuba, a group of Cuban Jews,
joined by a large delegation from the Miami Jewish community,
the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, and representatives of the
Cuban government, gathered to rededicate the Sanctuary of the
Rabbi Shmuel Szteinhandler of Chile, representing The United
Synagogue, brought siddurim, tallitot, kippot,
a ner tamid and other ritual articles necessary to establish
the new congregation.
The Sefer Torah entered the sanctuary under a chuppah
held by prominent members of the Cuban Jewish community. Rabbi
Szteinhandler covered his head with his tallit and blew the shofar.
Witnesses said it was a sound heard for the first time in 30 years
"These joyous events in the Cuban Jewish community demonstrate
the vitality of the emerging Conservative Jewish presence in Cuba,"
said Alan Ades, international president of the USCJ.
(c) 1995, San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc.,
dba Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. All rights reserved.
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