A bath, and a blessing Northampton, MA

Photo borrowed, respectfully, from this BBC photo journal.

I posted in late 2004 about the Abayudaya, a tribe of Jews in Mbale, Uganda. My first glimmerings of awareness about them arose when Ethan gave me Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda as a Chanukah gift, and I've been distantly intrigued by the community ever since.

So I was psyched to read in Culture Connect, the e-newsletter about Jewish cultural events in western Massachusetts that the Harold Grinspoon Foundation sends out, that Aaron Kintu Moses, the acting spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Mbale, is coming to Northampton next week:

Aaron Kintu Moses, headmaster of the Abayudaya Primary School and acting spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Mbale, Uganda, tells the story of this 700 member Jewish community (established in 1919) and their struggle to maintain their identity in largely Christian and Muslim Uganda. He will speak about sustainable development, a micro-credit loan society, crafts & music projects, tourism and the interfaith “Delicious Peace” fair trade organic coffee project. African Jewish music and hand-crafted African kippot on display. 10/26, 7pm at Smith College/Stoddard Hall, 10/28, 12 noon at Bnai Israel, Northampton. All welcome.

If you're an Africaphile, or simply interested in Jewish communities from places very unlike our own -- and if you live in or near Western Massachusetts -- this might be worth venturing out for. (And if you do go, tell me about it? I have class on Thursday nights, and I'm leading Shabbat morning services next Saturday, so I can't make either of Mr. Moses' talks myself...)

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