Growing up Jewish in Uganda with Shoshana Nambi

Monday, May 10, at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom

The Beth Sholom Sisterhood and Men’s Club are pleased to co-sponsor this very special program for the TBS Community. How much do you know about the Jewish Community of Uganda? There have been Jews in Uganda for about 100 years. The Abayudaya community was founded by a tribal chief who converted himself and many of his followers to Judaism in 1919. One hundred years later, there are nine synagogues in different Ugandan villages, three Jewish schools, and a Jewish community that continues to grow. Shoshana will share through pictures the history of her community, as well as her own family story and journey to rabbinical school. Shonana will also focus on how the Abayudaya, mostly subsistence farmers, have maintained their Jewish identity among their Muslim and Christian neighbors, the diverse cultures and languages within the Jewish community, and intersection of Jewish and Ugandan traditions. Shoshana will also talk about some of the challenges that the community faced(s) to maintain its Jewish identity, education, and women’s evolving role in the community. She will also comment on her experiences living outside of Uganda, Israel, and America as an Ugandan Jew.

Shoshana Nambi grew up in Uganda’s Abayudaya Jewish community. She dreamt of being a rabbi but chose to study Business Administration at Kampala International University as she grew up. She also trained as an HIV Community Educator and Counselor and subsequently worked with RAIN-UGANDA, a grass-roots HIV organization for more than three years.

Shoshanna received opportunities to travel, including attending BCI in California and representing Kulanu (the organization that sponsors her) in visits across the US in the fall of 2013-14. The money raised through this fundraising enabled Kulanu to support the local Jewish schools and women’s programs.

She had the opportunity to work at a Jewish summer camp and is proud of her bond with Camp Coleman, a Reform camp in Georgia. Shoshana worked together with Coleman friends to start a program that saw thirteen youth from Uganda work in Jewish summer camps across America until now. Through guidance and encouragement, she received from Camp Coleman, she connected to Hebrew Union College as a rabbinical student. Before moving to NYC last year with her 12-year-old daughter, Emunah, Shoshana spent two years studying in Israel and is now in her third-year at Rabbinical school on her way to becoming the first female rabbi of her community in Uganda. For now, she teaches Hebrew School at B'nai Jeshurun and serves as a Student Rabbi for North Fork Reform Synagogue in Cutchogue, New York. Please join us for what promises to be a very special evening learning about a little-known Jewish Community.

Please join us on Zoom.

By computer, all you have to do is click on the link and follow prompts to join the meeting.

No account is necessary.

By phone you dial 253-215-8782 or 301-715-8592 and then, when prompted, dial the meeting ID# 292 606 9224

Follow the ID # with the pound sign and then, when asked for a participant ID, just press pound.

TBS Members, please check your congregational emails or contact us at TBS for the password.

For all others, please fill out this form

This program is free, but donations are always welcome! Click here or the red button at the top of the page.