This week I wanted to share with you an incredible community that I was introduced to while attending a CJC (Commonwealth Jewish Council) meeting. It is a community of Jews in Uganda known as Kahal Kadosh She’erit Yisrael. They have 280 Sephardic Jews living in Abayudaya (meaning “Jews” in Luganda). They are a Sephardic Orthodox community who hold hebrew classes, religious studies and celebrate all of the holidays. They have programmes in place to teach community members and others how to grow sweet peppers in order to build a sustainable community. As an example,the average salary for a teacher is $500,000 Uganda shillings, the equivalent of US $140 a month. This passage gives you an insight into their history.
“For more than eighty years the Abayudaya community has been practicing Judaism in eastern Uganda. The Abayudaya was founded by military chief Samei Kakungulu. In 1913, he abandoned his military mission to pursue a religious life. Kakungulu formed a Hebrew Bible based congregation known as ‘Jews who trust in the Lord’ (Kibina Kya Bayudaya Absesiga Katonda). He urged his community to follow the laws of the bible strictly, insisting that all men and boys should be circumcised. As time progressed, the Abayudaya community started to learn customary Jewish blessings, practice traditional head covering and kosher their food. In the 1960s the Abyudaya began to form links with world Jewry and consequently, adopt internationally recognised standards of Jewish practice. In 2002, more than half of the community were formally converted. Rabbi Gorin noted, “Today’s ceremony is not a conversion, but a strengthening of what you have already believed.’” ( https://jewishmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/abayudaya-jews-of-uganda/)
If you would like to learn more about this amazing community, please click here.
Minda Bowman, August 25th
Shaul Bernstein, August 27th
Muriel Wolf, August 28th
Oscar Pillersdorf, August 31st
(If you have a yahrzeit for August that has not been listed, please let me know so I can make sure and add it to our calendar)
This week’s services will be held in person at Nidhe Israel synagogue and on ZOOM at 6:30pm. Please email us at email@example.com if you plan on attending in person.
To attend virtually, please click this Zoom link to attend.
Please see the link below for a copy of our Siddur.
President, Barbados Jewish Community