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Hillel Society of Lehigh University's Mitzvah Project

The Hillel Society of Lehigh University hosted Rabbi Gershom Sizomu in November 2012. During his visit, Rabbi Sizomu attended an information briefing by the United Nations hosted at Lehigh, had lunch and dinner meetings with Lehigh students, and gave a public lecture. Students, Jewish and non-Jewish, faculty, staff and community members participated in the events. Through our meetings with Rabbi Sizomu the Lehigh community learned about the history of the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda and about their current challenges, specifically health care, educational access, and economic development for their community. Rabbi Sizomu discussed those issues in his public lecture but provided more specifics during a dinner hosted by Rabbi Seth Goren, Associate Chaplain at Lehigh University.

We were inspired to conduct a fundraiser for the Abayudaya because we learned that even a small contribution could have an impact on their community, whether it is used for mosquito nets or toward the construction of a synagogue and community center. Rabbi Sizomu's positive outlook, genuine love of people, and hope for his own people are a model and inspiration for many.

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