Michal Greenboim
Fine Art
Photography

Keeping the flame

That’s what Jews have been doing for centuries in the face of devastating prejudice, and much worse. But my project is about a culture that’s in danger of losing that battle: the Jews of Cuba. On the one hand, the Jewish community on the island is better shape than it’s been in since the Revolution in 1959, when all but 1,500 of the 14,000 Jews living there left the country. The rebirth started in the 1990s, when international aid groups stepped in to help prevent the Jewish community from disappearing altogether. They restored the main synagogue in Havana, hired freelance rabbis and started a Hebrew school, and they continue to send much-needed money and supplies.  However, despite all this new energy, the community is still likely on its last legs. Intermarriage is extremely common, and many young people still want to leave Cuba in search of freedom and opportunity.  Luis Szklarz, 80, who has two daughters who married non-Jews, makes this dire prediction: “In 50 years, Judaism in Cuba will be gone.” 

My goal is to write a book memorializing this community on the verge of decline, and to create an exhibit that could be shown in a museum or Jewish foundation. 

Keeping The Flame

That’s what Jews have been doing for centuries in the face of devastating prejudice, and much worse. But my project is about a culture that’s in danger of losing that battle: the Jews of Cuba. On the one hand, the Jewish community on the island is better shape than it’s been in since the Revolution in 1959, when all but 1,500 of the 14,000 Jews living there left the country. The rebirth started in the 1990s, when international aid groups stepped in to help prevent the Jewish community from disappearing altogether. They restored the main synagogue in Havana, hired freelance rabbis and started a Hebrew school, and they continue to send much-needed money and supplies.  However, despite all this new energy, the community is still likely on its last legs. Intermarriage is extremely common, and many young people still want to leave Cuba in search of freedom and opportunity.  Luis Szklarz, 80, who has two daughters who married non-Jews, makes this dire prediction: “In 50 years, Judaism in Cuba will be gone.” 

My goal is to write a book memorializing this community on the verge of decline, and to create an exhibit that could be shown in a museum or Jewish foundation.   Contact info