When most people think about Judaism, eastern Africa probably does not enter their minds. Nava Friedman ’13 thinks differently, though. In the summer of 2010, Friedman participated in an educational service trip in Uganda, run by the American Jewish World Service, and visited a community in Nabugoye that has many synagogues and Jewish schools. The local Jews are called the Abayudaya (literally “the Jewish people,” in the local language, Luganda).
Friedman knew that if she could visit the community again, she would jump at the chance. Princeton gave her that opportunity through the Martin A. Dale Awards, which give $4,000 to sophomores to pursue independent projects over the summer.
Prior to visiting Nabugoye from the middle of June through early August, Friedman’s goals were to learn about the community’s religious life through conversation and interviews. “I was hoping to compile these interviews as individual testimonies, and use them as a basis for a possible performance piece,” she said. “I also wanted to be useful to the community through some sort of volunteer work.”