African Jewish Communities
Hebrew Date Converter
Month Date Year

Civl Month Date Year

Communities - Igbo of Nigeria

Community's own websites                                                                                                       



Other links for this Community                                                                                                  

Danites Among the Igbo?

 It is fairly clear and conclusive that the Igbos are predominately from Gad, but also from Levi (Nri Priests), Zebulun and Judah, because Judah one of the largest tribes, like Levi mingled and traveled and could be found throughout virtually all the tribes.  However, some have speculated that some Igbo may be of the tribe of Dan. From my research among Igbo scholars and Black Hebrew scholars, it is in the opinion of the minority that the Igbo are from Dan or have Danites among them. There is simply not enough evidence to substantiate a Danite presence among the Igbo, although we should not rule this idea out completely.

Students of the Scriptures know that Israel was taken into captivity and exile and therefore dispersed throughout the world to this day as a result of sin, which is disobedience to Torah (Deut. 27-28, I John 3:4). Idolatry as well as a lack of brother love was the main reason the GOD of Israel scattered His people to the four winds....Read more.

By Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr (March 2013)

Nigeria's Igbo Jews: 'Lost tribe' of Israel?



A Shabbat service is underway at the Ghihon Hebrew Research synagogue in the Jikwoyi suburb of Nigeria's federal capital territory.
Fourteen year-old Kadmiel Izungu Abor heads there with his family. They walk alongside stray goats on a road covered in red dust and potholes, lined with open sewage. They are nearly 20 kilometers away from the modern multi-story office buildings and sprawling mansions in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja.
About 50 people gather in the synagogue. They pray from the Siddur, they read from the Torah and as they chant, Abor's mellow alto begins to rise.... More.

Source: CNN (Feb. 2013)

Igbo Jews (Nigeria)



The Igbo Jews of Nigeria, who call themselves the “Benei-Yisrael,” are part of the larger Igbo ethnic group. Most of the Igbo Jews live in an area which straddles the River Niger, near the Anambra states.
The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syria, Portugal and Libya into West Africa around 740 C.E. It is claimed that the initial immigrants were from the biblical tribes of Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali. Later, they were joined by more Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Libya in 1484 and 1667 respectively.
Some of the Igbo Jews claim that the river Sambation (beyond which the ten lost tribes were dispersed by the Assyrians) is in Africa.... More.

Source: Shavei Israel

Are The Igbos Of Nigeria Jewish?



“Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria” is one of those peculiar documentary films that makes a sort of nonsense of everything I know about film and art. On the one hand the film, which is produced, written, directed, shot and edited by Jeff L. Lieberman, is a baggy, often shapeless mess, meandering and repetitive, filled with side roads that lead nowhere and a narration that borders on the amateur.
Despite that, “Re-Emerging” is frequently engaging, often charming and, finally, a very pleasant experience.
The Igbo are one of the larger ethnic groups in modern Nigeria, a nation of 170 million people and over 250 such ethnic configurations. For much of the region’s history, they have been referred to as “the Jews of Nigeria,” ... More.

Source: The Jewish Week (May 2013)

Where did the Igbos come from?



“Majority of Igbos are satisfied to accept the Israel hypothesis supported by the triple testimonies of oral tradition, Eri migration and archaeological evidence.”
Where the Igbos migrated from has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The ancestry of the Igbos has bothered many people for a long time. Many historians, philosophers, sociologists, archaeologists and anthropologists have raised a lot of dust on this issue. A lot of views have been proffered but yet the origin of the Igbos remained a mirage.
Suffice it to say that the Igbos have found themselves in Nigeria and indeed they are Nigerians like every other tribe. This tend to support the claim of an elderly Mbaise man from Imo State of Nigeria, whose name remain anonymous, in a book by Dr. Elizabeth Isichei titled “History of the Igbo People”. The elderly Mbaise man maintained that the Igbos did not come from anywhere. But the fact remains that the Igbos must come from somewhere beyond the limited knowledge of the Mbaise elder. Another claim seek to establish that the ancestors of the Igbos originated from the area they inhabit, presently known as Awka-Okigwe. Hence, the communities known as Umu-Nri regard themselves as the descendants of a hero called Eri, who along with his wife, Nnamaku, was sent down from the sky by Chukwu, the Igbo supreme God. I must confess that this claim sounds just like a fairy tale. ... More.

By Mazi Nweke

Nigeria's black Jews re-discovered



A new documentary by New Yorker Jeff Lieberman called Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria is taking an in depth look into one of the most unique 'Jewish' communities in the world: The Igbos of Nigeria.
Lieberman's film is a rare testimonial to the daily life of a group that for years has been living off the official Jewish radar and in a political atmosphere of massacres between Christians and Muslims with the constant threat of destruction over their heads.... More.

Source: Ynet News (July 2012)

Among the Igbos of Nigeria During the Festival of Lights



It is the 24th of Kislev, 5770 (2009), Erev* Hanukkah, I am in Nigeria. This is not my first visit. In fact, I have made some 15 trips over the last 30 years to conduct a variety of research studies. This time, however, I have come expressly for the purpose of spending Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) with a handful of Igbos who, in black Africa's most heavily Muslim nation, proudly but incongruously identify as Jews.
In previous trips, I had little interaction with Igbos and even my knowledge of the tribe was scant.... More.

Source: Kulanu, By William F. S. Miles (2011)

The Igbo people of Nigeria-Jews of Africa?



In a White House memo dated Tuesday, January 28, 1969 to President Nixon, former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger describes the Igbos as 'the wandering Jews of West Africa-gifted, aggressive, westernized, at best envied and resented, but mostly despised by their neighbors in the federation'(foreign relations document, volume E-5, documents on Africa 1969-1972).
Kissinger's description aptly portrays the Christian Igbos and their experience in Nigeria. Over the years, the Igbos have been the victims of numerous massacres, that they have lost count. Most of the violence directed against the Igbos have been state sponsored. One can say that the Igbos knew how to spell 'state sponsored terrorism' before the rest of the world did. The state sponsored terrorism directed against the Igbos in 1966, led to the declaration of the Republic of Biafra by the Igbos and subsequent civil war. Over two million Igbos died in the civil war, primarily by starvation... More.

Source: modernghana.com (Jan. 2013)

Hanging Haman with the Igbo Jews of Abuja



Why are members of Nigeria's third-largest ethnic group, numbering 35 million (accurate figure 45 million), turning to Judaism asks The Times Newspaper an Israel based publication?
There is a widespread belief among Igbos — the third-largest ethnic group in Nigeria — that they are descendants of the tribes of Israel. Many of them are passionately Zionist reports The Times newspaper in Israel. They put the number of Igbo people among the 175 million people in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, within the range of 30 and 35 million. The more accurate figure is 45 million as Igbos make up the second largest population in every city, town and village all over Nigeria.
Their claim to a Jewish lineage and their support for Israel are interesting in and of themselves, but even more fascinating is that during the last 30 years or so there has also been a movement among some Igbos to match their tradition of Jewish descent with the practice of rabbinic Judaism, the learning of Hebrew, and the fostering of connections with Jews abroad... More.

Source: Jewish Times - By Shai Afsai (April 2013)

Providence writer visits small group of Nigerian Jews, struggling to keep their faith alive



ABUJA, Nigeria — With noon temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, visitors to Habakkuk Nwafor’s family compound in Abuja seek shelter in a palm-fronds hut adjoining his private shrine. No grass grows through the sandy soil of the walled compound, while a mighty cashew tree that once offered shade was felled in a storm several years ago. A few paces from the hut and shrine is Tikvat Israel, the synagogue headed by Nwafor.
With no Nigerian rabbis, men like Nwafor, who began practicing Judaism in 2002, have assumed the mantle of religious leadership in Igbo Jewish communities. A competitive boxer in his youth, Nwafor, now in his mid-50s, works in construction and also raises goats and chickens, which roam freely about the compound... More.

Source: Providence Journal - By Shai Afsai (June 2013)


There are various hypotheses regarding Igbo origins. The rise of these myths and legends when traced historically are found to originate from outside influences and that they were very much a part of the colonial discourse of the British imperialists over their colonized subjects. The most popular of these myths was that of Jewish origins or what is generally called the “Oriental Hypothesis” which was itself based on the “Hamitic Hypothesis.” The Hamitic hypothesis proposed that the Igbo were of Middle Eastern origin, either Egyptian or Hebrew. The most outspoken proponent of the Hamitic hypothesis was the colonial Christian missionary Archdeacon G.T. Basden. The question of Igbo Jewish identity to which many Igbos lay claim was a result of the colonial discourse based on the Hamitic hypothesis... More.
by Africa Israel (2012)

Review: 'RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria' Inspires w/ Passion, Knowledge & Conviction



It might seem like a far fetched idea to people in Africa and all over the world. Some prominent members of the Jewish community say the link between the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and today's Igbos is a myth. What would propel thousands of Igbo people in Nigeria (and growing) to believe they are really Jews, who descended from "Eri", the 5th son of GAD; the latter who was the 7th son of Jacob, whose sons fathered the 12 Tribes of Israel?
Jeff Lieberman's new documentary, RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria, follows the quest for knowledge of Igbo roots in Judaism through Schmuel (Schmuel Tkvah ben Yaacov), a charismatic and eloquent young leader in the Nigerian Jewish community... More.

by Vanessa Martinez (2013)

Igbo Jews of Nigeria Strive to Study and Practice



Many Igbo, while practicing Christianity, nonetheless self-identify as Jews. This phenomenon dates back to the late 18th century, when the Igbo encountered Christianity, were introduced to the Bible, and observed similarities between their native customs and those of the ancient Hebrews.
In his popular 1789 autobiography, first published in London, Equiano Olaudah, a former Igbo slave turned abolitionist, remarked on “the strong analogy” that “appears to prevail in the manners and customs of my countrymen, and those of the Jews.” Pointing to circumcision, sacrifices, and purifications as examples of this resemblance, he concluded “that the one people had sprung from the other.” Many Igbo — who are now Nigeria’s third-largest ethnic group — have since similarly concluded that they are of Jewish descent.
A much more recent phenomenon has been a movement among some Igbo to match their tradition of Jewish descent with the learning of Hebrew and the practice of Judaism... More.

by Shai Afsai (July 2013)

In Nigeria, 'A Very Jewish ... Very African' Community



"Being welcomed by and embraced by Igbos, who take Judaism so seriously ... it raises the question of what it means to be a Jew," says William Miles.
Three years ago, Miles, a self-proclaimed semi-practicing Jew, decided to celebrate Hanukkah in Africa's most populous country. He wrote about his experience in a new book called Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey. He tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that he found "a very Jewish community, but also a very African community."
The Igbo are an ethnic group in the southeast of the country. Miles explains that a long oral history connects them to one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel. "The tribe of Gad made its way all the way to West Africa, and they have been preserving ancient Israelite Hebrew traditions ever since, and so they claim they are just rediscovering their old roots," he says... More.

by NPR (Dec. 2012)


The word Israel is conspicuous in the song. A man wearing a white turban around his head shunts around with his mouth brimming with excitement . On his left hand, he holds a black book. He reaches out and grabs a long white horn from a man nearby. He pauses a bit and concentrates on the musical instrument. Around him, is a man wearing a Jewish skull cap and other people, clapping and dancing with energetic possession. The synagogue in Aba was busy on this day. 'May Adoni be with you and sun shine upon you and give you peace!' Sing men, women, children and ladies in another video clip. In another gathering, a man is holding a book, while his body swerves. His mouth blows out with deep melodious sound. In a separate video clip - still the same gathering - his voice retains the same poignancy, urgency and religion. These are the Kodesh L'Hashem Nigerian Hebrew communities comprising of Igbos, Annangs, Ogonis and Ibibios .This is the face of modern Nigerian Jewry... More.
Source: NIGERIAWORLD.COM (Jan. 2007)


Music from this community                                                                                                    




Leadership and contact information                                                                                   

You should log in or register to view these information.




Creation date : 25/08/2013 @ 13:29
Last update : 25/08/2013 @ 22:59
Category : Communities
Page read 2090 times

Reactions to this article

Nobody gave a comment yet.
Be the first to do so!


 49184 visitors

 1 visitor online

To receive news about this website, consider subscribing to our Newsletter.

Snif !!!

^ Top ^