AVENTURA, Fla. (AP) — In Venezuela, Fanny Hausmann celebrated Rosh Hashanah by cooking honey-and-apple cakes, visiting the elderly and gathering with family and friends.
This year's customs will be quite similar. The only difference: Hausmann will be celebrating in the Miami suburb of Aventura. Thousands of Jewish Venezuelans have settled here after fleeing the government of the late President Hugo Chavez, who was outspoken in his opposition to Israel. Jews in Venezuela faced intense hostility.
The numbers vary, but most experts agree about half of the Jewish population in Venezuela or more has fled in the past decade. At one point, the Jewish population in the South American country was as large as 25,000; it numbers about 9,000 today.
The Jewish community in Aventura now resembles the one Hausmann and others left behind in Caracas.