Update from Rabbi Sizomu

Categories: Community Voices, President's Blog

I am happy to report that Rabbi Sizomu and the Torah arrived in Uganda safely.  Please read our email correspondence below:

23 Nov 2016

Rabbi Gershom,
We hope that your trip home went well for you.  It meant so much to our community to host you for Shabbat.  Your words were so meaningful, and it was wonderful to see you with the children!

Did the Torah survive the trip in good condition?  Please let us know as soon as you have time.  We hope that the children in your village enjoy the books and dreidels we packed for them! Rabbi Amy also packed a book for you, by Primo Levi, which she hoped that you would find meaningful.

We also packed four sets of teffilin for your community.  Two of them were my father’s, Ed Spungen.  Years ago I bought him an Abayudaya kippa, which he wore for many years.  He always had a smile on his face, and I know that the two of you would have liked each other.  The other two pair of teffilin had been used by Beth El’s oldest member, and former president, Maury Deul, who passed away two weeks ago.  He was a great man.  Rabbi Alex and Rabbi Amy thought that he would be proud to have his teffilfin have new life in Uganda.


I will send separately a few pictures from your trip, including the one of the two of us at the airport.   Some of them are already on Facebook. I hope to see you again someday.


Cliff Spungen
Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Pittsburgh, PA


23 Nov 2016


We arrived safely and I negotiated for a careful handling of Torah and it arrived in one piece, peacefully. We will be celebrating its arrival soon.

Thank you for the Teffilin and we are privileged to be the ones continuing the prayer legacy they represent. Thanks for the honor.

Also thank for the pictures

תודה רבה

באהבה רבה




Donate to a Fund

Honor or Remember a Loved One with a Donation!

Recent blog posts

The Fabrics of Our Lives

Americans are fashion conscious. Particularly, they like to buy new clothes. There is even a term, “retail therapy,” that is often associated with purchasing items of clothing to elevate one’s mood. Cheap clothing at mainstream retailers lets people change wardrobes and styles as frequently as their wallets allow. While these habits can help support the…

Read More
Read more

Junk Mail

Junk mail. Its very name implies something that we don’t want or need. I know at our house, it tends to make up the majority of the mail we get any given day. What can you do with it all? Some people recycle it, either at home or bring it to the closest Abitibi bin,…

Read More
Read more

What We Talk About When We Talk About Plastic Recycling

Try to imagine a day where you go without using plastic—it’s impossible. From yogurt containers to shampoo bottles to takeout containers, plastic is a part of our daily lives. Just a few years ago, this didn’t bother many people because recycling plastic was easier and more commonplace. South Hills townships used to recycle all plastics…

Read More
Read more