Shalom Uganda: A Jewish Community On the Equator by Janice Masur
Janice Masur grew up in a tiny, remote European Jewish community in Kampala, Uganda, under British Imperial rule, with no rabbi or Jewish infrastructure. And yet, this community of only twenty-three families formed a cohesive group that celebrated all Jewish festivals together and upheld their Jewish identity. Sadly, while Kampala Jewry made every effort to survive, it eventually failed and withered under the hot African sun. In Shalom Uganda: A Jewish Community on the Equator, Masur tells her story of living in this little-known Ashkenazi Jewish community from 1949 to 1961. Because so many Jewish communities were obliterated in the last century, she documents remembers, and preserves Kampala European Jewry with all the respect that it deserves. Supported with interviews, photos, and research, this compelling memoir is a must-read for Jewish scholars as well as anyone interested in Jewish history and life in far-flung places. Janice Masur was born in Eritrea, spent her childhood in Uganda, and attended university in New Zealand—all countries where Jewry was barely visible on the Jewish diaspora spectrum. Today, Masur feels strongly rooted in her Jewish community in Vancouver, Canada, where she lives with her husband.
Year first published: 2020