Come Celebrate a New Torah for the Abayudaya!

Abayudaya ChildrenYou are invited for brunch to celebrate Temple Emanuel of North Jersey’s donation of a Torah to the Abayudaya community of Uganda on Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 am at 558 High Mountain Road, Franklin Lakes, NJ.

The Abayudaya Jewish community of Uganda has been practicing Judaism nearly 100 years, since 1919 when their founder, Semei Kakungulu, was given a bible by missionaries and found the “Old Testament” much more convincing than the New Testament. In 1994, Kulanu, Inc. got to know this community, and sent its first team of visitors in 1995. Kulanu has supported this community for the past 20 years, through schools, women’s programs, electricity, water, tourism and other projects.

In 2002, though the community had been practicing Judaism for several generations, they chose to affirm their Judaism through formal conversion rituals. At Kulanu’s request Rabbi Joseph Prouser joined a rabbinical team to visit Uganda and help this community be recognized by the wider Jewish world. The entire Prouser family returned to Uganda in 2004 for Purim, and the community was thrilled to see the Prouser children help chant the megillah.

There are now nearly 2000 Abayudaya Jews living in seven villages.The spiritual leader of the community has become an ordained Conservative rabbi, and the community is part of Masorti Olami, the worldwide Conservative movement. Please join us to celebrate as Temple Emanuel donates a sefer Torah for the village of Nasenyi. Four young people from the Abayudaya community will be with us to receive the Torah on behalf of their community. This event has a special significance for Harriet Bograd, president of Kulanu, who grew up in Temple Emanuel (formerly in Paterson).

Photo by joyofcolor.com

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