Friday, September 21, 2012

A Visit to the Abuyadaya

This past Tuesday (on Rosh Hashanah), a few PCV's and I had the unique opportunity to visit the Abuyadaya, a group of more than 1,000 Ugandan Jews living just outside Mbale. Though not genetically Jewish nor fully recognized by the Ugandan government, the Abuydaya are devout practitioners of Judaism. Having lived at a Catholic Parish and within steps of a Catholic Church the past two years, it felt incredibly surreal to visit a community of Ugandans who practice the same religious beliefs, celebrate the same holidays, and attend the same services as myself. Upon arriving, we were immediately greeted by Rabbi Wambedde and other community members who just finished their morning Rosh Hashanah service. We visited the Abuyadaya's main synagogue, secondary and primary schools, health center, and visitor guesthouse. We also had the opportunity to visit Perfect Coffee, a cooperative of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim farmers who collectively and harmoniously grow coffee beans, and sell them in the U.S. (California).

For further reading on the Abuyadaya or Perfect Coffee, visit

A young boy of the Abuyadaya

Samson, our guide

It felt so surreal to see buildings such as this in Uganda.

A young member of the Abuyadaya holding the Israel flag.

The Abuyadaya's primary synagogue

Signpost for Perfect Coffee Cooperative

Coffee beans grown by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.

The main Jewish health center in Mbale

The rabbi of the Abuyadaya. He is apparently the only rabbi in all of Africa to officially be certified as a rabbi in Israel.

No comments:

Post a Comment