Margalit Bejarano

Margalit Bejarano received her Ph.D. on the history of the Jewish Community of Cuba from the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She teaches in the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Hebrew University, and is the Academic Director of the Oral History Division at the university’s Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry.

Publications by Margalit Bejarano

Constitutional Documents of Two Sephardic Communities in Latin America (Argentina and Cuba)

This is a comparative analysis of the constitutional documents of the Unidn Israelita Chevet Ahim of Havana and the Sociedad Comunidad Israelita Sefaradi de Buenos Aires. Both were founded in 1914 by Jews from Turkey coming from a similar background, where the Jewish community was structured as a centralized body and protected by the state. The constitutional documents of these two communities reflect their similar aspirations to revive the pattern of organization of their community of origin, but which were achieved through different patterns of historical development. While Chevet Ahim was founded from its very beginning as a comprehensive communal organization, the Sephardic organization in
Buenos Aires began with a large number of small institutions limited in their scope. Read More »

The Jewish Community of Cuba: Between Continuity and Extinction

The rise and subsequent decline of the Cuban Jewish community in the twentieth century embodies a unique chapter in the study of diaspora Jewry. Beginning with a group of U.S. Jews in a Spanish-speaking society, home to Ladino-speaking immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, a haven for Jews fleeing the Holocaust, witness to a mass exodus in the wake of the Castro Revolution, the Cuban Jewish community today continues to maintain a limited Jewish communal life under difficult conditions. Because Cuba lacks any tradition of religious antisemitism, there is no reported local antisemitic feeling, even though Cuba has taken a prominent anti-Zionist stand. Read More »