A special Rosh Hashana in Cuba
This Rosh Hashana was special for the emerging Jewish community in Cuba for various reasons, but they all stem from the fact that Rabbi David Córdoba is the new emissary there.
Born in Cuba himself, Córdoba emigrated to Israel in 2018 after his own personal quest where he discovered his family’s Jewish roots among the Bnei Anousim. Now married with three children and living in Beit Shemesh, Israel, Rabbi Córdoba received his rabbinical ordination from the Beit Hamidrash Hasefaradí in Jerusalem. He has been recently sent by Shavei Israel and the Shehebar Sephardic Center to be an emissary in Cuba.
This Rosh Hashana, the emerging Jewish communities of Havana and Santiago de Cuba were able to appreciate the efforts of Rabbi Córdoba as he managed to bring Tefillin, Mezuzot, Kipot and tallitot (prayer shawls) to the community, which were donated by people in Miami. Additionally, the community in Havana had the honor of having Córdoba present at their Rosh Hashana services, where he personally guided them.
The community, based in Havana and Santiago de Cuba, is made up of 70 members. Some of them have clear Jewish roots and have practiced certain Jewish customs to this day and their curiosity to discover the origin of these customs has led them to deepen the study of Judaism and in some cases to undergo conversion. In this process they have built their own community and together they have managed to hold prayer services in minyan (quorum), and celebrate Jewish holidays for more than 10 years.
The community faces numerous challenges, more than other similar communities, for both economic reasons, and local religious challenges. We are doing al we can to help them live their Judaism like any other community, and we hope our friends and supporters will sympathize with their plight and help us provide for them.
We wish the community in Cuba a sweet, good year, full of blessings and we send them a big hug from Jerusalem.