Oral histories are a way to transmit
to young generations the cultural traditions
of their ancestors. Personal experiences
told by their main characters enriched
the testimonies that are assembled, they give
a sense of belonging to a nation or a
community with a common history, that
as a process, we are all committed.
The original theme of the multimedia presentation "Oral History:What can I tell you about my life?"
came from the Simja Group's gathering "Anecdotes to Remember" held in the late 1990s. Enthusiastically, many of the participants shared their memories and stories. Later on, inspired
by this same theme, Miriam Greenberg,
an independent producer, interviewed senior citizens
of the Cuban Jewish Community to make
a documentary “No Todos Nos Fuimos”
(Not All of Us Left) , however, for different
reasons, the documentary could not be
finished the way it was planned.
In 2004, one of the founder-members
of the Simja Group , Isaac Gelen , passed away.
and with the sadness of his lost, I shared with Tatiana Santos
the significance of recording
the memories of the the older generation
of the Cuban
Jewish Community. We both agreed that oral histories are
very good sources of information and a
legacy for the generations to come.
Thus based on the Simja Group
's gathering the objectives of what was in its beginning a project
were designed. A volunteer multi-generational
was organized. After discussing the methodology
of the project and with Ms Adela Dworin's
advice on prospective interviewees, we all
started interviewing with scarce supplies-
a small tape-recorder and a borrowed video
camera. But even though we were light on
materials, all of us were filled with enthusiasm
to save the special life experiences told
by their own protagonists.