Abayudaya Unity Benefit Concert Premieres on Lag B’Omer

Ugandan Jews are no strangers to poverty and disease, but the most recent government lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19 have crippled their ability to succeed in that most basic of human activities: gathering food. And though conditions have eased somewhat in the cities in recent days, in the Abayudaya villages, starvation remains an imminent threat.

To help counter that threat, the Cantors Assembly held a concert event to benefit the Jews of Uganda, entitled “Abayudaya Unity.”

The video premiered on Monday, May 11.

Click here to watch the video now.

Viewers are  encouraged to donate to immediate food relief efforts by visiting www.cantors.org/abayudaya. The fundraising goal is $25,000, all of which will be distributed in kind directly to those who most need it.

“It’s meant to be a love letter to the Abayudaya from their friends outside Africa,” said Cantor Mike Weis, Director of Communications of the Cantors Assembly and producer of the project. “We thought about waiting to do this, but when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, and armed soldiers won’t let you out of your house to find it, that’s about as immediate need as I can imagine.”

Featuring such celebrated artists as Noam Katz, Shefa Gold, Elana Brody, Neshama Carlebach and Menachem Creditor, along with Hazzanim Michael Stein, Jeremy Stein, Jesse Holzer, Jack Chomsky, Steven Stoehr, Michael Weis and CA President David Lipp, viewers will be introduced to leaders within the Abayudaya community along with representatives of NGOs most active in
the area.

There will also be speakers during the event including Kulanu’s President, Harriet Bograd, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, and several young community leaders.

The event was inspired by a recent solidarity mission undertaken by the Cantors Assembly.

Members of this mission, along with members of a similar mission by the Rabbinical Assembly will share about their encounters with the Abayudaya.

“Our mission was life-changing for me,” added Weis. “I came away with deep friendships and areal sense of purpose to do what I could to help.”

“We’ve all been hit hard by the coronavirus restrictions,” said Hazzan David Lipp, current President of the Cantors Assembly, and also a member of the mission, “but what we’re experiencing seems insignificant compared to what they’re going through.”

All donations will be distributed directly to the Abayudaya and their immediate neighbors through a network of NGOs including Masorti Olami, Kulanu, Global Village Connect and Jewish Response Uganda

We hope you can join us online tonight!