A relatively “new” community, Beth Yeshourun was founded in 1998 when its leaders turned away from Christianity. Increasingly observant and deeply committed to Jewish rituals and practice, the community has made amazing progress, educating themselves through the Internet by downloading Jewish liturgies and prayers, and studying Judaism, Hebrew, and Torah on Jewish websites.
Isolated from mainstream Jewry, the community had its first visitors when Rabbi Bonita Sussman, a Kulanu board member, and her husband Rabbi Gerald Sussman went to Cameroon during the summer of 2010. These emissaries from Kulanu were welcomed warmly. Their reports reflect astonishment at the level of Jewish knowledge and practice they observed during their ten-day visit. You can read about the Sussmans’ visit in their article, below.
Kulanu has assisted the community in an agricultural project and in Jewish education. We helped Amir (Serge) Etele go to rabbinical school at the Ohr Torah Stone Yeshiva in Efrat, Israel, where he is a candidate for rabbinic ordination, studying part of the time in Israel, and part-time doing distance learning from Cameroon.
Photos and Videos from Cameroon
Photo Gallery of the Beth Yeshourun Community, Cameroon – slideshow of photos and videos (Kulanu album on smugmug.com, 2010) (external link)
- Playlist of videos on Youtube about this community
Serge Etele in the News:
2012 Kulanu-Cameroon Speaking Tour
- The New Jews of Cameroon Bernard Starr (huffingtonpost.com, 3/8/2012) (external link)
- TJC’s Jewish News Week in Review: March 9th, 2012 Chris Niedan (The Jewish Channel on YouTube, 3/9/2012) (external link)
Articles and Links
- Falling in love with Judaism By Rabbi Gerald Sussman (2022)
- The Tzidkaniot: Righteous Women of Kulanu Communities By Bonita Sussman (2016)
- Are There Lost Jewish Tribes in Cameroon? By Serge Etele (2015)
- From Cameroon to Israel By Serge Etele (2014)
- What’s Happening in Africa: Cameroon, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe By Judy Manelis (2013)
Donate to the Beth Yeshourun Community Cocoa Farm Fund now at tinyurl.com/cocoafarmfund
- Serge Etele’s Visit to the United States By Harriet Bograd (2012)
- Cameroon’s Beth Yeshourun Community Welcomes First Jewish Visitors By Rabbis Bonita and Gerald Sussman and Serge Etele (2010) Introduction by Judy Manelis
- Website of the Beth Yeshouroun Community Learn more about the Beth Yeshourun community by visiting their own website (external link)