At the end of December, a group of Mount Zion members will make the long journey to Africa to meet the Abayudaya, a small but devoted Jewish community in Uganda. We look forward to talking with individuals, to hearing their stories and to sharing ours as well. In addition to our good will and friendship, we would like to bring something on behalf of Mount Zion that will have an impact on this community and her neighbors.
Of the many things this community needs, the one that captured my attention is mosquito bed nets. Malaria is one of the leading causes of death in Uganda, but bed nets can reduce the spread of this disease by as much as 90%. I think what moves me most about the Abayudaya’s request for mosquito nets is that they are not just for the Jewish community but for distribution to their Muslim and Christian neighbors. Efforts like this help the Abayudaya contribute to the health and economic development of their community, promote co-existence among people of different faiths and even combat anti-Semitism.
I would like to challenge Mount Zion to raise at least $1,000 – enough money to purchase 100 nets (at $10 each) by the end of December. Our delegation will present the nets to the Abayudaya community’s Tobin Health Center in the town of Mbale when we visit in December. With Chanukah around the corner, please consider buying nets in lieu of gifts to honor friends and family; perhaps you can donate money for nets as one of your main end-of-the-year tzedakah donations; maybe you can dedicate one night of Chanukah for everyone in your household to purchase a net (or two or three!). However you choose to do it, you will be part of a significant gift to a special community.
Donations can be made online here or checks can be given to the Mount Zion main office (Please write checks to “B’chol Lashon” with “Mosquito Nets” on the memo line. B’chol Lashon (“In Every Tongue”), the organization facilitating our mosquito net donation, educates about and promotes Jewish diversity and inclusivity.
In addition, the community has a great need for toothbrushes for adults and for children as well as toothpaste (including some fluoride free for children under two). We hope to fill several suitcases with these supplies to bring in December.
Please drop off toothbrush and toothpaste donations in the box next to Cantor Spilker’s office.
Thank you in advance for your support of these projects!
Rachel Stock Spilker, Cantor