Feature: Read about the 2013 missions and the history of the organization's service in Cuba in the spring edition of B'nai B'rith Magazine.
The B’nai B’rith Legacy in Cuba
B’nai B’rith International has a very large hand print in supporting the Cuban Jewish community with longstanding ties to the island. The B’nai B’rith Maimonides Lodge has operated in Havana, Cuba since 1943. As a local association of B’nai B’rith members, the Maimonides Lodge has served as headquarters for a number of religious and cultural projects and programs across Cuba.
For nearly twenty years, B’nai B’rith has also operated legal missions to Cuba under the auspices of the Cuban Jewish Relief Project. Through our partnership with the Maimonides lodge we have initiated the Tzedakah Project, providing direct gifts in small amounts to assist 120 elderly Cuban Jews across the island. Our mission participants have also carried down thousands of pounds of religious material contributions to enhance the ability of the Jewish population in Cuba to practice their religion, as well as medicines and other necessities, while building personal friendships to last a lifetime. Our legacy of humanitarian support includes a three-fold approach.
PRESERVATION: Providing material aid and Judaica to assist meeting the challenges of daily life for the Cuban Jewish population.
REVITALIZATION: Partnering with communities to support local initiatives.
SUSTAINABILITY: Connecting Cuban Jews to the greater Diaspora to strengthen global partnerships and empower future generations.
The B’nai B’rith Cuban Jewish Relief Project
When B’nai B’rith began its Cuban Jewish Relief Project on the island in the early 1990’s the Jewish community was just emerging from decades of struggle to preserve its traditions and culture. With the easing of restriction on religious practice, B’nai B’rith was one of the first humanitarian organizations on the ground to spearhead the bright revival of Jewish life in Cuba.
Since 1995, B’nai B’rith has been providing humanitarian relief and hands-on support to the Cuban Jewish community, with an emphasis on delivering material aid, Judaica and other necessities while empowering community revitalization efforts. Our mission participants share in joint religious activities and discussion groups about religious practices and life on the island, all the while enjoying Cuba’s vibrant Caribbean culture.
Today, B’nai B’rith continues our tradition of cooperation with the Cuban Jewish community, contributing vital assistance to ensure that the needs of our brothers and sisters in Cuba are met.
We invite you to join us on an upcoming mission, and find out about the many other ways you can get involved today.
For more information on ways to get involved in the Cuban Jewish Relief Project or for mission registration, please contact:
B'nai B'rith Cuban
Jewish Relief Project
B'nai B'rith International
1120 20th St NW
Suite 300 N
Washington, DC 20036