Cuba

Everything in Cuba can be divided into two categories: before January 1, 1959, and after. The Castro Revolution changed not only the political system but the way that Cubans understand their country and themselves. Rabbi Kaplan visited Cuba several times with the first visit taking place in November 1999. He found the Cuban people to be extraordinarily warm and friendly and very eager for economic change. Dana thought this eagerness for change could be easily misunderstood as opposition to the government, but as he returned for repeat visits and his Spanish improved, he began to see that nothing in Cuba is quite as simple as it may seem. In addition to the usual tourist attractions and museums, he visited with the Jewish community which maintains three synagogues in Havana and a number of others throughout the country. There, too, not all was as it seemed, and Dana learned how hard it is to do really insightful interviewing in a communist society where people have a vested interest in keeping their true opinions to themselves. The history is fascinating--if disturbing--and the future is uncertain.

“Fleeing the Revolution: Jewish Emigration from Castro’s Cuba,” Cuban Studies, Vol. 36, 2005.

“Fidel and the Jews,” Cover story, Moment Magazine, August 2004.

“Jews and Latinos—Exploring Common History and Culture,” Midstream, July/August 2003.

“The Jews of Cuba since the Castro Revolution,” Lead article. American Jewish Year Book 2001, 2002.

“The Future of Jewish Religious Life in Communist Cuba,” CCAR Journal, Summer 2001.

“Despues Del Affair De Elian Gonzales: Una Perspectiva Judia,” Entre Nosotros, January 2001.

“The Aftermath of the Elian Gonzales Affair: A Jewish Perspective,” Congress Monthly, Vol. 67, No. 5, September/October 2000.

“A Jewish Renaissance in Castro’s Cuba,” Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought, Vol. 49, No. 2, Spring 2000.