Monday, February 04, 2019

Uganda's Jewish Community Is Split Over Financial Charges and Religious Differences

Haaretz yesterday reported on the controversy-- which has now made its way into the courts-- between factions in Uganda's Jewish community, known as the Abayudaya.  The community's rabbi, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, has been charged by his half-brother, Joab Jonadab Keki, with mismanagement of the community's funds and property.  Keki has asked a Ugandan court to remove Sizomu as rabbi, claiming he has taken community funds for himself and his family.  Sizomu's supporters deny the charges and have filed a counter-claim. Apparently the controversy also has roots in the attempt by Keki to move the community toward Orthodox Judaism.  Rzbbi Siaomu has completed his rabbinic studies in Los Angeles at the Conservative Jewish seminary, the Ziegler School.  The Orthodox rabbinate in Israel refuses to recognize the Abayudaya as Jewish because the community was converted by Conservative rabbis.