Ahavas Sholom – an Historic Landmark and Sacred Space

Newark's Last Remaining Synagogue born of the Great European Migration at the turn of the 20th Century

145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104
Phone: 973-485-2609 | Email: cahavassholom@optimum.net


From Eric’s Desk, March 29, 2024

Dear Members,

Our “Sister Synagogue” relationship with our brothers and sisters in Namutumba, Uganda remains strong.  While over the years we have helped them in many ways, over the last several years my focus has turned to “self-sufficiency” and how Ahavas Sholom can aid in this area. 

It is “heart wrenching” every time I receive an email from Rabbi Shadrach telling me about the most recent famine that has set in, how members of their community are literally starving and suffering, and just how limited they are in their ability to access food.

For that reason, about 2 years ago, I began to work with Global Village Connect, which actually has “boots on the ground” in Uganda, around this notion of self-sufficiency.  I believe this is the best way for us to help them and to ensure our investment to those in need is sustainable over time.  And I believe we are onto something.

Global Village Connect knows and has a relationship with the Abayudaya of Namutumba.  At my request last summer, they put about 50 community members – men and women alike – through their “Entrepreneurial” training program.  From this has emerged 3 proposals for possible business ventures.

The one with the most potential – and the one most manageable financially – is the idea of creating a women’s hair and nail salon – run and managed by women.  Global Village Connect recommends the salon because the women need some investment and it’s hard for them to compete in securing funds with the men.  Additionally, there is a built-in incentive for them to go get clients because their income is based on their number of clients they bring in and services they provide.

The grant request to get this off the ground is $6,850.  The grant amount is based on the funds needed until they can make enough income to sustain the project themselves, which we believe will happen at around the 6-month to 1-year mark.

Any support you can provide is Deeply Appreciated! – BOTH by me and the Abuyudaya of Namutumba, Uganda.

* For more specifics on the proposal, click here.

This concept of “self-sufficiency” is Quintessentially Jewish.  By supporting this initiative, we have a chance to make a REAL IMPACT.  Thank you in advance for your support in this exciting, NEW INITIATIVE!

When the twelfth century Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, contemplated the best way to provide for people in need, he determined that the highest aspiration should be to help people become self-sufficient. To work with people instead of for them:

“ The greatest level, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others . . “

(Mishneh Torah, Laws of Charity, 10:7)

We have a SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY before us.  Do you want to Provide a Meal, or do you want to teach others Life Sustaining Skills which will promote Self-Sufficiency, and ultimately, Possibly Change the World?

For more specifics on the proposal, click here.

To contribute to the Abayudaya Self-Sufficiency Fund, click here.



Eric Freedman
President, Ahavas Sholom