In the News:August 6, 2007

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Local Jewish Community Aids Ugandan Rabbi-to-be

by Jonathan Shugarts
August 6, 2007

Gershom Sizomu traveled to the United States from a land of dirt roads, mud huts, and a history of brutal dictatorship that clouded the rolling hills of his native Uganda in fear.

But Sizomu, 38, will be a rarity when he returns to his homeland. He will be the only ordained rabbi in Uganda and will lead a small community of African Jews known as the Abayudaya who live in a small village called Mbale.

"It's a journey that's a consequence of choice, we have so many choices in the country," he said of becoming a rabbi. "You can't take the journey blindly."

The man on the path to the cloth met with roughly 50 members of the Federation-Jewish Communities of Western Connecticut at a social gathering at a private home on Sunday afternoon. Those who attended were some of the federation's most generous donors and came to hear Sizomu speak of his land.

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