This project will explore faith and identity, tradition and resilience, culture and community, portrayed through the vision of award-winning Santa Monica based photographer Martin Cohen. The project has already earned the support of the three most prominent synagogues in Havana: El Centro Hebreo Sefaradi de Cuba, El Patronato de la Casa de la Comunidad Hebrea de Cuba and Adath Israel de Cuba, the only orthodox synagogue on the island. In addition, Rabbi Shmuel Szteinhendler, the current Chief Rabbi of Cuba as well as the regional director for Masorti Olami in Latin America, has expressed his interest and support for the project.
With a deep commitment to maximize a universal message and enhance the visibility of the Jewish community in Cuba, this initiative consists of three primary projects: a coffee-table art book, a traveling international photography exhibition, and an educational program.
This finely-crafted, high-quality art book will showcase Martin Cohen’s curated photographic survey of Jewish Cuba complemented by interviews and historic background.
A high-impact show will tour museums, galleries, synagogues, and educational institutions around the world. Potential venues for the premiere are The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles; Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv; and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.
A catalyst for critical thinking and cultural understanding, Jewish Cuba, through the transformative power of the arts, can be a platform for teaching at all levels. A video documentary will portray the photographer at work as well as documenting the Jewish community in Cuba – interviews with key members, the synagogues, services and family life.
- K-12 Education
- Photography/Arts Education Workshops and seminars
Cohen’s desire is to capture the heart and soul of the community, with intimate portraits of families both at home and at their temple. Photography will start in the fall of 2017. In addition to showing life and religious ceremonies at the three active synagogues in Havana, Jewish Cuba is committed to exploring centers of Jewish culture outside the capital, documenting the smaller synagogues and culture centers spread over the island.
We are in the process of reaching out to the Cuban ministries of Culture and the Office of Religious Affairs.