Shtetl Havana

Parting the Florida Straits

THU 3/31

According to the website www.globalsecurity.org, the largest organized religion in Cuba is the Roman Catholic Church. "Officially," it says, "Cuba has been an atheist state for most of the Castro era. In 1962, the government of Fidel Castro seized and shut down more than 400 Catholic schools, charging that they spread dangerous beliefs among the people. In 1991, however, the Communist Party lifted its prohibition against religious believers seeking membership, and a year later the constitution was amended to characterize the state as secular instead of atheist."

Still, that was too late for many Cuban Jews, who had already emigrated to the States to practice their religion freely. Photographer Randi Sidman-Moore spent four years looking at the unique intersection of Jewish and Cuban culture. He has, for example, pictures of people eating bagels while inner-tubing across the Florida Straits. Just kidding -- see his very serious imagery in the exhibit "Cuban-Jews in South Florida: An Intimate View,"on display in the Wimberly Library at Florida Atlantic University (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton) through May 27. Admission is free. For more information, e-mail tberns@fau.edu. -- Deirdra Funcheon

Morikami Origami

Can you make a pterodactyl?

SAT 4/2

A week in the office fighting a jammed Xerox doesn't provide enough paper activity for you? Then head to the Origami Extravaganza at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens (4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach) for a day of recreational folding. Kid-friendly sessions -- "origami express stations" -- get the family started down the paper trail by making whooping cranes, butterflies, and other creatures in the gardens. But to see just how far you can go with it, catch the 1:30 p.m. demonstration by Massachusetts-based origami master Michael LaFosse. LaFosse spent a year building sculptures of Florida's native and endangered species. The resulting exhibit, FLorigami, runs through September. If you're already paper-trained, call ahead to register for one of his advanced origami workshops. The extravaganza, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., costs $10 for the day (or $1 per session), plus museum admission. Bring extra Band-Aids. Visit www.morikami.org, or call 561-495-0233. -- Dave Amber

 
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