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José Miller Fredman

Date of the interview: 2-5-2005
Name: José
Last names : Miller Fredman
Date of birth : 1-8-1925
Birthplace: Yaguajay


Interviewer: Lourdes Albo
Camera and photos: Lourdes M. Peña
Trascription: Lourdes Albo and Lourdes M. Peña

My Origins

I am the eldest son of two Jews who immigrated to Cuba in the middle of the 1920s. Papa was twenty two when he arrived in Cuba, from the town of Kedania, in Lithuania. Mama was nineteen when she arrived, coming from Pinsk, in Poland. They were single when they came to Cuba. They met each other here and married.

I know little of Papa's life in Europe, in Lithuania, but I know a little more about my mother's family and life in Pinsk. Mama liked to tell stories, to speak about her family, to talk about her relationships with her middle brothers and sisters, because she lost her mother when she was five years old, and she grew with her stepmother, whom she always referred to in very good terms, of how good it was and had been with her because she was the youngest of my grandfather's first marriage. She was the youngest. She also maintained quite a regular correspondence with her family in Europe.


My Childhood

I want to say this because it is important to say it that, although I was born in Cuba and have never left Cuba, I knew about my mother's family from pictures, from what she recounted, from the affection and the way in which she said those things that seemed as if they were also living in Cuba. She also brought many things from Europe; she brought a feather mattress, feather pillows, and a samovar. She brought things.

I grew up in that atmosphere, tied to the memories of the home and of the family where my mother had been raised. She recounted many things, that is to say, the times that they were attacked by the pogrom and all those things. My grandfather was the victim of a pogrom. Mama passed all that on to me and I grew up with knowledge of that.

Well, as I said previously, they arrived single, they got to know each other here in Havana and married here in Havana. Because my mother came with her stepmother and her stepbrothers and sisters, they also came to leave for the United States, like many Jews who arrived in that time. They arrived in Cuba and they were temporarily in Cuba waiting the time when they could enter into the United States.

But she had an elder sister who was already here in Cuba who had already settled in the town of Yaguajay, in the North of the province that was Santa Clara then. Other Jews that came in their ship also stayed in Cuba and they settled in other places. Near to the town of Yaguajay there was a neighborhood called Meneses and two friends of theirs, Jay Feldman and Isidoro Crasin, got together and opened a business in Meneses. Then, trying to be near somebody they knew, they settled in Yaguajay a few kilometres from Meneses.

Logically, when Papa and Mama married they went to Yaguajay, where my aunt already lived, and they also settled down in that town of Yaguajay. That was where I was born.

Papa was called Yona Miller. Mama was Jashe Ferdman, in Cuba she used her maiden name independently, and she was Ferdman. So I adopted the two last names: that of Miller, from my father and Ferdman, from my mother. But they inverted a letter on my birth certificate. It has the R before the E and I am Fredman, José Miller Fredman, but in fact I should be Ferdman, if they had written it properly.

There were three Jewish families living there: two families of origin and a Sephardic family. I always remember. I have memories of when my brother was born. I was five years old and I remember the party, when they had the Brit Milah of my younger brother, David, in that town. When they had mine, my father was in Havana where there was a mohel to do it, but when my brother was born five years later, my father did it, he brought the mohel to Yaguajay and that was a party to which the whole town heard about it. In a town that had five or six thousand inhabitants there were only three Jewish families. Of course, those families had good relationships, that is to say, they knew each other well. They wish happy holidays at the time of the Jewish festivities and as Jews they got on well with each other, but they did not keep a very close relationship.

I never had the opportunity to see these three families altogether to celebrate Pesach, or one or other festival but...Yes, undoubtedly, I remember we never missed celebrating any festival in a homelike way at home.

I remember many times, as a boy, going to the bakery to bake things that my mother made specialities of the Jewish holidays, sweets and cookies, all those things. I also remember that the other families did the same and we exchanged things , that is to say, I remember the other Ashkenazi family sent some things that they had made to my house and Mama also sent things to them, we exchanged like that.

The relationships were good and the other Sephardic family had different customs. They celebrated the festivals, but not in the same way, not with the same things and that the only things in which the Jews all behave the same is when it comes to eating matzah and those things. So that ’ s the way I grew up.

Mama told me my grandfather had the nickname, in the family, of Socher, Socher, like that. I found it difficult to know what it meant, from where that name, Socher came from. Mama named me after my grandfather: Socher is nothing more than the adaptation of the name Isahar, Isahar, that is to say, in Yiddish they say Isashocher. Socher was what Mama called me, but when they registered me as Socher was very complicated for the notary to write and so the name of José was adopted. And that’s how they inscribed me and I am José on my birth certificate. In the heart of my family; to my brothers; my aunts, those that are still alive; and my sister; I continue to be Socher that was what I was called at home.

Mama and Papa knew much of oral tradition; of how things were done, do you understand? Mainly, from the point of view of kosher, from the point of view of lighting the candles on Fridays, all those things... you know? As far as Jewish history, things from the Bible, from the Torah, that knowledge they didn't have. The only thing that they had was a book of prayers and Papa had his tefillin. His tefillin and his book of prayers, that was all they knew, but he couldn’t tell many biblical stories, not at all. In a Hebrew school you can learn all those things, learn a lot....that is good. But to feel like a Jew, to feel what it is to live like a Jew, to enjoy the Jewish life, that cannot be done if it is not at home.

Home is the first school, the best school, because I never went there. in Yaguajay, there was no Jewish school and nobody taught me anything. I went to the public school like all the boys of the town. I went to that public school, but at home… at home Mama always remembered the festivals, to make the goodies, the meals, all the things that are related to the Jewish festivities. Papa came here (Havana) in Pesach every year, to buy the matzo, and the wine. They learned how to do that at home, a Seder at home.

I was forgetting the little Yiddish that I knew, but I always learned because my parents spoke to me in Yiddish when they wanted to tell me something that they didn't want others to know. But in fact they also needed to practice their Spanish to be more related with Cuban life.

I remember that Papa didn't eat anything other than chicken. Chicken, because it was normal in the countryside to buy live chickens. It was ritually killed in my house and that was what my father ate, always the same custom of eating chicken soup to be kosher. Although my father was not very religious, but in that he was.In those customs, we followed them.

Most of the Jews in Cuba were in business. We had a store. At that time the importers were in Havana, they were the travelling salesmen who covered the whole country. We received many visits from Jewish travelling salesmen who came to sell to my father for the store that established a contact. Those Jews could come from Havana, from Remedios or from Santa Clara, where there were more Jewish families and more Jews and we had that type of friendship.

I remember when the leaders of the Santa Clara Community, who knew my family, had come to Yaguajay. They met my sister and they wanted her to be a candidate for Queen Esther for Purim. She was one of the Maidens of Queen Ester, she was not Queen, but, she was a Maiden.

I remember that I went to Santa Clara for the Purim Festivity, a joyful event. There was dancing, there was everything. But we didn't socialize, we did go to Remedios or Santa Clara, but we never had a social life in Havana. I had a social life in a community when I came to study in Havana, through my aunt and uncle. Then I was integrated into the Community, I had friends. I was always close to the Community.


My Youth

When the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 came, I was between eleven and fourteen years old. For the World War, the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945, I was between fourteen and twenty . The town of Yaguajay was politically a very active town, very active. It was a town where there was a lot of immigration from the canaries and Spain. Therefore, the Spanish Civil War was a time when a lot was heard about it, of Franco, of the Civil War, of the Republicans. Later on, the Second World War started and there was much talk of fascism, of Nazi-fascism, of all those things; that give you a different perspective of the world. Maybe if it had not been for the political characteristics that were in my town, the union movement, all those things, no one would have learned about them.

During the Second World War, I was a young lad between fourteen and twenty years old, I was involved in the whole antifascist campaign, something that is linked, unquestionably, to my Jewish identity. Because, if I would not have being the son of Jews, descended from Jews, those things of the Second World War and the Nazi and all those things would not have mattered so much. More than that, we still didn't really have a true consciousness of what was happening in Europe and of the Holocaust. But when all that was known later and we knew that my mother's family were lost, that they could not have survived, all those things that happened, for the people that also survived and the destination of those that were not able to, that reaffirms you even more.

If you asked me, I would tell you that my reaffirmation as Jew, my Jewish identity was reaffirmed at that time. So that when I came to Havana, in the year 1945, when I was twenty years old to complete my university studies, I already have a full consciousness that I was a Jew, that I belonged to the Jewish Community. Do you understand? That made me, and others like me, to integrate and organize the Agrupación Cultural Hebreo-Cubana. That group played a very important role in Cuba because already in the 1950s, in those years the State of Israel had already been created, and.... What did we want? We want Cubans stopped seeing the Jews here as foreigners, as people separated from the Cuban Society. We wanted the Cuban Civil Society to get a better understanding of the traditional Jewish life, that is the life of a Jew doesn't have anything to do with being a Cuban citizen. It doesn't have anything to do with it, that is to say, they are Cuban citizens, they live like all the Cubans, but they conserve their traditions and that is what we wanted them to understand. The obligation that Jews have for education, for continuity, for keeping their identity.

On the other hand, we wanted that our Jewish Community understood the Cuban national character and soul of the new generation, though our parents were immigrants, that is to say, a mutual understanding, a mutual respect. In addition, we pursued to achieve a better understanding between Jews and Cuban non-Jews.

At that time, the State of Israel had also been created, a completely new state, a Jewish State. We also began the best cultural and diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and Cuba.

That institution (Agrupación Cultural Hebreo-Cubana) played an important role from the beginning of the 1950s until the triumph of the Revolution, until the year 1959. It was very active and it played an important role in that respect. I was involved in a very strong way, very intense in that activity, and I was also involved in the Circulo Universitario Hebreo. We understood within the Jewish Community, we were a youth group that also studied in the university-not all the Jewish youths of that time went to the university. Many followed their parents and went into their business, into commercial life, into the domestic economic life. But those of us that did go to university, we studied medicine, engineering, or other specialties, and we did keep unity, a closeness, we promoted cultural activities with university professors, with foremost personalities and intellectuals.

At those times, the majority of the intellectuals were more liberal. They had more progressive thoughts, thus the Jews were welcomed with less reserve and with more solidarity than in other sectors of the Cuban intellectuality. They saw the Jew as a minority, but worthy of the highest respect and the highest consideration.

The years of the Second World War that caused a big exodus of Jews from Europe toward America, looking for refuge, escaping from Nazism and the whole hecatomb that happened in Europe, caused some elements that we call the extreme right, ultra conservative elements, elements that continued seeing us as a minority, as a different people, as Jewish and they could not throw off that prejudice. They tried to get the Cuban laws and the Cuban government not to allow the massive entry of Jewish refugees.

That was the main cause, in my view, that influenced the government when the incident of the steamship St. Louis happened. It arrived in Havana, to drop off nine hundred thirty seven refugees here. They came without documents, excepting for twenty two that had entry permission in this country, not as immigrants but as tourists. They thought they'd be welcomed as refugees and they weren’t allowed to enter into the country, only the twenty two that processed entry visa in advance because they have some relatives here and they were allowed to disembark. The rest had to continue, to return to Europe because they were not allowed to enter into the United States. Part of them stayed in England and the rest went to the European Continent.

Logically, those that arrived in the European Continent perished in the Holocaust. That is an indelible story, an indelible episode of those years and those of us that lived in Cuba, and maybe, on the part of the Community, we could have done much more. There was big support from American charity organizations, from the JointDistribution. Committee I tell you this because it is part of what I lived through in Cuba and part of something very tied to the feeling of Jewish identity.

Precisely those feelings that I felt, that I lived in what we could call the golden age of the Jewish Community in Cuba. The golden age ....Why the golden age? Because the Jewish Community in Cuba has two stages: a stage that we could say from its arrival to Cuba in the 1920s, until the beginning of the Second World War and another stage that is after the World War until 1959. The difference between one stage and the other one is the social and economic condition of the Jewish Community. The Jewish Community here began in extreme poverty, poor immigrants that came to try to live in Cuba, in a climate of more freedom and more tolerance, but economically they were very needy.

But with time, and their perseverance, they were improving the economic position of Cuba, that is to say, during the Second World War, but even in 1944, 1945,1946, it flourished and all those that had some economic, industrial or commercial activity, were favoured. They prospered and in prospering, their conditions of life, their standard of living, their social life improved and this Community was able to build its own synagogues, its own temples. That is the golden age, and it lasted practically up to 1960.

And I, who saw that, the ascent of the Jewish Community, it shocked me that during the 1980s there was hardly any Community life in Cuba. It was very difficult to maintain and to sustain the Community and to maintain Jewish life and the quality of Jewish life.


Not so Young but…

In fact most of the Jewish Community here were of Polish origin. But the majority, the great majority, came from Poland. Then people knew it and in school they made jokes to us about the Brit Milah. Because they didn't do it, because they didn't know what the Brit Milah was, nor what they did, nor what it consisted of. No? I have one more anecdote I cannot tell, well, not in the way that I want to. It’s about a station boss, of the railway station in my hometown. He was called Miguelito, who liked to make jokes about me and tell me that they had cut off my... my penis, that they had cut off my member, they’d cut it off. They cut it off; you’ve got a little one. Well, those things used to mortify me.

Well, time passed, I graduated, and I was working in the hospital. I was about fifty, something like that, and one day Miguelito appeared in the hospital. Already he was an old man, more than seventy. Miguelito appeared there with a problem. I asked: “What’s the problem?”. He said: “I need to see an urologist". Then, he had an infection in the foreskin caused by phymosis, that is to say, he had to have that anatomical condition of the foreskin corrected and he had to be operated on. Then after he passed the critical stage, the urologist, who I had sent him to, gave him a date for the operation. When he was on the operating room for a minor surgery, I approached him and said: “Miguelito, the law of God doesn't allow cheating, they cut off your dick, look…” and so I paid him back for the joke that he made of me.

But in my town there was never, ever, any discrimination against us. It was a humble town, of hard-working people, believers, where the predominant church was Catholic. But it was a good people's town, that is to say, in general the people of Cuba are not a people that establishes differences, ethnic, or of nationality, or of race. No, we never felt that we were mistreated, in that, in general, my experience of having lived all my life, eighty years, here in Cuba, and that is so .

There is a stage of my life that I would like to point out here. One of the social phenomena of the Jewish Community in Cuba in the period from 1960 to 1990 is when many adolescents lost the traditional form of life. They lost the opportunity to be able to follow the tradition and the opportunity of transmitting that tradition to their children. The composition of the Community, its assimilation into Cuban social life made the phenomenon of extreme growth possible, almost ninety percent of the marriages were out of the Community, men married outside of the Community, the same as women that married outside of the Community. This we found in this big process of renewal of mixed marriages, with which have had to work and integrate, regularizing the Community.

My links with the Jewish Community are what caught me when the Community was already in decadence, I did not want to accept that everything that had been built, that had been done, really wasn’t any longer the same. It no longer had the splendour that it had had in better times, but it didn't have to disappear. The descendents of Jews wanted to return to their roots, to revive that, to rescue that which was getting lost and that was what we did.

That opportunity started from 1990. We lacked resources, we lacked support and that is what we got... and that is what we have today, thanks to that we can have all those things that we are doing, activities and it is a Community that has responded well, it must stay like it was, up to now.

I had a first marriage from which I was left a widower. My wife, of this first marriage converted in the Temple of the United Hebrew Congregation to marry me, it was a wedding that people of the Community and people that had friendships with her family attended. Everybody participated. The pictures are witness that the ceremony was very well done, I was left with two children from that marriage. A son that today is fifty years old and a daughter who is forty six.

Then I met Dalia. I married Dalia and we had two children. Those children are forty one and the other thirty eight years old. For different reasons they are not living in Cuba. One of them is living in Israel. I never demanded or imposed on my children that they had to continue linked or maintain their Jewish identity. I didn't need to do that; I only had to give them the example. They wanted to be like their father, quite simply, I didn't have to tell them, they wanted to be like their father. Why? I have never had any problems in this country from the professional point of view. I worked in Public Health, in the University, everybody respects me. Everybody knew that I was Jewish. It was common knowledge, I never felt different for the fact of being Jewish and of maintaining my identity.

I believe that … I have already said this before, the Cuban people are not racist… but I believe that it helps you more, maintaining your identity firmly rather than trying to escape from it. People respect that, people respect the individual for what he is, what he maintains, knows where he belongs and never forgets what he is. People respect that.

I have no complaints about my children; even my grandson is tied to Jewish life. What I want to say is that I have married twice and both times my chosen wife has been from outside of the Community, and as you see in neither case did I have to push. My wife knows what I am and what I would like. If my wife had to convert and enter the mikva, she converted and she entered themikva, no problem. Dalia knew that I would feel better if she integrated better into Community life, to have a Jewish home, as you see, this is a Jewish home. As you enter the door there is a mezuzah.

I am not a very observant individual. I respect the tradition in the fundamentals, in the central thing, not in the peripherals, and I have helped to create and I have been directing the Community that I want to be this way, a Community that is identified as Jewish.

There is something that I, as leader of the Community, try to transmit to the youth here and it is the following: there is no better school for Judaism than the home than the family. You learn many things in a Hebrew and Jewish school that your parents sometimes cannot teach you because they do not know it. And my concern now is that the coming generations, the young people that are going to take over, maintain that position, taking care that the Community maintains its identity, doesn't lose it.

That is important; I want to make sure of that now. I want to establish the rules for which our Congregation should be governed to be able to maintain that Community. I am optimistic about that, because I see that the Community has responded. We have very valuable people, people that have culture. These are the people we want to be able to count on.

When you decide to be Jewish, you know what it is to be Jewish, it is not necessary to impose it on you. The self-discipline makes you maintain that. We all are witness that it is a process that has taken more than fifteen years, that conversions have been made, marriages and a system has settled down to homogenize the Community. That Jewishness is maintained and that we have always maintained it.

Earlier I talked about what was the Circulo Universitario Hebreo a group of professional Cuban Jews and of intellectual Cuban Jews. We gave ourselves the task of establishing the best cultural relationships and of understanding, so that the Cuban society that surrounded us knew about Jewish culture and Jewish tradition better. I have been speaking of the Circulo Universitario Hebreo, the Hillel group, my participation in the best years of the B’nei B’rith in Cuba. I am speaking of the year 1951, 1952. My integration into the Circulo Universitario Hebreo , an organization that played an important role and it filled a gap in the battle to establish the best cultural relations with the State of Israel that had been created newly in 1948.

During that time my work consisted of the private practice of my specialty, but on the triumph of the Revolution, because of encouragment and the invitation of my friends that were linked to the medical services of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, I started to work in the National Centre of the Medical Services of the Ejercito Rebelde (the Cuban Army), years 1959, 1960. All what we had to go through in Cuba at that time: Fights against bandits, La Coubre, mobilizations, I lived through all that inside the Armed Forces.

This brought estrangement from the family, from other activities. It also made me separate from the Jewish Community and my relationship was indirect, through my parents that were in Cuba. My brother and sister had immigrated in 1961 to United States. But my parents had stayed here; they stayed because my father had a small business that initially was not nationalized, although other bigger types of business were nationalized. The smaller ones stayed until 1968. That is to say, there was a first nationalization of bigger businesses and a second, of smaller businesses, which included all the small business that were left. My parents left Cuba in 1969. My father was sixty seven years old, my mother five years less.

But at the same time working in the Armed Forces, the process of the Communist Party began inside the Armed Forces in, 1965. The Party is based on discipline and self-discipline. We have always said that it is no secret to anyone that at the beginning of the Revolution, the Revolutionary Government didn't establish any defined politics in relation to religious groups and the practice of religion. There was no restriction on religious activities, but what it did not establish at any time what was the relationship between those groups, those religious people and the government's political line. And in fact because it was never established, people assumed that to be religious was not good in this country, nobody would benefit from being religious.

Because those that were tied to the party politics did know that they could not be religious, it was incompatible to be religious and belong to the Party. Therefore anyone who was in the Party and had any desire to belong to a religious group restrained from doing so to avoid any problems. And so it was that the government, on April 2, 1990, summoned a meeting with the religious groups to define that situation, in view of the vicinity of the 4th Party Congress that would take place in 1991. It was the government that realized that it was necessary to define it and that there were things established for the religions that were not correct. Like that of setting down constitutionally that it was an Atheist State, that was in a first Constitution and later it was modified that Cuba was a Secular State where the Church or the religions are separate from the State. It changed the Revolutionary Government's perspective totally with regard to the religions.

The Jewish Community had professionals who didn't know how this could affect their social life. In 1967, the Six Day War happened in the Middle East. Israel had to defend itself from the Arab countries, for second time, the first was in 1948. And for second time it defeated the Arab army, but not like the first time when some Arab countries were able to penetrate into Israel, but in the end they settled a cease-fire and they stayed where they were. In the war of the1967 Israel was able to recover much from those Arab countries, it defeated Egypt militarily, it repulsed Syrian attacks from the north and it pushed Jordan to the River Jordan that is when Israel kept Jerusalem and those territories that are in dispute if Israel should return to the previous lines. That is to say, what they call the occupied territories. I won't talk about that, but I am only talking about what happened. The difference is in how we see Israel and how the Party sees it, how other people see it.

The Party was being integrated and it was in the integration process and growth by the Armed Forces inside the institutions that I was working and I had my criteria which didn't coincide with the criteria of the Party therefore the best thing that I could do… I had to choose, either I abandoned my criteria and forgot what I thought, or I left where I was, and everybody understood that, and everybody was very good with me when I left the Armed Forces and started to work in Public Health. In 1968 I left the Armed Forces for good and I began to work in the Ministry of Public Health.

A little later my parents left the country. On the other hand, my work location, the non-necessity to have to be on constant military mobilizations left me time and it left me space to be near the Community. When my parents left I lost direct contact, and in 1970 I started to reinstate myself into the Community. That is to say to come closer to the Community. The Community was still maintained, but the emigration process continued and every day the Jewish Community was weaker. The decade of the 1980s is the decade when Mariel arrived, when maybe the most important group in the Jewish Community left the country, including, between '80 and '81 the leaders of the Patronato. It was at the request of them that I passed on to occupy the position that I have in the Patronato. They were leaving the country and they had to leave somebody and they thought that I could do it.

The only thing that I could do was to sustain the situation until seeing where it finished up. I tell you, nobody knew during those years from 1970 to 1981… nobody thought anything but that the Jewish Community would sooner or later disappear totally. Nobody thought of a recovery and many things that should not have been done were in fact done because of that way of thinking.

Some Toroh were even taken out of the country. They were given away so that they didn't get lost totally. They were given to people that would take care of them better, so that they wouldn't get totally lost. Nobody thought that what happened in April 1990 would have happened. But that was also related to the process that began in the communist world in 1985 with Gorbachev. There was a total change of politics that Cuba didn't adopt, but that it understood that many of the things that it had been doing had to change. That the errors that it had been making had to be rectified and among those things was the relationship of the State and the Party with Religion and that was the opportunity that we took to begin to re-establish the Jewish Community of Cuba. In 1992, convinced that what we needed was more strength, more resources we went to the Joint. I personally, wrote to the Joint and they responded .

Starting from that moment we began to work together, not exactly as we do now. The system of sending a person for two years or two and a half years began later. At the beginning they came and they worked for two weeks and they left, once they left everything got lost.

Now we are trying to create the conditions so that no matter what may come, we ourselves could be able to maintain the Jewish way of life, if not at the same pace, at least to survive in an acceptable pace. Now yes, we cannot close the door, we have to continue living and we have to look for people that will take the responsibility for that.

Although we all meet in the Patronato and although we all share, we cannot deceive ourselves there are those who are good and there are those who are not good for that. I believe that within that you should interview the young people and ask them what a Jewish identity means for them and what future plans they could have with relationship to maintaining the Community. That question is important. It is very nice to have youngsters tell you that, as a result of all this that we are speaking about, tells you what it is for them to be a Jew.

I believe that the current state is satisfactory. What are the changes?; What have we done?; What have we introduced?; What is it acceptable to modify?; What should stay?; That is to establish norms of behaviour that can be followed in relationship to the continuity of the Community and the maintenance of the Jewish legacy. What is it to be Jewish in Cuba?; What is it like to be a Jew in Cuba?

For example we have accepted the Jewish identity on the paternal line; we have accepted the equal status of the woman in the service. In the temple, we don't separate the men and women, we don't make the mechitzah, the women are called up to read the Torah, the paternal line is accepted, if you have a Jewish father we consider you Jewish, the inclusion of mixed marriages is accepted, but there are things that it is necessary to establish.

Lourdes, that ’s a little difficult, although that question is a correct one. What has it meant for me? I find it a little difficult because there are things in which I have been the only main character, if I speak of that, it may seem that I am flattering myself. But I hope everybody does me justice and that everybody understands the role that I have played in the Community. Of course, I could not have done it alone; I have a lot of good people that help to maintain the Community.

It is impossible for me alone. Which is my merit? Well my driving force, my strength , my enthusiasm to rebirth the Community and my concern to keep our achievements, and to give the right value and to keep the Jewish traditions. In the sense that it is possible for us to maintain them, or to change them if it is necessary, but it must have a justification.

The youngsters, above all those that are in the vanguard, mainly those that have had the experience of Israel or those that want to have it, my message to them is that I trust them to be the continuity, they are the best; I trust them because of their enthusiasm There is a group of very very good youngsters.