“The Story of CFCJ”
CFCJ Prepares for its Grand Passover Missions
Following a visit to Cuba by a few young men Chabad Friends of Cuban Jewry (CFCJ) was founded in June of 1994 in the spirit of Ahavas Yisroel (“love your fellow Yid”), in order to lessen the difficult situation of Cuban Jews. Upon making contact with the Jewish community of Cuba, CFCJ observed from near their need for social and material assistance. The remaining Jews in Cuba are lacking some basic necessities which we take for granted.
In the past 25 plus years CFCJ has visited them over 300(!) times, many of the visits coincide with the Jewish Holidays, whereby bringing the holiday spirit along with containers of much needed food, clothing, and medicine. CFCJ operates summer camps where the children are fed both materially and spiritually. Distribute many pairs of Tefillin, Siddurim and Machzorim for our established Minyonim, and affix scores of Mezuzos to doorpost of Jewish homes. CFCJ has founded three libraries where our fellow Jews in Cuba can learn about their heritage. Over these many trips CFCJ have been involved in performing many Brissim, (circumcisions) for those who never had the opportunity to perform this mitzvah at the correct time, as well as, Bar Mitzvah celebrations for those over 13 years of age. Sharing priceless moments with our brethren in Cuba enjoying true Shabbos and Yom Tov, (holiday) experiences, and many happy occasions.
As part of CFCJ’s Student Placement Program (SPP) we have been able to send young men and women from Cuba to foreign educational institutions, where they have the opportunity to learn and grow materially and spiritually.
The CFCJ has been privileged to marry off a number of these young students that we sent abroad. The CFCJ being their financial parents, we helped them financially, prepare for their weddings and to set up their homes, so that they entered this new beginning of their life with spiritual and material security.
Celebrating the Bar-Mitzvas of Cuban boys: Preparing them for the big day with the relevant lessons, whereby giving them the structure to enter this era of their life with the proper knowledge and stability. And on the momentous occasion guiding them through the experience and providing the means for them to celebrate with family and friends.
Presently (additional to CFCJ ongoing activities) we send off our emissaries which will be present on the island for Purim, with the multiple Purim activities, bringing joy and much anticipated celebration to this impoverished community.
As per sending off this group, CFCJ immediately focuses on its grand Passover/Pesach activities. Once again for this year CFCJ put together a beautiful, comprehensive Pesach proposal/program. Literally ensuring that EVERY yid on the entire island has ALL they need, in order to celebrate the yom tov/holiday as every one of us around the globe. Beginning with our door to door splendid Pesach distributions (including the costly shmurah matza) via multiple groups, covering 12* (!) cities and towns additional to the capital – across the island (across a 1100km(!) strip). Additional to the multiple se-darim and celebrations throughout the month; in Havana and the east coast of the island, associated with CFCJ’s 3 ½ weeks, of distributions and various activities.
At this time the CFCJ looks forward to broaden the scope of our aid to the communities on the island, such as frequent containers with the basic humanitarian aid, and more visits of our emissaries. Aiming to take all of our activities to a higher level. CFCJ has, thank G-d, seen much success in the past, through the generosity of the international community. And we look forward to many more successes, with G-d’s help.
*CFCJ has learned over the years, of small pockets of Jews living throughout the interior of the island. After much research we established that there are Jews in at least 12 cities and towns across the island. Most of them have not been privileged to receive neither material nor spiritual assistance for years, perhaps decades. Being that categorically this being the mandate of CFCJ to reach out to every single Jew on the island, CFCJ has established a very personal connection with our fellow Yidden living in these cities and towns. And has undertaken to provide them with their basic needs around the year – at this time of the year all their Passover needs.