Visión y Misión del Centro
La misión del Centro es proveer a cualquier persona la oportunidad de aprender más sobre el judaísmo y participar en una congregación judía esencialmente auténtica, compuesta de otras personas amables con las mismas creencias, inquietudes y deseos de aprender.
Nosotros creemos que el judaísmo verdaderamente tiene un mensaje espiritual y universal para estos tiempos y para todos los pueblos. Nos dedicamos especialmente al retorno de las comunidades de Anusim de todas partes de Latinoamérica como reto a la eternidad del espíritu del alma Judía que es eterna.
El Centro también se ha dedicado a servir como puente de comunicación entre las comunidades judeo-americanas y la comunidad hispana de los Estados Unidos. Siempre creamos oportunidades para educar a las diversas comunidades con el propósito de profundizar sus conocimientos sobre la contribución cultural, histórica y ética de ambas culturas. Como judeo-hispanos nos sentimos orgullosos de ambas culturas y aportar al mejoramiento, conocimiento y amistad los diversos grupos.
Las actividades del Centro combinan las dos culturas para reflexionar el mundo judeo-latino y el estilo de vida de nuestra congregación Sefardita usando las costumbres españolas y portuguesas de los judíos expulsados de iberia durante la inquisición. Seguimos los ritos y costumbres de las comunidades de las ‘esnogas’ (sinagogas) de Holanda, Londres, Brasil, Curazao, Nueva York, Newport Rhode, Island y otras en todas partes de nuevo mundo. Nuestra creencia es que los judíos de Latinoamérica deberían de seguir las costumbres de estas comunidades porque representan nuestro origen Sefardí verdadero. Estas páginas y nuestras clases presentan judaísmo sefardita español y portugués y los invitamos a participar con nosotros en este retorno.
Nuestro centro es uno de los pocos que representa esta cultura viva y auténtica en la red y los hacemos con mucho honor y orgullo de nuestra herencia.
El Centro is a congregation organized Bet Midrash style with a primary emphasis on learning about and practicing Jewish spirituality. Our primary language of activity is Spanish with a strong effort made to include those that do not speak the language. Our congregation is comprised of Jews from all over Latin America and reflects our culture and our lifestyle. Our members include Jews of Ashkenazic and Sephardic heritage as well as Jews of converso (anusim marrano) background, who practiced Jewish customs in secrecy while formally practicing Catholicism and are in the process of returning to Judaism.
El Centro's mission is to provide any individual with spiritually enriching experiences to learn and grow from in a welcoming environment. Our activities and services blend our Latino and Jewish cultural life and reflect our values and way of life. El Centro seeks to inspire others in the Jewish world to re-examine and reconnect with their Judaism and infuse their religious life with enthusiasm and joy. We also seek to serve both communities that we are a part of by acting as a catalyst for improved communication, knowledge and developing deep admiration and friendship between the Anglo-Jewish community and the Hispanic community. We feel that both communities have much to learn and benefit from one another, and that we as Latino Jews can assist in this mutually beneficial process.
El Centro was founded in response to a growing need among Latino
Jews for a place to congregate, socialize and pray together that was reflective of our cultural and linguistic background. Rabbi Viñas had been involved in the restoration of "the Honduran Torah" that had been damaged during Hurricane Mitch in Tegucigalpa Honduras. With broad media coverage if his activities with this community, many Latino Jews began to ask him if he could organize a synagogue with their interests in mind. In January of 2000, the first programs were launched at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (HIR) in the Bronx. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Senior Rabbi of the HIR was especially supportive of this program. Rabbi Viñas was awarded a prestigious fellowship for two years to assist him in the development of this organization by theJoshua Venture Fund for Social entrepreneurs of San Francisco Californiahttp://www.joshuaventure.org/.
This organization assisted us in professionalizing our activities. We are most grateful to them for having the vision to assist us in getting started. In 2003, El Centro has received four years of funding from UJA Federation's Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal to support our work and the development of "TORÁ TROPICAL" our quarterly national spanish language Jewish Newspaper which will begin circulation during Chanukah of 2003.
In April of 2003, Rabbi Viñas accepted the position of Rabbi At the Lincoln Park Jewish Center (LPJC) of Yonkers, N.Y. (http://www.lpjc.org/). This synagogue with a history of 65 years is housed in a beautiful sanctuary with wonderful facilities. It is located right off the 87 New York State Thruway near the Yonkers Raceway and is only three miles from our previous location. LPJC is a Modern Orthodox Ashkenazik congregation that is welcoming and accepting of Jews of all backgrounds, races and affiliations. All of El Centro's activities will now be offered from our new shul in Lincoln Park. By being a part of this community we hope to help each other grow into a world class synagogue that stands as an example of caring and acceptance of all Jews from within a halachic framework. LPJC offers classes and activities in english and are open for all. The classes and activities are described in our special events page on our website. All are also welcome for services.