Members of the Kasuku Jewish Community in Kenya put together the lulav and etrog for the first time on October 5, 2015. (Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)
A tiny, fledgling community in the heart of Africa forges its own Jewish identity with a little help from friends
The isolated Jews of rural Kenya: Starting from aleph with a lulav and etrog
KASUKU, KENYA – The suitcase filled with donated Judaica was so big I wasn’t sure it would fit on the back of the beat-up motorcycle taxi, the only way to reach the isolated Jewish community in Kenya’s highlands.
“Kenyan Jews?!” everyone asked me incredulously when I explained where I was headed. Yes, Kenyan Jews. It’s a small community in the land of the Kikuyu tribe, with about fifteen families scattered around Kenya’s interior and centered on the small village of Kasuku.
The Kasuku Jewish community had been part of Kenya’s Messianic Jewish Church until about fifteen years ago. That’s when a group of families in the Church studied the Old Testament and decided that they no longer subscribed to the New Testament or the existence of Jesus, and they wanted to become Jews, the chosen people.READ MORE