Jewish Kenya

The first Jews came to Kenya in the early 1900s. Some were supporters of the Uganda Scheme and liked the idea of a Jewish state in Africa.

After the Holocaust more Jews arrived in Kenya. Today there are approximately 400 Jews living in Kenya, most of whom reside in Nairobi. The Synagogue is run by a Chabad shaliach. Though the community at large is not orthodox, there is separate seating, and the shul follows orthodox customs.

I took this picture in Nairobi!

Nairobi is a big, dirty city and not all that safe. I had one attempted pick pocket that I foiled (granted I should not have been walking where I was). I spent a night in Nairobi, and then headed straight for the game parks. I’d rather take my chances with lions than street muggers.

Not much kosher food happening in Kenya, though Chabad can hook you up with some kosher meals. If you are going on a safari, bring packaged food from home. If not, you can find some internationally imported kosher products in the better supermarkets.

One night on my safari some massai warriors raided our camp. They slit the tent next to me where there was a girl sleeping and tried to steal her bag. The girl woke up and screamed. This nearly gave me a heart attack. A skirmish ensued between our camp guards and the massai warriors. I lay flat on the ground with no intention of catching an arrow or spear. Otherwise my trip to Kenya was relatively peaceful, though if you do go, check what the civil unrest situation is before leaving home.

Jewish Community Center

The slit tent the morning after

Vermont Memorial Hall

POB 30354, Nairobi

Tel. 254 2 722 182
Fax. 254 2 715 996

Nairobi Hebrew Congregation
PO Box 40990,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: 222-770, 219-703
Fax: 243- 517

Chabad of central Africa organizes programs for the High Holydays, Pesach, Purim etc. They are also a good contact for the latest updates as to what Jewish/kosher services are available.


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