Jewish Cubans issue plea for Havana
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Jewish Cubans issue plea for Havana

Chateau Blanc proprietor Scott Berenthal said the island’s small but vibrant Jewish community had been affected by the pandemic,

Cuba's Jewish community
Cuba's Jewish community

The owners of the only kosher establishment on Cuba have called on Jews around the world to “bring assistance to a community
 in need”.

Speaking to Jewish News, Chateau Blanc proprietor Scott Berenthal said the island’s small but vibrant Jewish community had been affected by the pandemic, the restrictions from which cut international travel overnight.

“With a high dependency on tourism, Cuba is particularly vulnerable, with severe shortages of food, medicine, and general supplies,” he said. 

“The Jewish community there has fared slightly better due to the generosity of Jews who have historically brought aid as part of their visits, but even their supplies have been reduced as a result of the pandemic.”

Berenthal’s family are part of the community of so-called Jewbans, who fled during the Castro revolution before returning; his father Saul founded the first US company licensed under the Obama administration to do business in Cuba. 

He said the island was “slowly reopening”, with the capital, Havana, expected to fully open next month.“We want to encourage people to once again explore the world beyond their borders and invite them to see a unique part of Cuba and once again bring assistance to a community in need,” said Berenthal, who lived in London in the early 2000s.

“We believe that by encouraging travel to Cuba, we continue to bring visibility to Cuban Judaism and help the community thrive, especially during the currently difficult times.”

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