Nisan/Iyar 5782 – April/May 2022
“No Jew Left Behind!
“CFCJ Brings the Yom Tov/Pesach to Jews Across 1100KM in Cuba”
The CFCJ welcomes back the final set of Shluchim Rabbi’s Menachem Gansburg and Menachem Greisman from Cuba whom were sent to the island to celebrate the final days of Shvii and Achron shel Pesach with the Jewish community in the capital Havana, culminating with a grand Moshiach Seudah.
This was the conclusion of a intense, though b”H successful, 31/2 week activity; starting with Rabbi’s Levi Broner , Moshe Elberg, Shneur Mochkin. These Shluchim began with the important door to door Pesach distributions; containing hand baked Shmurah Matzah, wine and other Passover goods. There mandate, providing EVERY Jew on the entire island with ALL their necessary Passover/Pesach needs. Ensuring that our less fortunate brethren living in these remote areas should as well – by receiving theses important Passover goods – have the ability to celebrate the Passover holiday with dignity and joy. This is in addition to the Spanish translated Haggadot and the Passover guides distributed in about 10 cities and towns – additional to the capital – across the island (a 1100km strip).
To note for Shabbos prior to Nissan 11, they were in Saniago de Cuba a city in the far east of the country,
Where in addition to the local Jewish community there are about a minyan (10), (with their families) whom partake in CFCJ’s Kolel – Kolel Menajem (written about in the past). And as they have grown in Torah and Chassidus, and of course hiskashrus , the shluchim’s spending this full Shabbos with them, in davening, learning, and farbrengen, was for them indeed a shabbos to remember. As Rabbi Elberg noted (in his reporting after Shabbos, “you can’t imagine what a Shabbos this was like”.
They were followed by Rabbi’s Menachem Gansburg, and Sholom Rivikin, whom began their shlichus with their door to door distributions of all the Pesach goods for our brethren living in the capital.
Immediately followed by the intense preparations for CFCJ’s multiple se-ders. There were two public Se-ders in the capital Havana. The first night seder occurred in a rented hall that was filled to capacity b”H. The second night at the Kolel facility. On chol hamoed the exchanging shluchim arrived and dully prepared for the grand Moshiach seudah (once again a hall was rented for this special occasion).
And in the exact words of Rabbi Sholom Rivkin (one of CFCJ emissaries)
“….among the non-locals who joined the Seder held by CFCJ this year in Havana, Cuba, were a Canadian woman, and several groups of Israeli tourists; a family of five from Rishon Letzion, a family of three Israelis currently living in Japan, an Israeli couple currently living in Italy, and an Israeli backpacker.
The Israelis were all extremely moved and impressed by the Seder, hardly believing that there was a Chabad presence in the difficult conditions of Cuba and amazed by the beautiful seder, with matzah and wine, singing and dancing.
Mrs. D. from Israel had come over earlier in the day to help prepare the food, and said that she was moved to tears as she observed the preparations of yom tov food.
All of the Israelis expressed their gratitude and appreciation to us for providing this experience, and one of them remarked to me as he left “this was a night I will never forget”.
Also the local Jews thoroughly enjoyed the Seder, and one of them explained to me that he saw this as a ray of hope, a beginning of a new era for Cuban Jewry. He said there had never been such a large or beautiful pesach event, and that news of this seder were reaching people who now discovered that there is indeed a Jewish presence in Cuba”.
“Thank G -d the emissaries were very successful in their multiple missions; namely placing emphasis that every Jewish home in this 1100km strip would be connected to the holiday, and have the ability to fulfill the important mitzvos (precepts) associated with the holiday of Passover. In conjunction with the famous messianic prophecies: “Ve-atem Teluktu L’Eachad Echad Beis Yisrael” – “And you, the house of Israel, will be gathered one by one”, noted Rabbi Shimon Aisenbach, Director of CFCJ.
CFCJ’s Adar I – II 5782 / February-March 2022 Activities
Including CFCJ’s various Purim programs, via CFCJ’s emissaries Rabbi’s Levi Shemtov, and Levi Feldman – The prayer and learning experiences, distributions, home visits and all culminating in a grand Purim day feast, the re-Megillah reading and celebration with the festive Purim meal, with music and much dancing – bringing the community the joy and light of this yom-tov.
Kislev Teves 5782 – November December 2021
Kislev Teves 5782 – November December 2021
Chabad/Canadian Friends of Cuban Jewry (CFCJ) has this past week welcomed back from Cuba its latest emissaries: Zelig Gorowitz (Buenos Aires, Arg.) Levi Teitelbaum (Buenos Aires, Arg.).
The CFCJ emissaries, as part of their mandate, brought the
Chanukah holiday spirit to our impoverished brethren, on the island.
They distributed Chanukah humanitarian aid kits (including all the immediate Chanukah needs, such as the menorah, set of candles, dreidel as well the Chanukah brochures) via their painstakingly, door to door visits, bringing life and light to our brothers and sisters on the island.
All this additional to the formal Chanukah celebrations; starting from the central Chanukah celebrations for the Havana Vieja, and Monterey communities, as they were brought together for a full Chanukah spread, with celebration, song and an in-depth holiday/Chanukah learning experience.
They had the opportunity to imbue a wave of fresh air into the Kolel Avreichim, as per CFCJ’s new Kollel (opened in April 2021) Kolel Menajem with 22 young men, between the capital and Santiago de-Cuba, studying from morning until 1:00pm on a daily basis (with by-monthly payments).
“Thank G -d the emissaries reaching out to those living in isolated areas, and bringing them into the fold and spirit of the holiday , associated with the famous messianic prophecy: “Ve-atem Teluktu L’Eachad Echad Beis Yisrael” – “And you, the house of Israel, will be gathered one by one”, noted Rabbi
Shimon Aisenbach, Director of CFCJ
The arrival of CFCJ‘s 5782-2021 High Holiday emissaries Rabbi and Mrs. Menachem & Chaya Cadaner on the island!
CFCJ Brings the Yom Tov Pesach to Jews Across 1100 KM in Cuba
After weeks of intense preparations Chabad/Canadian Friends of Cuban Jewry (CFCJ) was yet again successful to bring the joy and spirit of Pesach/Passover to our brothers and sister scattered over 1100km across the island. As per the current (COVID) situation, whereby in Cuba with one of the strictest regulations worldwide, CFCJ needed to overcome many obstacles in order for the multiple dimensions of the grand Passover activity be actualized.
Thank G -d and with much effort of the CFCJ’s staff – in administration and on the island – together with the Shluchim/CFCJ emissaries that were flown in for this grand program – it all came together with much success.
The initiative began with the painstaking door to door splendid Pesach distributions. Starting with the immediate needs for the seder night; shmurah matzah, wine etc. and then the Passover food items for the entire holiday. Together with Spanish brochures, including Pesach calendar with all Shabbos and Yom Tov candle lighting time and holiday schedules for cities across the island. Via multiple groups – in 11 cities and towns – staring in the capital across the span of the island. This year, based on the current situation, with its many limitations, special permission was required in order to travel from province to province, which made matter that much more difficult.
An additional challenge CFCJ needed to contend with was the sending and retrieving the Pesach items (the multiple shipments sent by cargo). As an example, one of the larger shipments sent to the island needed to be divided to over 360 (!!!) divisions. As a result, the CFCJ team needed to spend an additional 17 hours dividing this shipment in order to comply with the new guidelines.
Based on the extreme scarcity of flights from North America two of CFCJ’s emissaries (designated for the capital) were sent from France; Menachem Freoua and Alimi Benyamin. The latter being a certified Schochet/ritual slaughterer had the opportunity to utilize his expertise , providing poultry to many families , bringing additional joy to the community.
The second days of the holiday culminated with the final evening of the holiday – the grand Moshiach seuda/ meal. Despite the social distancing and mask wearing the festive spirit of this unique event was not compromised.
“To the contrary, it was an opportunity to profoundly identify with the significance and message of this day and feast; the arrival of our righteous Moshiach and the ultimate true and complete redemption whereby the world will come to its full healing, materially and spiritually alike”, noted Rabbi Aisenbach – Director of the CFCJ.
Captions – Passover 5781-2021
CFCJ Tishrei – Month of Holidays – 5781/2020 – Assistance
I would like to update you on CFCJ’s response to COVID. Due to the global state of affairs the CFCJ needed to change course on its important High Holiday assistance materially and spiritually alike. Being that the usual personal visits and interactions with the multiple communities on the island were naturally cancelled, similarly there were a variety of complexities in regard to CFCJ’s multiple shipments of the humanitarian goods.
The CFCJ worked relentlessly to find various alternatives to deliver the proper spirit of the Tishrei month of holidays, to our brothers and sisters on the island. Namely utilizing the Duales Payment Solutions Gateway Company to send/deliver direct – in person – monetary aid to all of our brethren across the island. (Literarily home delivery of the money (CUC) pouches).
These transactions were sent multiple times during this very month, (as the communities the CFCJ serves year-round, in “good times” matters are quite difficult; with the Covid 19 that has plagued the world, put them in even greater dire straits.)
Sample copies of the HUNDREDS of monetary transactions.
We take the moment to note a few of the responses:
“Shavua Tov. Le deseamos una buena semana. Hace unos instantes hicimos la Havdala. No tenemos palabras para expresar nuestro agradecimiento a Hashem por enviarnos personas como usted, que demuestran su amor a sus hermanos, apoyándolos, en los momentos difíciles, Que Hashem lo bendiga, a usted y toda su familia. Eternamente agradecidos. Shalom”.
“Buenas tardes Simón, le estoy enviando este mensaje con el objetivo de agradecerles a todos los que de una manera u otra han tenido que ver con este ayuda, gesto muy altruista, en el nombre de mi familia y en el mío propio.Salufos desde Camsgüey Cuba”
“Muchas gracias muy amable , su ayuda fue de gran utilidad pues la situación en cuba es difícil y toda ayuda es bien recibida que Hashem los bendiga, [tambien] gracias por los documentos que nos Mandan. Dr. Manuel Tacher”.
Buenos días Shimon. Quiero agradecerte por tus acciones, muchísimas gracias por ayudar a las personas vulnerables nuestras que viven allí y tienen muchas necesiddes. De corazón te agradezco a ti y a Las personas que hicieron que esto sea posible que aportaron dinero. Siento pena que yo no pueda ayudar a mi hermano de alguna manera y lo siento mucho. Ruben fue despedido de su trabajo , y yo solo estoy trabajando 4 horas y media es difícil pero seguimos y esperemos que los tiempos cambien. Mi hermano está muy feliz y te envía las gracias . Cuidense mucho y que D’os los Bendiga a todos.
[01/10, 9:56 a.m]. “Muchas gracias. Gracias por su ayuda. Es nuestros sostento”.
[12/10, 10:58 p.m.]: “Que bueno, alegro mucho que fue de alegría – Simja tora. Aquí si, poder celebrar y extrañando la Alegría d jabad. Muchísimas gracias”.
[29/09, 5:43 p.m.]: “En la comunidad hay otros miembros que reciben también ayuda de ustedes”.
[01/10, 6:21 p.m.]: “Buenas tardes. Ya el señor pasó por todas las casas y nos dejó la ayuda”.
[01/10, 6:23 p.m.]: “President Camaguai Sarita: Muchísimas gracias porque de verdad todo está muy difícil en estos momentos y esto representa un alivio”.
“Muchísimas gracias, mejoró nuestro Rosh Hashaná”
[01/10, 5:56 p.m.]: “Rabino Shimon Aisenbach:
Le estoy muy agradecido por la Tzedakah que envió por Sukot. Aquí le adjunto el vale de recibo….”. “Por lo demás le reitero mi gratitud, no solo por la Tzedakah que he recibido, sino por la generosa ayuda que Jabad entrega a todos los Judíos cubanos. Reciba mi gratitud personal y la de todos aquí”.
[02/10, 2:38 p.m.]: Todah!!! Extraño a sus entusiastas jóvenes Lubaviches que con tanto amor compartieron cada festividad con nosotros. Jag Sameaj.
“Shavua Tov. We wish you a good week. A few moments ago we did the Havdala. We have no words to express our gratitude to Hashem for sending us people like you, who show their love to their brothers, supporting them, in difficult times, May Hashem bless you and your entire family. Eternally grateful. Shalom.”
“Good afternoon Simón, I am sending you this message with the aim of thanking all those who in one way or another have had to do with this help, a very altruistic gesture, on behalf of my family and on my own. Salufos desde Camsgüey Cuba.”
“Thank you very much, very kind, your help was very useful because the situation in Cuba is difficult and all help is well received. Hashem bless you as well thank you for the documents that you send us.” Dr. Manuel Tacher
“Good morning Shimon. I want to thank you for your actions, thank you very much for helping
our vulnerable people who live there and have many needs. I heartily thank you and the people who made this possible who contributed money. I’m sorry that I can’t help my brother in some way and I’m very sorry. Ruben was fired from his job, and I am only working 4 and a half hours it is difficult but we continue and hope that times will change. My brother is very happy and sends you thanks. Take good care of yourselves and God Bless you all”.
[10/01, 9:56 am]. “Thanks a lot. Thanks for your help. It is our support”.
[10/12, 10:58 p.m.]: “Good, I’m very glad that it was joy – Simja Tora. Here yes, to be able to celebrate and miss the Joy of Chabad. Many thanks”.
[09/29, 5:43 pm]: “In the community there are other members who also receive help from you”.
[10/01, 6:21 PM]: “Good afternoon. The man has already passed through all the houses and left us help”.
[10/01, 6:23 p.m.]: “Thank you very much because everything is really very difficult at the moment and this represents a relief”.
“Thank you so much, it improved our Rosh Hashanah”.
[10/01, 5:56 p.m.]:” Rabbi Shimon Aisenbach:
I am very grateful to you for the Tzedakah you sent for Sukot. Here I enclose the receipt voucher…I reiterate my gratitude, not only for the Tzedakah that I have received, but for the generous help that Chabad gives to all Cuban Jews. Please receive my personal gratitude and that of everyone here”.
[02/10, 2:38 p.m.]: “Todah !!! I miss their enthusiastic young Lubaviches who so lovingly shared each holiday with us. Chag Sameach”.
Passover Shipments 2020
March 5780- 2020
Please see link – Purim Havana 5780-2020 – of CFCJ’s various Purim programs, via CFCJ’s emissaries Rabbi’s Levi and Laible Shemtov – The prayer and learning experiences, distributions, home visits and all culminating in a grand Purim day feast, the re-Megillah reading and celebration with the festive Purim meal, with music and much dancing – bringing the community the joy and light of this yom-tov.
February 3, 2020
In honor of Yud Shvat – the 10th of Shevat , a Farbrengen/gathering was held in Havana Monday, February 3, with Rabbi Menachem Cadaner celebrating 70 years of the Rebbe’s leadership.
Winter – 5780 – 2019-2020 activities
A Unique Experience of CFCJ Emissaries
Crossing the Width and Length of of Cuba
Chabad Friends of Cuban Jewry (CFCJ) has recently welcomed
back from Cuba its latest emissaries: Shimmy Silberberg (Mexico), Mendy Slavin (Caracas Venezuela), Abraham Abud (B.A. Argentina), Menachem Abud (B.A. Argentina).
The CFCJ emissaries, as part of their mandate, brought the
Chanukah holiday spirit to our impoverished brethren, scattered
over 1000KM, from the capital – Havana – to crossing the entire
island, reaching every one of our brethren living in these most
remote places (Cienfuegos, S. Clara, Ciego de Avilla, Camaguey,
Campechuela, Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo,
to mention a few).
They distributed Chanukah humanitarian aid kits (including all the
immediate Chanukah needs, such as the menorah set of candles,
dreidel as well the Chanukah brochures).
All this additional to the formal Chanukah celebrations; starting
from the central Chanukah celebration in the in Vedado (center
Havana), the community was brought together for a full Chanukah
spread, with song, celebration and an in depth holiday learning
“Thank G -d the emissaries were very successful in their multiple
missions namely, as every Jewish home in this 1000km strip
was personally visited, aligned with the of the famous messianic
prophecy: “Ve-atem Teluktu L’Eachad Echad Beis Yisrael” – “And
you, the house of Israel, will be gathered one by one”, noted Rabbi
Shimon Aisenbach, Director of CFCJ
Cheshvon 5780 – November 2019
CFCJ had recently an intense month of activities associated with the month of Tishrei/ month of – the four – holidays. With the multiple – all encompassing – services throughout the month providing the community with all their holiday needs; from the holiday services to the meals throughout the holiday, the Shofar, the Sukkot, the four species etc. Importantly, although the CFCJ sends humanitarian aid throughout the year, it is during this month that the CFCJ intensifies the humanitarian aid and distribution efforts, and on a larger scale. All of the above, enabling our brothers and sisters a-che-ynu bney Yisrael on the island to celebrate the entire holiday / Yomim Tovim season similar to their fellow brothers and sisters around the globe.
The emissaries representing the CFCJ during this noted period, Rabbi’s: Zalman Gorowitz (B.A Argentina), Avraham Feldman (Israel), Nitzan Gad (Israel), Levi Shem-Tov (Detroit MI), Tzvi Alperowitz (London, England) Menachem & Shalom Ber Cadaner (New Haven CT).
It can be said without any doubt that it has been a most successful Tishrei month, packed with the many programs and activities throughout, with the emissaries filling their multiple mandates with the necessary dedication.
This past week Tuesday July 30, the CFCJ has sent the Cadaner family, Rabbi and Mrs. Menachem and Chaya Cadaner, among other important activities with the Havana Jewish community they will be operating CFCJ’s annual grand summer camp for the Jewish children – which over the years the parents and others members of the community have joined this distinct program.
It is an opportunity for the children to have hands on experience learning all about Yidishkeit. Many ideas introduced in the summer are continued on throughout the year, all due to the impression and education they receive from the emissaries.
Aside from all the learning that the children receive, there are the unique trips and outings. They are taken to beautiful areas (mainly tourist attractions) to play and relax in. They are provided with supplies for arts and crafts, where they make beautiful projects based on Jewish themes. They have the usual hunts, sports and games that are so enjoyed in camp.
A tasty, heaping plateful of food is definitely rejuvenating. On a daily basis the children and their parents receive a scrumptious lunch. For many this is an adventure of its own. The CFCJ provides them with transportation from home to campgrounds, making it easier to gather everybody.
No Jew Left Behind!
CFCJ Brings the Yom Tov/Pesach to Jews Across 1100KM in Cuba
Winter – 5779 -end 2018 activities
CFCJ Welcomes Back the Petel Family (of 6) Emissaries.
The CFCJ welcomes back the Petel family from Cuba, (as its 372’nd mission).
Rabbi and Mr. Yaakov & Leah and family (of six) were brought in by the CFCJ from Israel – to Cuba, to represent the organization for a few months – all throughout the yomim tovim/holiday period (indeed a grand and extensive enterprise for the CFCJ).
It can be said without any doubt that it has been one of CFCJ’s most successful consecutive few month periods in a while, culminating with the holiday/yom tov period. The Petel family were present on the island for a great part of the summer, running CFCJ‘s summer activities, and then the vital programs and activities associated with the four holidays of the month of Tishrei – the month of the high-holidays. There were nonstop joining participants, guest etc. throughout, (as an example, the very first 48 hours of the month of Tishrei/Rosh Hashana the Petel’s hosted for the holiday meals about 100 attendees (additional to the prayer sessions). This occurred the entire month – continuous meal servings, distributions, prayer sessions and holiday gatherings.
A few captions of these activities: