The Asociación Femenina Hebrea de Cuba has introduced three very successful projects over the past four years.
“Beauty Day” Project: A mobile beauty parlor visits one of the three Havana synagogues for one day each month, with eight women on hand to offer haircuts and dyeing, manicures, pedicures, and eyebrow treatments. All the equipment has been donated by friends and visitors, which makes it possible for local women to visit the beauty parlor free of charge. Donations are requested to cover the cost of materials and to help with transportation for people who cannot reach the synagogue because of health problems.
Yadisha Craft Workshop: A recreational and fundraising venture, teaching community members different craft skills, making handbags, challah covers for Shabbat, different knitted items, and handmade jewelry. Everything is sold and the money raised helps to cover the Asociación meeting expenses and charitable activities.
Our members give the best of themselves, having created a warm Jewish community sisterhood through their love and responsibility. The success of women’s leadership in Cuba, as elsewhere, is based on the values of an educated woman, and her ability to transmit these values to her children. Although The Joint has been sending Conservative Rabbis to Cuba since 1992 to provide for the community’s religious needs, in the absence of a permanent Rabbi, most of the community’s religious leaders are women, and women play an important supporting role in festivities and Shabbat services all year round.
Based on a report by Sara Yaech, translated from Spanish by Sara Winkowski