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The now widespread Igbo belief in a Jewish ancestry goes back to the 18th century. However, it was during and after the Nigerian civil war (1967–1970) that Igbo identification with and as Jews concretized. Understanding themselves to be part of the global Jewish community of the diaspora and the state of Israel, the Igbo practicing Judaism in Nigeria are eager for religious and political recognition from world Jewry and the Jewish state. However, self-identifying Jewish groups without documented historical connections to more established Jewish communities face considerable challenges in gaining such recognition.
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This page is a summary of: Nigeria's Igbo Jews: Jewish identity and practice in Abuja, Anthropology Today, April 2016, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1467-8322.12239.
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On Nigerian Claims to Jewish and Judaic Traditions: A Reply to Fatai Ayisa Olasupo
For those with an interest in Nigerian claims to Jewish and Judaic traditions, Professor Fatai Ayisa Olasupo’s “Black African Jews, the Nigerian Question and the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel: A Comparison of Igbo and Yoruba Claims to Jewish and Judaic Traditions” is intriguing. As it is possible scholars attentive to the topic of Yoruba, Igbo, and smaller Nigerian ethnic groups tracing their roots or origins to the people of Israel may make use of Professor Olasupo’s article, it is useful here to address three errors and misconceptions contained therein, as well as offer some additional comments particularly related to Igbo Jewry.
A Review of “In the Shadow of Moses”
Twelve scholars address the potential role of Black Africans in the redefinition of Judaism and Jewish identity in the 21st century.
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