Ugandan–Jewish wedding takes place in Israel for the first time

The couple belongs to the Abayudaya community, which the State of Israel does not recognize as a part of the Jewish religion.

Wedding bands [Illustrative]
The first Ugandan Jewish wedding took place on Saturday, January 4 at a Conservative synagogue in Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.
Rivkah Nabulo, 23, and Rabbin Asiimwe, 30 belong to the Abayudaya community, which consists of 2000 members and is not by the State of Israel as a Jewish sect.
The wedding consisted of about 80 guests, and was held at Kehilat Moreshet Avraham on Saturday evening. Guests included Invitees included prominent conservative and reform rabbis in Israel and several young members of the Abayudaya community.
The ceremony was held by Rabbi Andy Sacks, director of the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly in Israel and a known advocate of the Abayudaya community. "[The event] was a true demonstration of the beauty and acceptance of Jews of Uganda by the pluralistic Jewish world, whose representatives turned out to show their love and support,” Sacks said.
In honor of the wedding, the Reform and Conservative movements organized catering, a band, the dress and even the ring for the bride. Both the bride and groom were students and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Nabulo returned to Uganda on Sunday, while Asiimwe remains in Jerusalem to complete another semester at the Yeshiva.
Weddings in Uganda tend to be far more expensive, so they were persuaded by the Conservative movement to hold the wedding in Israel with a proper Jewish ceremony.
Asiimwe's plans for the future are first to complete his studies at the Yeshiva, and then enroll in a rabbinical study program run by the movement either in Israel or the United States. Nabulo plans to become a Jewish educator in Uganda.
David Breakstone, Vice Chairman of the Jewish Agency, was also present at the wedding, and delivered his blessing to the couple. “I hope this will open the way and open the path for other members of your community to be welcome here by the entire country, the entire society, and not only here in this room,” he said.
The interior ministry regularly denies entry visas to Abayudaya community members, though a petition made to challenge this decision of barring them from immigrating to Israel is currently being discussed at the High Court of Justice.
In the summer of 2018, Asiimwe led the first, and so far only, Birthright group from Uganda. Asiimwe's application to the Yeshiva was also initially rejected, though it was later accepted.