Caribbean Islands Offer Sand, Sea—and Full Access to Jewish Services


caribbean-islandsSummer has come early to Puerto Rico, and in the backdrop of such balmy weather, a local businessman named Chaim found himself sitting recently around a table laden with kosher food, together with a dozen black-hatted, bearded rabbis. It was a far cry from when he first landed on the U.S. territory for business back in the winter of 1990.

“At that time, I was walking around the streets of Puerto Rico wearing a kipah or other head covering. Seeing that I was Jewish, people would approach me with questions, and I felt I needed a place to refer them to,” says the New Jersey native, who divides his time between his Teaneck home and his Puerto Rican business interests. “When I saw that I was going to be invested here in the long term, I recognized that this was a place ripe for a permanent Chabad presence.”

As the “founder” of the first Chabad center in the Caribbean and a key force behind its growth, Chaim-who requested that his full name not be published-was invited to be the lead speaker at the recent regional conference of Chabad rabbis earlier this month, which was attended by Chabad rabbis serving the Caribbean Islands, as well as two from Mexico (Cancun and Playa del Carmen) and senior Chabad officials from New York.

Read more at CHABAD.ORG.

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  1. BS”D
    Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
    A Handicapped child
    1 Iyar 5774 (April 30, ’14)

    “L’Shanah Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim”

    Time is moving on and speeding up. I can’t say that we’re moving at the speed of light, but we’re moving on. It’s like a tank, a large tank that moves slowly but is very deadly and we are moving onwards forwards into the Nevuas of Hashem. Now we can see much more clearly what is on the horizon and if we look closely through our binoculars we can see clearly destruction and death, Shelo Naida.

    We can see clearly how every single prophecy is coming true. On one hand it’s very frightening. On the other hand it gives us hope. It gives us hope that finally, finally we’re coming to the end of this terrible Golus; this most difficult time in all of our history, running from country to country every time the Goyim started killing us, trying to find a place where we could live in peace and worship Hakodosh Boruch Hu in every way without being attacked. We had to move from place to place and we had to reestablish ourselves financially so that we would have bread to give our children, our families. We suffered the fear of going upwards and then falling downwards in our spirituality. All of this will soon be over and it can be seen already with the naked eye, so-to-speak. Maybe we need the help of the binoculars, but we can see it already. We can smell the smoke of war and we can taste it as well.

  2. Really, we need to be more aware of Hashem in our homes. The idea of vacationing to daven is silly at best, but you can do it if you think that going everywhere is bringing your history and home with you too. I would probably skip some of the worry and go for the safety of human direction.