The Abayudaya Jewish Community In Mbale, Uganda

An unexpected find in this neck of the woods, the Jewish Abayudaya community in the outskirts of Mbale town on Nabugoye hill dates back to the early 20th century. Jewish people (Abyudaya) as it called in Uganda there are not many in Uganda and the majority lives in Mbale District in Eastern Uganda more especially in Putti area.

When there was no more space in the synagogue in Nabagoye, congregants would go outside, gathering under trees. But the branches weren’t enough to shield them from the rain during the East African country’s wet seasons, which last about half the year. A new 7,000-square-foot synagogue and they have services in English and Hebrew held on Fridays 6pm to 8pm, and Saturdays at 9am. There’s also guest house for those interested in stay in the community.

Former military leader Semei Kakungulu founded the sect in 1913, fusing elements of Judaism and Christianity with a disbelief in the Western medicine, leading to a falling out with British rulers.

During the 20th century, the group withstood widespread persecution under Idi Amin, who outlawed Judaism and destroyed synagogues.

Visit the Abayudaya on your Uganda tour in Mbale and experience the way of life of the Ugandan Jews. Contact Mbale Tours for travel arrangements via or call our travel expert on +256701367970.