Photo Exhibit Explores Lives of Cuban Jews

(Bradenton, Fla., Feb. 13, 2006) - An exhibit of photos from a published documentary, Shalom de Cuba  by Beth Reynolds, will continue through April 6 in the fine art gallery at Manatee Community College (MCC) Bradenton, 5840 26th St. West. On two humanitarian missions to Cuba, Reynolds documented the strained but vibrant lives of a small but resilient Jewish community.

A volatile relationship between Israel and Cuba during the 40 years of Castro's rule resulted in the shutdown of synagogues and encouraged emigration. In the last decade, however, Cuba has legalized religious associations, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has sent rabbis and other resources in an effort to rebuild.

An education and gallery director and special projects and photography program coordinator at the Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Reynolds also published Capt., He Bought Eggs: Stories and Images from a Firefighter and Sisters of Courage. She received a $32,000 writing grant from the state Department of Health for the latter photo-essay book about breast and cervical cancer survivors.

Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (941) 752-5225.

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