On the eastern bank of Mbale town Eastern Uganda, there lies the only Jewish Community in the country locally known as Abayudaya and has been a popular site for the International Jews on Safari in Uganda.
Amidst the dominant religions thriving in Uganda, the Judaism is one of the last religions that one would expect to find in the country and this explains why it’s always a wonder to many including the Uganda Safari tour undertakers. This Jewish community in Uganda emerged around 1917 – 1920 by their founding father Semei Kakungulu who had read and accepted the Jewish teachings in the Old Testament and hence started to observe the law.
Since Kakungulu was a leader in this area, it was easier to popularise the religion and some synagogues were built such as Nasenyi, Namutumba and Putti Synagogue. Overtime, there has been an exchange between the Abayudaya of Uganda and the Jews of Israel – something that has made the area a popular destination for Israelites including those on
Apparently, there are over 1000 Abayudaya spread in the areas of Nabugoye, Namanyonyi, Namutumba (being the largest), Nalubembe, Nasenyi, Nangolo and Buseta. They have an outstanding interfaith primary school called Tikkun Olam Primary School which serves the greater community. A new synagogue called Stern Synagogue noted to be the largest in Sub Saharan Africa was named after the Stern family who contributed a sum of 100,000 US Dollars. The area also has a new ritual bath. All these combine to make this area a center of Jewish religious tours in Uganda.