cuban journey to israel

During my time living and working in Israel around 2007, I met a lovely young lady, Annie Baly, who recently made Aliyah to Israel from Cuba. She told me about her life and how she decided to convert to Judaism in Cuba which would allow her to move to Israel. She was not born Jewish, but the Israeli government accepts all Jews and pays for them to move to Israel, learn the language, and house them in absorption centers in hopes for a better life. I found her story fascinating, mainly that there are groups of people in Cuba waiting years to convert to Judaism from a foreign Rabbi to do the exact same thing. In 2008 I flew to Havana, Cuba, to investigate the dwindling, yet elusive, Jewish community in Cuba while Raul Castro was taking over for his brother, Fidel.

This is her story.