Some sad news: Dr. Jose Miller has died. He was the leader of the
Cuban Jewish community, and the son of parents who emigrated to Cuba
from Keidan. I was privileged to meet him some years ago when he made
a brief trip to the U.S -- and it was truly like meeting a long-lost
Here is an obituary from today's Miami Herald:
Cuban Jewish leader dies at 80
BY FRANCES ROBLES
When there weren't any Jews saying Friday night shabbat prayers in
Havana, Dr. José Miller went house to house in his car to pick up the
aged and bring them to temple.
When synagogues were deteriorated and abandoned, it was Miller, a
dental surgeon, who got them renovated and reopened.
The president of Cuba's tiny Jewish community died Monday in Havana
after suffering complications from heart disease. He was 80.
''If there is a Jewish com munity in Cuba, it's because of his
leadership,'' said Eddie Levy, chairman of Jewish Solidarity, a South
Florida organization which assists the Jewish community in Cuba. ``It
was his job, his work, his life.''
Levy said Miller helped resurrect a dwindling Jewish community by
cutting through the red tape needed to reopen closed temples in
Santiago and Camaguey. Under his leadership, a community that saw
many members emigrate or die of old age suddenly celebrated weddings,
conversions and even adult circumcisions.
Only about 1,200 Jews now remain in Cuba.
Miller's parents moved to Cuba from Lithuania in the early 1900s.
Born in Yaguajay in 1925, he studied dentistry at the University of
Havana and specialized in facial reconstruction surgery.
He retired in 1994 after a heart attack and dedicated himself to the
Jewish community, serving as president of the Grand Synagogue of the
He is survived by his wife, Dahlia, of Havana; daughter Miriam of
Miami; and sons José David of Ottawa, Canada; Mihail of Hollywood and
Irving of Israel.
Miller was buried Tuesday in the Jewish Cemetery in Guanabacoa,