Rabbi Steven Weil


November 1, 2013

Last week, OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil and Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Paul Glasser led a small delegation of donors and potential donors to Cuba. In conjunction with the Joint Distribution Committee, a license was finally secured to visit in order to strengthen the Jewish community there. The delegation visited all three synagogues – Orthodox, Conservative and Sephardic – and had the privilege of being addressed by the president of the Cuban Jewish community, who described the challenges they face on a daily basis. During the three-day adventure, the delegation came to understand the need to take care of local seniors with regard to programming, medicine, and other staples of a community. It is difficult to imagine why the young people would not want to go on aliyah, as the majority of the community left Cuba a long time ago for better lives in different places around the world. However, just as our country plays a major role in the quality of our lives, they are attached to theirs, as were their parents and grandparents, irrespective of the serious challenges they face. The delegation was enthralled with the experience and will continue to support the OU programs of their choice.