Pan-African Jewish Alliance
Pan-African Jewish Alliance (PAJA) is an international non-profit, non-political organization that seeks to unite historic and emerging African and African-American Jewish communities around the world. PAJA also seeks to integrate African and African-American Jews into the mainstream of the Jewish community.
The immediate goals of PAJA are to document the history and current structure of African and African-American Jewish communities, assess community needs, take steps to address those needs, and plan and convene future gatherings.
PAJA held its first multi-national meeting on July 11, 2008 with participants from Jewish communities in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and the United States. The community representatives gathered in Uganda to celebrate with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu on the occasion of his installation as head rabbi of the Abayudaya Jewish Community.
Rabbi Sizomu is the first black rabbi from sub-Saharan Africa to be ordained by an American rabbinic school. He attended the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles from 2003-2008 with the support of Be’chol Lashon. He recently established a yeshiva in Uganda that will train Africa’s next generation of Jewish leaders.
Representatives of PAJA are also involved in a variety of research projects. Dr. Rabson Wuriga, for example, is writing about the oral traditions of the Lemba Jews of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana.
The Pan-African Jewish Alliance is an initiative organized by Be’chol Lashon.