ABOUT EZRA UGANDA

The Abayudaya, the Jews of Eastern Uganda, number about 2,000 souls, concentrated in a few villages with their center near the town of Mbale. Devout in practice, keeping kosher and observing Shabbat and holy days, the Abayudaya have been recognized as legitimately Jewish by the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Renewal movements of Judaism.

 

The Abayudaya subsist on small farming and raising goats for sale. Most villages do not have electricity or running water and depend on their water supply from rain water collected in local wells. The village of Namutumba, about 60 kilometers from Mbale, has about 400 Abayudaya Jews who currently live on the brink of starvation since drought and famine have plagued Eastern Uganda for some time now. Their spiritual leader is a young man, Shadrach HaLevi Mugoya, who was appointed by the elderly retiring rabbi as his successor. In an attempt to learn as much as he can about Judaism and Jewish practices, Shadrach is continuing his rabbinical studies.

 

He is being supported in his studies, along with the Namutumba villagers, who receive money for food, medicines and other basic needs from the Ezra Uganda Assistance Fund.

 

In the past year, through the generosity of a family foundation that wishes to remain anonymous, a new project has been initiated to:

a) provide solar electricity to Namutumba’s school (where the Abayudaya children study along with Muslim and Christian children from the larger Namutumba town);

b) provide solar electricity to the Namutumba’s synagogue;

c) clean, repair and fence the wells to protect them from animal contamination. The vast majority of the funds collected serve to feed the Abayudaya in Namutumba during times of drought and famine and to support Shadrach’s rabbinical studies so that he might spiritually lead the community.

 

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • ​​Providing SOLAR COOKING STOVES for each family in order to prevent burn accidents

  • Feeding starving Jews in Namutumba

  • Providing weekly MEDICATION against malaria and cholera for children particularly prone to the diseases, to keep them healthy. Cost: $850 per child, per year.

  • Maintaining clean water in wells

  • Maintaining solar electricity in the Namutumba school

  • Maintaining solar electricity in the Namutumba synagogue

  • OPERATION EZRAT YELADIM: Sponsor orphans in the community.  Cost: $1,850 per child, per year.Tuition for school: $200 per child, per year.

  • Providing learning materials (internet access, computer, books, etc.) for the community's spiritual leader, Shadrach HaLevi Mugoya

  • CURED HEPATITIS B: After discovering that one person in the community had hepatitis B, the entire community was screened. Fifteen individuals tested positive and were treated for the illness.

  • FULFILLED OPERATION JOSEPH: Purchased OXEN and PLOWS for the farming families to share so they might more efficiently plant more crops. More crops are being planted every season now.

  • Built a COMMUNAL STORAGE FACILITY to store grains to be used in times of drought and famine. Now that the rains have come, grain will be stored in the new grainery.

  • Purchased MEDICATION for twelve sick children against malaria and cholera. This is an ongoing expense and will need to be funded every year to keep the children healthy.

  • Provided a ROSH HASHANAH FESTIVE MEAL, YOM KIPPUR BREAK-FAST, SUKKOT FESTIVE MEAL, and weekly SHABBAT meals for a full year.

FUTURE PROJECTS

  • OPERATION KUPAT CHOLIM: Construction, staffing, and supplying a MEDICAL CLINIC. Cost to be determined; this will be very costly - about $150,000 - and will be an ongoing expense. If you have any ideas about philanthropies that could help, please contact us.

COMPLETED PROJECTS!

​​Call Rabbi Leila Gal Berner:

301-898-2683

Send donations by check to: 

Ezra Uganda Assistance

402 Homewood Cir

Frederick, MD 21702

United States