Shalom Cuba

  • Shalom Cuba 2016 1-1
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  • Shalom Cuba 2016 9-1

About

Jews have lived in Cuba for more than a hundred years and today’s small community is eager for contact with the Jews of other countries. Meetings with Jewish Cubans and visiting their synagogues and institutions are integral elements of Isramworld’s "Shalom Cuba!” programs, a unique opportunity to learn about Jewish life in this island nation that is so near (just 90 miles from the shores of the United States) yet, ever since 1961, so far.
Once one of Americans’ most favored vacation destinations, Cuba is not a mere "Caribbean island.” It is home to some of the most beautiful colonial cities in the Americas. It’s a country the size of Pennsylvania, with an enthralling history and an even more fascinating dynamic.
Meeting Jewish Cubans, understanding their challenges and achievements, learning what makes them tick and sharing your own experiences, is what SHALOM CUBA! is all about. As you travel through this gorgeous country, you’ll make friends inside and outside the Jewish community, and you’ll uncover the secrets of a proud, sensual and colorful land.

Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS:

Vamonos! Welcome to Isramworld’s Shalom Cuba!

In the last half century, while off-limits to American vacationers, Cuba has become a favorite destination for Canadians and Europeans, developing world-class hotels and a tourism infrastructure that meet the needs of international visitors.

Experience Includes:

  • 7 nights at hotels listed above or similar
  • Meals as per program itinerary
  • Cuban Visa
  • People to People exchange program
  • English speaking Cuban Guides
  • Tips at restaurants and organizations
  • Porterage at the hotel (1 piece of luggage per person)
  • Hotel service charges & taxes
  • Cuban departure tax

Itinerary does not include:

  • 1 dinner
  • Optional Tropicana & Buena Vista Shows
  • Tip for Cuban Guide: 10 - 12 CUC per person, per day, suggested
  • Tip for Cuban Driver: 5 - 6 CUC per person, per day, suggested
  • Tip for our hotel room maids: 1 CUC per person, per day, suggested
  • Tip for rest room attendants: 1/2 CUC, suggested
  • Miscellaneous tips: (musicians, taxis)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and Internet

Important notes:

Due to the nature of the People to People Exchange program, the day by day order of our itinerary is subject to change.

 

Click here to review CUBA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

US Department of the treasury license # CT-2014-308799-1
Issued to ISRAMWORLD d/b/a LATOUR d/b/a PRIDEWORLD

 

Itinerary

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 - MONDAY: HAVANA
Bienvenidos! Upon arrival, transfer to our elegant hotel in the oceanfront Vedado district, considered the Beverly Hills of Havana. We will have a brief meeting and coffee break. Welcome to Cuba dinner. D

DAY 2 - TUESDAY: HAVANA
After breakfast, the Centro Hebreo Sefaradi (the Sephardic Community Center and Synagogue) and meet community members. The origins of the current Jewish community of Cuba date from the year 1906, when the first organization was founded by Jews that came from the US, under the name United Hebrew Congregation. The first wave of Sephardim took place in the years 1907-1908, with a wave of migration from Turkey and Syria. 1914 marked the time for the opening of a Sephardic congregation with proper organization, under the name Shevet Ajim Hebrew Union. After lunch at a privately owned restaurant, visit the National Museum of Fine Arts that exhibits Cuban art collections from colonial times up to contemporary generations. It consists of two impressive buildings. The Palace of Fine Arts is dedicated to Cuban arts and the Palace of the Asturian Center is dedicated to the universal arts. Dinner this evening at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 3 - WEDNESDAY: HAVANA
After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating guided walk through Old Havana to admire the ongoing restoration transforming this UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Belen neighborhood, visit the orthodox Adath Israel Synagogue, Cuba’s only kosher butcher and see Temple Shevet Achim (Cuba’s first synagogue). We will also visit the Hotel Raquel, built in 1908, which was originally a storage warehouse for textiles. As we take in the soaring marble columns and intricate stained-glass "mamparas" (folding screens) throughout the lobby, it’s hard to imagine this as a warehouse. Just a brief look around reveals the poignant reference to Jewish culture throughout the Raquel, underscored by paintings with biblical themes by contemporary Cuban artists. Enjoy lunch at a privately owned restaurant. Next, visit the Muraleando Art Project where Cuban and international artists have used almost every available wall as canvas for hundreds of beautiful painted murals. In 2003, under the direction of Manuel Diaz Baldrich, it developed into an art collective, providing workshops in all forms of art including ceramics, theater, dancing and music. We now travel to the Cemetery at Guanabacoa, one of two Jewish cemeteries. It is about 6 miles across the bay from Habana Vieja, on the east side, in the La Jata section of Guanabacoa. The United Hebrew Congregation Cemetery (largely but not entirely Ashkenazim) was established in 1911 by the United Hebrew Congregation of Cuba. The beautiful series of tombstones (matzevot), ohels, and sarcophagi show different burial traditions. Inscriptions are in Hebrew, Yiddish and Spanish. Memorial artwork includes universal Jewish symbols like the menorah, candle-stick, Star of David and Lion of Judah. Inscribed names and birthplaces are of the people from Eastern and Central Europe, not that of Sephardim, dominant in Cuba. The general layout holds to universal Jewish tradition. (B,L)

DAY 4 - THURSDAY: HAVANA
After breakfast, we will visit one of Havana's oldest and most famous cigar factories, the landmark neoclassical Real Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás which was founded in 1845 by Spaniard Jaime Partagás. The Partagás factory has been producing fine cigars for more than 160 years and offers the most insightful cigar tour in Havana. Today, some 400 workers toil for up to 12 hours a day rolling such famous cigars as Montecristos and Cohibas. We then visit the El Patronato Jewish Community Center and meet its president and other members of the Havana Jewish community. The construction of the first home of the Jewish community in Vedado started in 1951. Its design, created by known architect Aquiles Capalbanca, stands out as a result of thorough research from the architect to build it according to Jewish tradition. Tour the center’s library and visit the nursery school classrooms. See Temple Beth Shalom. Meet with the leadership of Hadassah-Cuba. Next, see the Jewish Community pharmacy. After cocktails and lunch, travel to the port of Havana for a visit to the famous Almacenes de San Jose crafts market. This harbor side warehouse was built in 1885 and is considered the oldest depository in Old Havana. After a painstaking restoration process of almost three years, the huge edifice is now the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes San José although conceived as a cultural center with art exhibitions, theatrical performances and recreational activities. Today, it’s most significant offer is undoubtedly the handicrafts on sale. Free time to enjoy the market and interact with the artisans. Possible souvenirs include paintings, guayabera shirts, woodwork, leather items and jewelry. Return to the hotel. Dinner at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 - FRIDAY: HAVANA | SANTA CLARA
After breakfast, travel to the fishing community of Cojimar, just a few minutes east of Havana. This picturesque fishing village is where Hemingway docked his boat El Pilar. Not only did he use the town as a base for fishing, Cojimar was the background for one of his most famous works, The Old Man and the Sea. The old man in the title was reputedly his guide, Gregorio Fuentes, a Cojimar local. We now depart for the city of Santa Clara. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a privately owned restaurant. After lunch, we will visit the Jewish Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum, dedicated in 1947.  Check in to our hotel in Santa Clara. Enjoy a Shabbat dinner this evening. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 - SATURDAY: SANTA CLARA
After breakfast, drive to the colonial city of Trinidad, the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities, in the shadow of the Escambray mountains. It is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After drinks and lunch, tour the city with a municipal historian through the cobblestoned streets lined with neo-classical and baroque homes and buildings, which are embellished with wrought iron grillwork. See the Canchachara Tavern and the Casa del Alfarero Pottery Workshop. Dinner at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 - SUNDAY: SANTA CLARA | HAVANA
After breakfast, drive towards Havana, stopping for lunch. Drive to the nearby village of Jaimanitas to visit the home, studio and community art project of José Rodríguez Fuster. He is the Cuban native artist specializing in ceramics, painting, drawing, engraving and graphic design who has transformed his home and the adjoining area. It is known to many as Fusterlandia, one of the most interesting art projects. Check in to our hotel in Havana. Farewell to Cuba dinner at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 8 - MONDAY: HAVANA | MIAMI
After breakfast, transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport for your departing flight. (B)

Tour includes: 19 meals: breakfast daily, as well as 6 lunches and 6 dinners with cocktails and wine

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotels

HOTELS
CITYNIGHTSHOTEL
Havana4Melia Cohiba
Santa Clara2America or Los Caneyes
Havana1Melia Cohiba

Land and Air Prices Per Person*

Valid through December, 2017
DATESTWINSINGLE
January 15th-23rd$5,099$6,398
February 19th-27th$5,099$6,398

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