Dr. Gary Tobin: 415 386-2604
Institute for Jewish & Community Research


Grammy-nominated Ugandan singers join Jewish gospel-style choir from Philadelphia for a stirring evening of song and celebration.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 4, 2005) – An unforgettable evening of uplifting and eclectic songs is on the bill for a concert celebrating Jewish diversity and honoring Black History Month at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Sunday, February 20, 2005. Featuring the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda, nominated for a 2005 Grammy, and the Congregation Temple Beth’El Choir of Philadelphia, the concert will carry listeners on an unparalleled journey through the exciting and little-known world of African and African-American Jewish music. Also appearing will be Rabbi Baruch Yehuda, spiritual leader of an all-black synagogue in New York.

Founded in 1919, the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda are a community of 600 who live among the rolling green hills of eastern Uganda. They live traditional Ugandan lives, supporting themselves through subsistence farming. The Abayudaya set themselves apart by their devout Judaism, which they express through their music. Sung in Hebrew, English, and Ugandan, the songs of the Abayudaya mix traditional African rhythms with Jewish spirituality.

Joining the Abayudaya will be the 45-member Temple Beth’El Choir, an African- American synagogue from Philadelphia. Similar to the tradition of African American spirituals, joyous music lies at the center of worship at Temple Beth’El. True to their roots, the Temple Beth’El Choir will bring their clapping, swinging, and foot-stomping celebration to their concert of Jewish music in San Francisco.

This rousing evening of music is produced by Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue), an initiative of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research in San Francisco. Be’chol Lashon is a community-building initiative dedicated to the idea that Jews “are a people of different cultures, languages, and colors.”


What: First-Ever Concert of African and African-American Jewish Music
When: Sunday, February 20, 2005 at 7:00 pm
Where: The Venetian Room at The Fairmont Hotel
950 Mason Street in San Francisco
Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children
Available at or 866-384-3060


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