On Wednesday, February 10th, we joined with the Center for African Studies and Illini Hillel to co-sponsor a talk by Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, a Ugandan rabbi serving the Abayudaya, a Baganda community in eastern Uganda. Rabbi Sizomu is the current leader of the 100-year old Abayudaya community of almost 2,000 Jews living in rural villages in Eastern Uganda. He is the grandson of community elder Rabbi Samson Mugombe and lives near the Moses Synagogue in the village of Nabugoya, which he and others from the community’s early 1980s “Kibbutz movement” built with their own hands. Their goal has been to gather what was left of the Abayudaya community back together after the devastating reign of Idi Amin Dada ended in 1979. During the event, he spoke about the history of the community, his own experiences with Judaism and rabbinical studies, the challenges the community faces, the impact of national politics on the Abayudaya, and connections with other communities in the region and around the world.
You can view a recording of the event here.