Friday, October 12, 2012


I'm in Havana with a leadership group from the ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, a really great group, eager to learn about the Jewish community and what JDC is doing here. We’re escorted by our amazing JDC professional team on the ground Allie and Lulo.

One element came out in a lunch meeting with volunteers from the Jewish community: a theme that was repeated by several younger and older members of the community in their discussions. We are all Cubans, they said. We’re proud, we love our community, we love our country. They can all leave, and all of them have visited Israel, have been to other places. But first and foremost we’re Cubans. And because we’re Jewish we’re uniquely privileged. Not just because of the material support that JDC and our federations bring – although that’s critical. And not just because of the sense of partnership and community – although that’s critical too. But also because we are thirsty for this sense of belonging and identity. Our parents couldn’t have it. It was forbidden. But now we have a chance to enjoy it. And we want it.

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