Congregation Beth David will host the Rhode Island premiere of a powerful film that tells the story of Jewish immigrants who fled to Cuba to avoid the Holocaust. “Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels: A haven in Havana” will be shown on Saturday,  Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth David, 102 Kingstown Road, Narragansett, RI 02882.

Prior to the movie, Congregation Beth David member Esther Levine, who was born and raised in Cuba, will share her story about growing up in Cuba.  Cuban-themed drinks and snacks will be served before the movie.

Among the many Holocaust stories, that of Jewish immigrants who survived by fleeing to Cuba is barely known. Refugees who made it to Havana found work to support themselves and their family members in a newly transported trade: diamond polishing.  

“Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels” was born of the tales that Marion Kreith told her daughter, co-director Judy Kreith, over the years. Marion escaped war torn Europe as a young girl with her family, evading Nazi capture and crossing the Atlantic to a tropical paradise. In this film, firsthand survivor accounts take us back to 1940s Havana – an era at once tumultuous, heart breaking, and intoxicating – to reveal an immigration success story. 

With a stunning musical score of Jewish melodies and the pulsating music of Havana, the film merges the realities of two vastly different yet intermingled cultures, bringing this colorful and uplifting piece of history to light.

The film has or will be shown across the country at Jewish film festivals including Miami, New Jersey, Savannah, Denver. Congregation Beth David’s screening will be the film’s R.I. premiere.

The film was made possible by the generous support from the National Center for Jewish Film.

Questions/RSVP to Sally Chorney at

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.