How delighted to be writing again almost after 5 months. I trust that our audience all over the globe have been abundantly favored by HASHEM, as you seek to achieve your important goals and expectations in this life.
It’s so good to be back in Abuja after being away for some while now. Completing one of my new books for aspiring and young entrepreneurs, as well as a recent business trip to South Africa- are eventually two things I’m grateful to HASHEM about on my behalf!
However, upon returning to the synagogue, I sat down to talk with Hezekiah concerning the just concluded teaching tour across six states in Nigeria. The success of the three months tour is a thing of joy for the entire synagogue, to see one of their sons making remarkable impact in several Jewish Synagogues around the country.
I started by asking him to briefly introduce himself for people who have no prior information about his personality.
Introducing the Young Hebrew Tutor
|Hezekiah Moshe and Ishayahu in Beth Shalom Knesset Synagogue|
Hezekiah Moshe is the chief kazan of Tikvat Israel Synagogue in Abuja, and also serving as Kazan in a number of synagogues outside Abuja. His father, Sar Habakkuk Nwafor, is the Rosh of the synagogue located at Kubwa town in the federal capital territory Abuja. Hezekiah is well known for his brilliant reading skills of the Hebrew language.
He’s one of the Nigerian Jews that benefited from the sponsorship of Kulanu to undergo 2 months intensive Hebrew studies in Uganda some years ago. Since then, he has continued to study more, seeking practical ways to train himself to become an outstanding Jewish scholar. Currently, he's also having an online interactive training session of Hebrew language and Torah Studies with a number of foreign students in 6 different countries which includes the United States, England, China, Uganda, Rwanda, and Dominica Republic.
Hezekiah is also the Director of Information and Publicity in IPJD (Initiative for Progressive Judaism Development) organization in Nigeria.
The Purpose of the Tour
Strengthening the Judaism network in Eastern Nigeria has become a fruitful mission embarked by Tikvat Israel Synagogue Abuja since the middle of last year. The movement was started by Sar Habakkuk’s tour around Anambra State with the Sefar Torah. Then followed by Professor William Miles visit to Avishai Synagogue Nkpor and other Jewish centers in Eastern Nigeria; extending across the border into Yaounde in Cameron to connect with other Jewish faithfuls.
|A Jewish Gathering in Anambra State|
Speaking with Hezekiah concerning his recent trip, he told me that the purpose of the teaching tour was basically to extend information about Jewish principles to more people out there. This was accomplished using books, discussion classes, and a laptop to impact knowledge to the audience.
Another important reason for the tour is to discover and connect with more Jewish synagogues beyond Anambra state. Because it’s on record that more Jewish synagogues are springing up mostly in the East and Southern states of the country. It’s therefore necessary to meet with them, identify their problems and challenges, share their views, teach them more, and eventually put them on the right direction.
Number of States Visited
The first phase of the teaching tour may have been concluded, with total number of states visited amounting to six states, which includes:
- FCT, Abuja (Northern Nigeria)
- Ebonyi state (Eastern Nigeria)
- Anambra state (Eastern Nigeria)
- Delta State (Niger-Delta)
- Lagos state (Western Nigeria)
- Rivers State (Southern Nigeria)
Although, part of the plans in the build-up of the first phase of the tour included Imo state and Abia state, all in Eastern Nigeria.
Number of Synagogues Visited
A total number of 15 synagogues were visited in the 6 states mentioned above. The following are the names of the synagogues:
- Giyon Synagogue
- Ahavat Yisrael Synagogue
- Yesharim Synagogue, Port Harcourt
- Beney Yisrael Synagogue
- Melek Kevot Synagogue
- Beth Shalom Knesset Synagogue
- Torah-Haqadosh Jewish Congregation
- Avishai Synagogue
- Ohav Shalom Synagogue
- Divine Seed Synagogue
- Rock of Ages Synagogue
- Beith Eri Synagogue
- Kehilat Yisrael
- Ahavat Tzion
- Igbeleri Synagogue
The Impact of the Tour So Far
|Hebrew Studies in Avishai Synagogue|
Bringing the Jews together to be united in one course was demonstrated during the period of the tour. In Ebonyi State, there was a combined service bringing members from different synagogues together. The same thing happened in Yesharim Synagogue in Port Harcourt (Rivers State). It was also a combined service with representatives from different synagogues making the occasion worth awhile. Copies of the Tanakh donated by Rabbi Gorin were distributed by Hezekiah to the various synagogues in attendance.
Generally, people are becoming more informed now, seeing Judaism as more of a community thing and not just a one-man approach as the case may be. The interest of togetherness to become stronger as one big community is also on the increase. Most of the people who benefited from the teaching tour have been calling to show their gratitude and appreciations as they look forward to the next phase of the program.
The Next Phase of the Tour
The next phase of the teaching tour is designed to be more intensive, instructive, and technical. Most of the teachings will be carried out using the support of electronic gadgets, speakers, access to the internet, etc. It’s anticipated to kick off before November once the budget for the entire logistics is successfully released for the purpose of the tour.
The schedule involves re-visiting all the synagogues touched earlier on, for more comprehensive teachings on Jewish Halakah and making more impact especially on the younger children. Extending the teaching tour to synagogues in Imo and Abia state will be a great achievement for Tikvat Israel Synagogue Abuja; haven touched all the Igbo states in Nigeria and going beyond.