Schools Across Divides Stories

about 5 years ago

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From a Kulanu school in Uganda to New York and beyond

Meet Shoshannah Nambi, who attended Semei Kakungulu High School, one of the Kulanu schools that your coffee purchases help fund.

A Coexist-funded school attendee

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One of the first women from the Abayudaya community to graduate from university, Shoshannah is currently touring the United States talking about the history and traditions of the Jewish community in Uganda.

When we wrote about how significant the education of girls is to a community, it was the Shoshannahs of the world that we were dreaming of. Among (many) other things, she co-founded the Abayudaya Girls’ Magazine, taught in an adult literacy program, works as an HIV counselor (and accountant) at RAIN Uganda and helped create a program of services for Abayudaya students in Kampala.

Now 25, she has a 4-year-old daughter who is attending Abayudaya Elementary School, also funded by Kulanu and the Coexist Campaign.

In an interview with The Jewish Ledger, she described her early school experience: “You couldn’t say you were Jewish, because they said that we killed Jesus. Most of the people from my community went there. One day I said to my best friend, ‘I see you at our synagogue,’ and she said no because she was with her friends and didn’t want them to say that she killed Jesus.”

When she entered Semei Kakungulu High School, she was encouraged to embrace and develop her heritage, quickly becoming a leader within the community.

It’s a community she has seen – and helped – grow: “Women now can have businesses, and go to school and get degrees. It didn’t used to happen: their work was to wait and get a husband and be in the kitchen and stay home. Now they lead services, have bat mitzvahs, read from the Torah.”

The whole article is fascinating; you can read the full text here.

She’s doing events in the New York area starting Saturday:

Brooklyn, NY - Kane Street Synagogue – Sat., Oct. 26, 12:45-2:30 p.m.

Trumbull, CT - Congregation Bnai Torah – Sun., Oct. 27, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Rye, NY - Congregation Emanuel of Westchester – Mon., Oct. 28, 7:15-8:45 p.m.

For more information about the tour and Shoshannah, visit the tour page.

Want to learn more about Kulanu? Visit their website.

(Photo by Lorne Mallin/courtesy of Kulanu, Inc.)

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