October 7, 2015
Dear Friends of Kulanu,
We are excited to announce the start of the Kulanu-Lemba Speaking Tour taking place this October and November! Please check the scheduled events below for one near you. We’d love to have you join us and help spread the word as Modreck Maeresera, leader of the Lemba Jewish community in Zimbabwe, tours the United States from October 15 through November 23, 2015.
Lemba communities, which are found today in Zimbabwe and South Africa, have a long oral tradition that identifies them as descendants of ancient Israelites. Recently, advanced DNA research has identified a priestly “Cohen” haplotype gene in more than 50% of all males in the priestly Buba clan. In Lemba oral tradition this group led the Lemba out of Israel. Strikingly, this figure is the same or higher than the percentage of Cohanim in Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewish groups around the world.
Although the Lemba have been cut off from the mainstream Jewish community for centuries, they have maintained the traditions of kashrut, Jewish dietary laws; ritual slaughter and circumcision. They also observe the Jewish Sabbath. Mr. Maeresera comes from a committed family of Lemba Jews and is deeply engaged in strengthening the Jewish identity of his Lemba community and reeducating them in Torah studies and Jewish ritual observance.
In his presentation, Mr. Maeresera will be sharing the story of his ancient community, their customs and observances, and the problems they are facing in their struggle to maintain their Jewish identity in the modern world. He will also focus on the intense Jewish educational program underway with volunteer Jewish educators and rabbis from around the world and the construction of the Great Zimbabwe Synagogue in Mapakomhere, a village in the Lemba heartland.
List of Kulanu-Lemba Speaking Tour Events
Events take place Saturday, October 17 through Friday, November 20, 2015 in the United States. For more information about each event, please refer to the online calendar: http://www.kulanu.org/lemba/2015tourcalendar.php
Savannah, GA Saturday, Oct 17
Congregation Agudath Achim; Service 9:00am-12:00pm; Speaker 11:00am-12:00pm; 12:00pm-1:00pm lunch; 1:00pm-2:00pm Speaker discussion
Savannah, GA Sunday, Oct 18
at Jewish Educational Alliance sponsored by Agudath Achim and Jewish Educational Alliance 4pm-6pm
Staten Island, NY Saturday, Oct 24
Congregation Temple Emanu-El; Service 9:00am-12:00pm Speaker 12:00pm- 1:00pm
New York, NY Sunday, Oct 25
Hadassah Learning Day- Condé Nast Building 9:30am – 4pm (Panel from 12:45pm to 2:30pm)
Lexington, KY Thursday, Oct 29
University of Kentucky- 7:00pm
Harrisonburg, VA Sunday, Nov 1
Temple Beth El 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Newton, MA Thursday, Nov 5
Temple Emanuel 5pm – 9:30pm
Boulder, CO Saturday, Nov 7
Congregaton Har Hashem (details TBD)
Salt Lake City, UT Monday, Nov 9
University of Utah 6:00pm – 8:30pm
New York, NY Saturday, Nov 14
West End Synagogue; Meditation 6:30pm; 7:30pm Havdalah; 8:00pm Speaker; 9:30pm Light Refreshments
Co-hosted by Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Congregation Shaare Zedeck, and Faith in New York
Harrison, NY Sunday, Nov 15
Fairfield, CT Wednesday, Nov 18
Congregation Beth El 7:30pm-9pm
Co-hosted by Bnai Israel, Bnai Torah, Congregation of Humanistic Judaism, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, and Federation for Jewish Philanthropy
Chicago, IL Friday, Nov 20
Kam Isaiah Israel 7pm-9pm
For questions about each event (e.g. time, location, and ticket and registration information), please click on the event title in the Google calendar above, or contact the hosting organization directly. Please also check the calendar again before each event, as details may change.
Modreck Maeresera’s presentations will be age-appropriate for all and may include a slideshow presentation and African Jewish music. Tour proceeds will benefit Kulanu’s work with the Lemba Jewish community. To learn more about this community, please visit www.kulanu.org/lemba
We hope to see you there!