Updated: Nov 24, 2022
During October and November, 2019, Shadrach, spiritual leader of the Abayudaya Jews of Namutumba, came to the U.S. and visited with synagogues across the denominational spectrum. He visited Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox synagogues spreading the word about Abayudaya Jews and especially about the community of Namutumba and the various needs of that community. This year, he emphasized that Namutumba needed a lightning rod on its synagogue in order to avoid thunder/lightning strikes that could burn down the building. In addition, he said that the community needed granary bags for storage of extra grain, mosquito nets to protect against malaria, and solar stoves for cooking that could help prevent burning from outdoor open-fire cooking. One synagogue, Ohev Sholom, the Nation's Synagogue in Washington D.C. took on the project of raising the funds for the solar stoves — 84 stoves for the households of the Abayudaya Jews of Namutumba. So far, funds for 53 stoves have been raised and we are close to reaching our goal! Through a generous donation from Kol Ami, the Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community, the funds were raised for the lightning rod. Congregations Beth Sholom and Kol Ami of Frederick were also generous donors, providing the funds for the granary bags and mosquito nets.
During his stay in the United States, Shadrach also engaged in intensive rabbinical studies with Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D. (pictured below), President of Ezra Uganda Assistance and Dean of Students of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Ordination Program, and with Rabbi Mark Novak, spiritual leader of Minyan Oneg Shabbat in Washington D.C.
All in all, Shadrach's visit was very successful!