Our humanitarian aid project is extensive.  During the past twelve years, we have carried thousands of pounds and sent a steady stream of small packages each month of all kinds of necessities including a large variety of needed prescription medicines dental supplies, school supplies, kosher ritual food, toiletries, clothing, eyeglasses, and even baby formula and bottles.


Salomon Mitrani Senior Center in Havana

We ask your financial support to operate a senior day care center in Havana, Cuba at Centro Sefaradi Synagogue. The project helps our seniors with their activities of daily living, offer stimulating activities and interactions with their peers and others, provide meals and snacks that meet their special dietary needs, and offer basic medical and psychological care. The Center is named for Salomon Mitrani, a well-respected member of the Cuban Sephardic Community who died last year. In 1948, when the Israeli War of Independence broke out, he left Cuba to fight for the new State of Israel then returned to establish his family and pursue his career as a Jewish Cuban.
According to statistics released by the Cuban Jewish Community in 2010, the Jewish population of seniors (65 years and older) is distributed as follows:






Havana City -- Havana


Matanzas - Cienfuegos


Santa Clara – Caibarien


Sancti Spiritus – Ciego Avila




Manzanillo – Campechuela


Santiago de Cuba – Holguin








This video says it all:

You may help by donating directly to
The Cuba-America Jewish Mission or to
Jewish Cuba Connection Inc.
4 Lighthouse #12
Marina del Rey, California 90292-5938



Often people from one community in the provinces need to go to another for a special program or holiday services. This costs money and we try to facilitate these events with the help of our donors.
Renting a bus or van costs from $100 to $300 each way and can only be accomplished with our help.

Please consider becoming a sponsor of the Transportation Project.



Invite your friends to a mitzvah party to prepare medicines for transporting to Cuba.
Donated medicines and hygenic supplies must be categorized and packed for travel to Cuba where they are distributed by the synagogue pharmacy that is managed by Hadassah ladies. Sample medicines must be sorted and the unnecessary outer packaging must be removed to save space and weight, then bundled into six to eight pound packages. Note: Some teens do this project for school credit to fulfill their social service obligation.

Go a step farther and collect

We need individuals or organizatons throughout  the country to be centers for  collecting medicines, vitamins, and school supplies to be taken to Cuba by individuals and the various organizations who do this..

*   Collect medicines, vitamins, school supplies
*   Donate  in-date Rx medicines that do not work for you.
*   Collect flight bags and small, lightweight suitcases in which we can pack the supplies.





In 2000, it came to our attention that some babies in Cuba were suffering with diaper rash and there was little relief available such as baby powder and Desitin type creams. Soon we had requests for pediatric medicines and small clothing. We began to fill these needs for 9 babies but four years later we have over 40 children who are four years of age or less.

As the project expanded over the years to include newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers we found ourselves asking for people to carry vitamins, pediatric medicines like fever remedies, and antihistamines, clothing and utensils (like binkies and teething rings, and even small toys) to keep our babies smiling.

For just $250 year, you can provide a child with these basic needs. If you can't do a whole year, you are welcome to send whatever you wish.

In 2004, one of our donors suggested we establish a godparent program where there can be a lasting relationship for those who want to enjoy getting to know the child and family and to share the major moments as the child grows up. We are happy to provide information on the children who are available for this program.

Our first Godmother is Elaine Scheye from Chicago who adopted two children only to learn there was a second girl in one family. Now she is godmother to three children and enjoying herself immensely

In 2004, we became aware of two children who are autistic, Jonatan and Carlitos. The needs are very special and ongoing. With just one email to old time supporters, we were able to plan a good program and supply many needs. So far this year, we have sent a special eye patch for Jonatan who has a wandering eye, special vitamins for autistic children, shoes, educational materials, and information on autistic education in Spanish to help the mothers with their efforts to bring their children as close as possible to an ability to play with their normal siblings and other children.

We heartily thank our autistic children supporters and hope they will all become godparents and continue their relationships with their children.

Lee & Nathan Rosenmutter Foundation C/O Beverly Braverman
Ziv Tzedakah Fund (Danny Siegel and Naomi Eisenberger)
Lee and Dorothy Marsh
Dr. Paul Slaton
Dr.Marvin & Maxine Winer
Terrence Rosenberg
Rhona Lyons & David Warren
The Lerner Foundation (Henry Jonas & Sandra Davis)
Madeline Charney
Sarah Lesser
Betty Hiesler
Betty Jarman Adelson
Rabbi Kelman
Benjamin and Ray Scheckner
Judith and David Rose

We have also instituted a Godparents Program for normal as well as autistic children:

Godparent Program

Daniel----------Elaine Scheye 2004-2009
Adrianna-------Elaine Scheyev2004-2009
Carlitos---------Naomi Eisenberger 2004
Beverly Braverman 2005-2011
Yonatan----- Terrance Rosenberg 2004

Why We Must Care—

After traveling to Cuba a few years ago, I continued to keep track of the Jewish community through various websites. One day, while clicking around on the Internet, I found The Cuba-America Jewish Mission and a program called Bottoms Up. It was there, that I, a single woman working in healthcare, found my four godchildren. My first one, Adriana, looked just like me when I was a tiny child and her birthday is near that of my beloved Mother, of Blessed Memory. So excitedly, I called to pronounce that Adriana was mine and mine alone.

Thus began what is now into its 5th year of a relationship that continues to evolve. I help both Adriana and her sister, MY SECOND GODCHILD, with their homework via the Internet. Their mother facilitates. I send clothes and books and in return, I am overjoyed when I receive pictures of mi dos princesas, my two princesses, wearing clothes and reading the books I send. Their mother emails the messages the kids send me.

I recently returned from Cuba where I attended the Bat Mitzvah of the oldest of mi dos princesas, in this case, Princesa Ely, sister of Adri.

My other two kids are princes, one of which is autistic and whose special needs are costly.

As American Jews, we take for granted that all our kids will have shoes. In Cuba, even though they have some money, they often can’t find shoes in the sizes they need to meet the needs of growing children.

If you want to do a Mitzvah where real children benefit directly and immediately from your donations, GIVE to the Bottoms Up Program and other programs administered by The Cuba-America Jewish Mission. Trust me, you will have satisfaction unlike anything you have ever known in your lifetime. These programs are not abstractions. This organization is wonderful about making sure that your financial donations and clothing and books get directly to the families, and in short order. And, your donations are all income tax deductible!

If anyone wishes to contact me, please contact June Safran, executive director, who will be happy to provide you with my information.







Our book project is very successful. When donations are received for books, we purchase the books and put a book plate with your name and/or special honoree or memorial inside, so that our friends in Cuba will know they have many friends in the U.S.A. We welcome donations of books on Jewish subjects written in Spanish. We accept books in English only if they will fill the study needs of particular individuals in Cuba. 

Humashim has been very popular.  So far we have taken more than 120 Humashim to Cuba.  Now we are asking you to consider donating for Makzorim, Pirke Avot, and Jewish literature in Spanish.

If you would like to donate, email the CAJM office for more information at




Each week we receive requests from Cuba for vitamins because of the serious shortage of foodstuffs. The resulting poor nutrition is leading to a variety of diseases including nervous system disorders. This is a relatively old problem that has become worse again this year. Another big request is for more cold symptom remedies and asthma medicines and inhalers. The third continuous need is for all medications needed for pediatric care. Finally, there is never enough mosquito repellent. Look at our List of Needs which you can reach from the CAJM page. We have a Medicine Fund for which we are happy to receive donations as it is always running out from the requests to fill special medicine needs. You may specify that your donation be used for more general community medical needs, like vitamins, or for special medicine requests. In addition, any of the organizations dealing with Cuban relief would be happy to assist you in sending this kind of aid. Please e-mail us for resources in your area.



We are eager to receive donations of Jewish study computer programs on CD-ROMs. Spanish language is preferable, but many people are using programs in English.


Between 30 and 45 people attend services in Santiago de Cuba on Friday night and Saturday morning. The same is true for holidays. The meals making a difference for the women who do not have to cook and clean up if the family is being served at the synagogue. Thus, the family can be together for the prayer service, a dinner of chicken, rice, various vegetable and dessert, the study session that always takes place, and socializing with their bigger family, their Jewish community.

Some sponsors use the opportunity of providing a meal to honor a loved one on a special occasion, such as the graduation of a daughter from college, a bar/bat mitzvah, or a birthday. Each community is pleased to celebrate these occasions along with the donor. It makes them feel connected to Jews in the U.S.

Anyone may sponsor a holiday dinner for a whole community in the provinces for as little as $100 to $300. That is less than $5 per person. Such a bargain!

All communities need sponsorship.

Sancti Spiritus: $200
Guantanamo $300
Santiago $200
Cienfuegos:  $200
Santa Clara:  $100
Caibarien:  $100
 Gran Sinagoga $800
 Centro Sefaradi $500
 Adath Israel   $500


Lifestories: A Project to Build Jewish Identity
Congregation Beth El/Sudbury has launched "Lifestories", aimed at enabling Cuban-Jewish teens and interfaith families to create and share personal stories via cameras and digital technology. We hope to foster broader public understanding of what it means, especially for the young, to sustain a Jewish/interfaith identity under difficult circumstances and to be able to leave a lasting legacy.

Upon receiving their first digital still camera, Santa Clara communal leader, David Tacher wrote, "Thank-you from all (my) heart not only for the valuable gifts but (also) for your concern for our welfare. Each friend increases our little family; each good intention, each new project increases our feelings of unity and gives meaning to the cause to which we have devoted our lives. Together we will all become stronger and more secure. The idea of capturing irreplaceable moments in our lives is something very interesting and will serve as a means by which we can get to know the Jews from different parts of the World.... Of course it will be a visual and lovely means of seeing each other, discovering our individuality and appreciating the aspects that we have in common."

A good example is the work of Yvonne Barlia, from Sancti Spiritus. Her video entry for Israel's 60th birthday, received honorable mention in the Latin American "Focus on 60 Years” of Israel that was co-sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. This will enable her to visit Colombia and network with potential mentors and other young people who entered the contest.

By connecting the Jewish stars around Cuba with others throughout the Diaspora, a new constellation will be created, lighting the way for future explorers of Jewish identity.

For more information, or to contribute, contact Linda Hirsch at




TheCAJM  News  Projects  How to Help  Travels to Cuba  Contact Us