How Jews in Cuba are Coping: An Update, with Linda Hirsch
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: Through which country do many Cuban Jews have to go now if they want to make aliyah to Israel?
Linda Hirsch is a photographer and psychologist from Massachusetts, where she is a member of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury. Although for decades travel to Cuba was severely restricted for Americans, members of this congregation and other Jewish groups received special permission from the United States government to visit Jewish communities there, for the purpose of engaging in religious activities. After her first trip to Cuba in 2001, Linda volunteered to coordinate Beth-El’s project known as “Cuba Connection”, which provides assistance in different areas to Jewish communities there.
Since 2009 we have spoken with Linda several times about the Jewish community in Cuba, the projects she has helped to develop there, and how the community has evolved. This week she tells us about what she found on her most recent trip, in November 2019, a special celebration she attended, and how the community is coping with the COVID-19 crisis.
To hear previous programs with Linda Hirsch about the Jewish community in Cuba:
The Cuban Jewish Community (2009)
Connecting with Cuban Jews (2013)
The Cuban Jewish Community-Thirteen Years Later (2015)
NOTE: Linda’s cousin Susana’s surname is spelled HURLICH.
The correct name of the Caritas organization in Cuba is CARITAS CUBANA (not Caritas Cuba).