A Visit From Rabbi Shimshon Nadel

Rabbi Shimshon Nadel who visited KKSY from Israel in October sent this lovely informal report on his Ugandan experience.

Monday, October 8th
Jonathan Lali, his brother Allan, and our driver Isaac met me at Entebbe Airport on Monday morning. Jonathan was exceptionally helpful during the planning process and execution of the trip. He arranged for ground transportation, my itinerary, and accompanied me throughout the journey. I could not have done it without him. I was very impressed. Isaac was super-professional, courteous, and overall a very good driver. I would not have been able to navigate the terrain without him.
We drove to Kampala and met with members of the Marom community – Esau, Yonatan, and Israel. We chatted for a bit and they shared with me about their community and vision.
Before leaving Kampala, I picked up food for myself from Chabad of Kampala. Not cheap, but good to know about for the kosher consumer concerned about eating local foods.
After a full day of driving, we arrived at the Mbale Resort Hotel approx. 11pm.
 
Tuesday, October 9th
Prayed Shacharit with KKSY members. Lots of singing and dancing. After prayers, I presented the community with Tefillin, Talitot, Tzitzit, and some books they requested, purchased from donations from friends and colleagues. We continued and had a number of classes until lunch. Following lunch we prayed Minchah, the afternoon service, sung some songs, and had more classes. We prayed Arvit shortly before nightfall.
It was a very positive day filled with learning and song. I was very impressed by the leadership of Elisha and Tarphon, who led prayers and really took the lead. They are great leaders for the community.
In the evening, I met with Tarphon, Elisha, his brother Allan, and Jonathan. We spoke about some of the challenges of the community, some of their goals and vision for the future (sending young people to study in Israel, building the synagogue), and I offered some suggestions and advice.

 

Wednesday, October 10th
Prayed Shacharit with KKSY members. Lots of singing and dancing. After prayers we had some classes and did more singing. I met Ekaterina Mitaev briefly after prayers. We said goodbye to the community and made a short visit to Sipi Falls. Afterwards we visited the synagogues in Namanyoni and Nabugoya. Then we visited Hadassah Primary School where I met with the headmaster, Aaron, and got to interact with the students. They taught me a song, and I taught them a song. The students and faculty very much enjoyed the visit – and the new songs they learned.

Afterwards, we began the long drive to Entebbe. We stopped off in Kampala at the home of Rabbi Gershom Sizomu. We immediately ‘hit it off’ and we had a very nice conversation for over an hour about the community, come of the challenges they face, his role as the rabbi and as a member of parliament. It was a very positive meeting.
Afterwards we continued to Entebbe Airport where I would continue on to S. Africa.
B’vracha,
Shimshon