Beth Shalom Temple (Havana, Cuba)

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Beth Shalom Grand Synagogue
Hebrew: בית הכנסת בית שלום, romanizedGran Sinagoga Bet Shalom
Gran Sinagoga Bet Shalom.JPG
Exterior of Templo Bet Shalom
AffiliationConservative Judaism
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusActive
LocationCalle I Esq. 13, Havana 10400
CountryCuba Cuba
Geographic coordinates23°08′30″N 82°23′22″W / 23.141634°N 82.389425°W / 23.141634; -82.389425Coordinates: 23°08′30″N 82°23′22″W / 23.141634°N 82.389425°W / 23.141634; -82.389425
Completed1952; 70 years ago (1952)

Temple Beth Shalom, built in 1952, is a synagogue located in the Vedado neighbourhood of downtown Havana. In 1981, much of the original building was sold to the state, and was then turned into the Bertolt Brecht Cultural Center, including a theatre, a music venue, a gallery and a bar. Only part of the structure remains in Jewish hands today. Extensive repairs were undertaken in the 1990s. Beth Shalom is considered the headquarters of the Cuban Jewish Community. The building also houses a Jewish library. [1][2][3][4]

Relationship with the Castro government[edit]

Overall, the Jewish community has enjoyed security and antisemitism has been minimal. In the years leading up to his death, Fidel Castro even attended the community's Hanukka celebration.


  1. ^ For Cuban Jews, endless deprivation Archived July 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Globe
  2. ^ The Cuba Connection The Star Tribune
  3. ^ Havana Synagogue Dark for Decades is Once Again Aglow in the Light of Shabbat Candles Archived October 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine United Jewish Communities
  4. ^ 4. Jewish Community of Cuba: The Golden Years, 1906-1958, Westview Publishing Company, Nashville, Tennessee, (February 2006). ISBN 0-9776207-0-0