Family Ties: Cuban-Jewish Search Lists Ornament
Some Burials in Cuba
Cuban-Jewish Journeys
Comunidad Hebrea de Cuba
Tropical Diaspora

Excerpt from Tropical Diaspora
General Information

Robert M. Levine

Title, publisher, year
Tropical Diaspora: The Jewish Experience in Cuba (University Press of Florida, 1993)


University Press of Florida
15 NW 15th Street
Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
tel: 1-800-226-3822
fax: 1-800-680-1955
also available at:,,

[The complete appendix for this book appears below.]

Estimates of the Size of Cuba's Jewish Population, 1910-1992

1,000-2,000 Ashkenazic Jews plus 2,000-4,000 Sephardic Jews; many of the Ashkenazim stay about a year until they can get papers permitting entry to the United States.

2,000 Jews estimated to be residing in Cuba; most Ashkenazim and some Sephardim leave within a year or so of entry for other destinations, usually the United States.

5,000 Jews, with 7,000 per year entering between 1921 and 1923 and nearly 20,000 in 1924. Nearly all leave for the United States or for Mexico (where they later depart for the United States).

Closing of U.S. immigration doors causes permanent Jewish Colony in Cuba to stabilize at about 4,000 more (Ashkenazic and Sephardic); 4,000 more Ashkenazic Jews emigrate to Cuba during these years. Many are "lost" through assimilation; some gain entry to the United States illegally. Jewish community data count only 2,500 in "total" Jewish colony.

U.S. consul claims 14,000 Jews who entered Cuba since 1924 left for the United States, some with legal papers but most extralegally.

5,000 German-speaking Jewish refugees enter through mid-1938; those with family in the United States able to pledge financial support permitted to leave Cuba for United States.

500 more refugees enter each month. Most continue to wait less than a year before admittance to the United States. About 5,000 German-speaking Jewish refugees live in Cuba in April 1939 (1,100 classified as "destitute"). St. Louis and other ships' passengers holding landing permits are turned back, but others holding regular visas are permitted to enter on ships that arrive later. Total Jewish population numbers about 16,500, mostly settled in Havana except for 3,500 scattered in provincial capitals and towns.

Somewhat less than 2,000 more refugees enter Cuba.

1941-early 1942
About 1,000 refugees enter Cuba

8,000 refugees wait to be admitted into the United States; almost all leave by war's end.

Permanent Jewish population estimated at 10,000

Permanent Jewish population estimated at 10,000-12,000, two-thirds of Ashkenazic origin. Persons born Jewish but not acknowledged as Jews by preference or as a result of complete assimilation are not counted.

4,000 Cuban Jews leave Cuba under Castro regime.

late 1965
2,300 Jews remain in Cuba (1,900 in Havana; 400 in provinces), estimated from those who register to receive Passover supplies and who therefore acknowledge their Judaism.

Fewer than 1,000 acknowledged Jews remain in Cuba.

 [Material is printed herein with permission of the author.]

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