cuban jewish wedding
Cuban Wedding Ceremony

While Yemenite Jews are fleeing their homes after having received explicit threats to leave the area within 10 days, Cuban Jews are experiencing a small revival.

Cuba has been rabbi-less since Castro’s take over, but three visiting Rabbi’s from Argentina performed Jewish marriage ceremonies for 21 couples, including one for an 84 year old man, and conversions for over 70 individuals, including dozens of young Cubans. The island also recently opened it’s first Kosher butcher shop.

Elsewhere in the world, “Asaf Ben-David, an Israeli Jew, is facing charges of conspiring to carry out a terror attack with a wanted Palestinian militant — his brother.” When good converts go bad. Oy. Makes having a Hunukkah tree not seem so bad, eh?

Nonetheless, not all hope is lost. “In a rare show of solidarity, citizens of Israel and Jordan came together to declare war recently, not on one another, but on a common enemy plaguing both–houseflies.”

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Man, it’s so hard not to diss Orthodox conversions after this “Asaf Ben-David” incident. He’s returned to Islam, by the way.

  • I am the groom in the photo. The photo was shot at my wife’s grandmother’s home in Coral Gables, FL, not in Cuba in May 2004. I would be interested to know how you got hold of the photo.

    On another subject, which one of you is a University of Chicago grad? I graduated in 1984.

  • Mikal – small world! I linked the photo to the source I found it – which was a photographers forum. Here’s the direct link. I found it googling images for “Cuban Jews”

    Love the photo – I guess I’ll have to change it though….

  • In retrospect – I should have read a little closer, and shoulda known that just cause it’s Cuban and it’s Jewish don’t mean it’s actually in Cuba. I actually have some Cuban relatives in Miami myself.

    Oy. Now I’ve gotta go look for another pic to illustrate my post with. Still, lovely wedding photo, and Mazel tov.

  • Is TM implying that another kind of conversion process would have caught his insincerity? Or is TM implying that no kind of conversion process would have caught it, so, in that case, why give more credence to one kind of conversion over the others?

  • Laya

    Leave the photo. The photographer’s name is Marc Williams. He is great.

    My wife’s mother is Cuban, as are all of the relatives on her side. The food was glatt kosher Cuban, which satisfied the older Cuban crowd, as well as the younger non-Cuban crowd. The music was primarily Cuban with some standard Jewish tunes thrown in. It was great fun.

    So, which one of you is the U of C grad? I loved my time in Hyde Park.

  • Yeah, a Palestinian convert to Judaism – I’m sure the media were drooling at the prospect of printing “Israeli Jewish Terrorist and his Palestinian Militant brother…”

  • Phoebe is the U of C grad – though I spent a few years in Chicago myself – a little north of Hyde Park though.

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