Jewish Cultural & Musical Weekend!
March 2 -5, 2017
Join renowned Cuban-Jewish American scholar, poet, and writer Ruth Behar on a special weekend trip to Havana to celebrate the presence of Jewish culture in Cuba, learn the stories of Jews living in Cuba, and enjoy concerts of Jewish-Cuban jazz fusions as well as Klezmer and Sephardic music.
The highlight of the weekend will be the premiere of the Yiddish-Cuban opera Hatuey: Memory of Fire, based on a 1931 epic poem by Ukranian Jewish immigrant Asher Penn, whose family fled the pogroms and settled in Cuba. This will be the first-ever collaboration between La Opera de la Calle, Ulises Aquino’s company dedicated to presenting opera for all Cubans, and an American team of artists that includes librettist Elise Thoron, composer/musician Frank London, drama specialist Michael Posnick, and Diane Wondisford of Music-Theatre Group. Come and witness a historical performance and be part of the after-party with the cast and the musicians.
During this weekend, everyone will stay in comfortable casas particulares, Airbnb-style apartments in the heart of the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. These delightful homes, with private bathrooms, are located near restaurants, parks, the Patronato and Centro Sefaradí synagogues, and the Malecón sea promenade. Staying in a casa will give you the opportunity to support Cuba's emerging private sector and offer you a profound look at Cuban life today. Breakfast will be included every day to get you going. Ruth will also stay in a casa and will accompany you throughout the trip.
Transportation will be provided to get you to the planned activities and to assist you with any visits you wish to do on your own.
Land $1945.00 Per passenger (Air not included in the price)
Total $1945.00 Per passenger $ 350.00 single supplement
*Full Transportation while in Cuba
*US Licensing assistance
*Medical Insurance in Cuba
*Accommodations for 3 nights at Casa Particular
*Daily breakfast at Casa Particular
* 3 dinners
* 2 lunches
*Full translation by professional Cuba based guide
*Professional tour management in Cuba by our staff
*Our award winning Cuba Travel Tips publication and other traveler guidance
PROGRAM PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
*Tips (Guide and Driver, baggage handlers & restaurants)
*Trip Interruption Insurance
*Air from Home City to Miami
*Air not included in the price
*All other items not listed in “PROGRAM PRICE INCLUDES”
*Single room differential ($350)
Please note: This itinerary is subject to change and you will be kept informed of changes to final itinerary.
Be a part of Jewish Cuban History and enjoy the beauty of Havana!
You can be part of this unique and historical cultural experience by joining us on this special People to People trip to Cuba, scheduled for Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 5, 2015.
Learn about the culture of Cuba, meet the Cuban people, interact with members of the Jewish community, and get to know the Jewish Cuban heritage and the vibrant ways in which that heritage is being interpreted by a new generation. You will experience the eclectic architecture of Havana and learn about the Jewish presence in the city, dine at the most charming home restaurants, and enjoy musical concerts of Klezmer, Sephardic, jazz and Jewish-Cuban fusion music.
Jewish Cultural and Musical Weekend - Itinerary
Check-in to your Casa in Havana and get settled in.
6:00 pm: We will meet at a central location for an orientation and go together to dinner.
7:30 pm: Welcome dinner at Rio Mar
Located in La Puntilla, in the Miramar neighborhood, where the Río Almendares meets the ocean, Rio Mar offers creole Cuban food in a stunning setting.
10:00 pm: Cuban Jazz Fusion
Experience Cuban jazz fusion music in one of Havana's exciting hot spots.
Friday, March 3, 2017
7:30 - 9:00 am: Breakfast at your casa
9:30 am: Walking Tour of La Habana Vieja and its four plazas with a special focus on the old Jewish neighborhood
We will visit the restored colonial center of Old Havana and also stop at the Adath Israel Synagogue, the only Orthodox temple in Cuba, and the kosher butcher shop, located in the unrestored section of the city.
12:00 pm: Lunch at La Guarida Paladar
Once the setting of the acclaimed Cuban film, “Strawberry and Chocolate,” La Guarida is now one of Cuba’s top gourmet restaurants with a stunning rooftop bar. This magical home restaurant is in a building once known as La Mansión Camagüey, which shows its former grandeur in the magnificent wooden entrance door and marble staircase leading to the restaurant itself.
2:00 pm: Visit to the Centro Hebreo Sefaradí de Cuba, the Sephardic synagogue in Vedado
Founded in 1959, as the Cuban revolution was beginning, the Centro Hebreo Sefaradí was built Sephardic Jews who had moved to the modern neighborhood of Vedado from Old Havana, leaving behind the oldest synagogue in Cuba, the Chevet Ahim Synagogue, founded in 1914 by Turkish-Jewish immigrants, which is no longer in use. We will meet with members of the community to learn about the experience of being a Jew in Cuba. The event will conclude with the presentation of a handmade book of Jewish-Cuban poetry by book artist Rolando Estévez, the founder of El Fortín, an independent imprint located in Matanzas that specializes in handmade books.
4:00pm: Return to your casas to relax and refresh
6:00 pm: Dinner at Mediterraneo Paladar
Elegance and locally sourced food are the remarkable characteristics of this restaurant, the creation of a Cuban dreamer who lived in Italy for many years and a Sardinian chef. They serve the most delicious ravioli in Cuba.
8:30 pm: Premiere of Yiddish-Cuban opera Hatuey: Memory of Fire
Based on a 1931 epic poem by Ukranian Jewish immigrant Asher Penn, whose family fled the pogroms and settled in Cuba, this Yiddish-Cuban opera will be the first-ever collaboration between La Opera de la Calle, Ulises Aquino’s company dedicated to presenting opera for all Cubans, and an American team of artists that includes librettist Elise Thoron, composer/musician Frank London, drama specialist Michael Posnick, and Diane Wondisford of Music-Theatre Group. Following the Gala performance, enjoy the after-party with Hatuey’s creators and performers.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
7:30 am -9:30 am: Breakfast at your Casa
10:00 am: Attend Shabbat services with the Jewish community at the Patronato (Beth Shalom) Synagogue in Vedado
Beth Shalom Synagogue, known by Jewish Cubans as the Patronato, is Cuba's major Jewish community center. It was designed by famed architect Aquiles Capablanca and founded in 1953 and maintains its striking facade with the symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel and a modernist arch rising to the heavens. In recent years, the Patronato has become a crossroads for Jews from all over the world.
12:30 pm: Lunch at the Patronato Synagogue with members of the Jewish community of Cuba
This is a special opportunity to meet with Jews in Havana and learn their stories.
2:00 pm: Free afternoon
An opportunity to visit the San Juan Handicrafts Market or explore museums, galleries, and boutiques, or simply relax looking out at the sea at the historic Hotel Nacional.
5:45 pm: Greeting from Adela Dworin, president of the Jewish Community of Cuba and David Prinstein, vice-president of the Jewish Community of Cuba, Patronato Synagogue
5:00 -7:00 pm: Yuval Ron Ensemble Performance and Frank London and Klezmer Music Performance at the Patronato Synagogue
Yuval Ron and his ensemble will perform a concert of Sephardic music with guest Cuban children's choir Coro Lucecita while Frank London’s New York Yiddish Mishpokhe, to include Sarah Gordon and Zoe Christiansen, will perform klezmer music and Yiddish songs with special Cuban guests.
9:00 pm: Farewell dinner at El Cocinero PaladarAs much about the art scene as about the food, El Cocinero is in the same building as the Fábrica de Arte (Cuban Art Factory) and offers delicious Cuban dishes in the unique setting of a hundred-year-old abandoned cooking oil factory. After dinner, we can enjoy the roof terrace and the live music and art scene at the Fábrica. A perfect locale to end our special weekend in Havana.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Morning: Breakfast at your casa
TBD: Check out of casa
TBD: Transfer to José Martí International Airport, Terminal 2 and depart to your home cities.
Meet Ruth Behar, Event Organizer
Your event organizer is Ruth Behar, a Cuban-born cultural anthropologist and writer who brings an intimate knowledge of the Jewish community and the world of Cuban arts and letters through more than twenty-five years of return visits and engagement with her compatriots. Ruth is the editor of the pioneering anthology, Bridges to Cuba, author of An Island Called Home and Traveling Heavy, and director of the film, Adio Kerida, about the Sephardic presence in Cuba. Her novel, Lucky Broken Girl, about her Cuban-Jewish immigrant childhood in New York, is forthcoming with Penguin Random House. Ruth has formed close ties with the Jewish community of Cuba and is proud to be working with the community to create the first international Celebration of Jewish Culture in Cuba.
Cuba Tours and Travel
Cuba Tours and Travel has over fifteen years of experience offering expert-driven cultural travel to Cuba. Our management and program-design team, working together with a team of superb Cuban travel associates in both Havana and Miami, are uniquely suited to offer you the finest in-depth travel program to the island. We are licensed by the US and Cuba and are fully insured. Most importantly, we have an abiding love for Cuban art and culture and have strong connections to the cultural institutions on the island.
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