“Synagogues of Cuba 2015” spotlights that island nation’s Jewish community, established in 1906 but now depleted due to their exodus following the Cuban revolution of 1959. Fortunately, thaws in Cuban-American relations could revive its relevance. Photographer Wyatt Gallery’s exhibition “Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean” takes visitors back to the 1600s, when the West Indies became a refuge for Sephardic Jews fleeing the persecution of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions. Though only five island synagogues remain, Gallery’s remarkable pictures offer insight into Judaism’s enduring legacy and survival. Both exhibits take place concurrently at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (301 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach). “Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean” runs Tuesday through December 11. “Synagogues of Cuba” is currently on view and also runs through December 11. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission costs $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Call 305-672-5044.
The Bible says Abraham’s descendants, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, went forth into the world and established Judaism. We suppose it’s only natural, then, that some opted for sun and fun and ended up in the Caribbean, where worship could be accompanied by a tropical breeze. Two upcoming exhibits at the Jewish Museum of Florida offer images of Judaism’s little-known historic places of worship in Cuba and the Caribbean. Each has special significance. Photographer Calen Bennett’s