Ugandan Jews Score Grammy Nod
In 1919, Semi Kakungulu broke with the Christian missionaries who had converted him, circumscised his sons and declared himself and his community Jewish. From the 1920’s on, Jewish travellers have visited the community and taught contemporary practice, brought siddurim and tapes of nusach, rabbinic guidance and other resources. In the mid-90’s they were finally able to build a synagogue and obtain a kosher Torah. The spiritual leader of the 600-strong community, Gershom Sizomu, is now studying for rabbinic ordination in Los Angeles at the University of Judaism.
And now, the album of the community’s darn right beautiful music, Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways) has just been nominated for a Grammy in the category of Traditional World Music Album. Hit the link to hear African melodies to Lecha Dodi, Mi Chamocha, Adon Olam, various tehillim and other good stuff.
Mazel tov and yasher koach to the whole community.