Israel "Issy" Somen was an Israeli–Kenyan politician and diplomat. He was a one time Mayor of Nairobi[1][2][3] and later Israel's Honorary Consul to Kenya.[4]


Somen's family emigrated to Kenya in the early part of the twentieth century and was among those that established successful businesses in the country. Somen, who was also a one time president of the Board of Kenya Jews, lived in Kenya for over 30 years. His wife Sophie was born in Kenya. He was elected mayor of Nairobi in 1955 together with deputy mayor Dobbs Johnson.

Somen played a role in establishing amicable relations between Kenya and Israel. He returned to Israel from Kenya, though some of his family and relations still live in Kenya.


His grandchildren, David and Jonathan Somen, founded an ISP in Kenya called AccessKenya Group.


  1. ^ "The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Kenya". Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ De Mello, Jules (July 17, 1959). "Dr. A. C. L. de Sousa – The Founder of the "Goan Overseas Association" and a Great Protagonist of Goan Education in East Africa". Archived from the original on November 7, 2006. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ Nicholls, Christine Stephanie (2005). Red strangers: the white tribe of Kenya. Timewell Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-1-85725-206-4. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Goldstein, Israel (1984). My world as a Jew: the memoirs of Israel Goldstein 2. Associated University Presses. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8453-4780-5. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 


  • Anderson, David (2005). Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-32754-0.