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The first Jewish community in Santiago was founded October 1924. It was called Sociedad Union Israelita de Oriente de Cuba (the Jewish Society of Eastern Cuba). That institution was located in a rented space until 1939 when a new house was built. It was thereafter called the Sinagoga de Santiago de Cuba (the Synagogue of Santiago de Cuba) and the congregation relocated there.
sinag.jpg (10116 bytes) The Synagogue has had two rabbis. Seņor Isaac Chiprut Confi served from 1924 until 1943, and Seņor Victor Farin Sarfati, from 1946 until 1967.

The Jewish Society of Eastern Cuba consisted mainly of Sephardic families from Turkey. They arrived at the beginning of the century bringing with them their customs, traditions and the language of Ladino or Judeo-Spanish. They came hoping to better themselves economically and they have worked hard since their arrival to achieve this goal.

At the beginning of World War II, various Ashkenazi families mainly from Poland, arrived in Santiago who were fleeing the Nazi horrors. In Santiago it became customary to refer to all Jews as "Polacos " ("Poles").

The Society remained active until 1959. Due to the emigration of many of its members to the United States, in the 1960’s, the community cut back its activities until it closed down in 1980.

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