VIDEO: Behar speaks with Be'chol Lashon's Julian Voloj about her new children's book, her relationship with Cuba, and the Cuban Jewish community.
"And in that day, a great ram’s horn shall be sounded; and the strayed who are in the land of Assyria and the expelled who are in the land of Egypt shall come and worship Hashem on the holy mount, in Yerushalayim.” Isaiah 27:13 (The Israel Bible™)
Yosef ben Levy Ha-Ivri was a Spanish Jew who converted to Catholicism in 1492, just before Ferdinand and Isabella’s decree banishing Jews from the country went into effect. Shortly thereafter—now using the name Luis de Torres—he joined Christopher Columbus on his voyage across the Atlantic; legend has it that Columbus thought de Torres’s knowledge of Hebrew, Arabic, and other languages might be helpful in communicating with the natives.
Cuba has been a refuge for the Jews since 1492, when conversos sought a safe haven from the Spanish Inquisition. Today, a tiny but united community of one thousand remains after more than five hundred years of history and five distinct waves of Crypto-Jewish and Jewish immigration.
Leaders of Cuba’s Jewish community sent an open letter to the U.S. Jewish community calling for a strengthening of ties and expressing concern over a reversal of policy by the United States toward the island nation.
The powerful, award-winning story of Ruth, a young Cuban immigrant who is just starting to get a handle on the English language and American customs when she's in a terrible car accident. Out of hardship can often come strength, and this novel of hope and self-discovery is perfect for readers in middle school who are looking for strong, emotional, realistic fiction.
Most of the Jewish kids I knew growing up partook in a handful of familiar traditions during the holiday season: light their menorahs, eat latkes and jelly doughnuts and play dreidel. In my house, the traditions were very similar, except we sometimes swapped Cuban-style malanga fritters for potato pancakes.
A wonderful holiday meal with an authentic Cuban flair.
Whether you make one, two or all of the seven classic and modern recipes we have collected, we doubt that you will be able to wait until the seder to taste these outstanding Charoset!
I happen to love when my two cultures intersect, as they often do, and on May 15th, I get triple the joy, as some of my favorite Jewish organizations come together for an authentic taste of Jewish Cuba.