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Communities - House of Israel of Ghana

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The Jews Of Ghana: From The Four Corners Of The Earth


For centuries, a community located in a rural and remote area of Ghana known as the Sefwis, have been practicing a religion unique to any of those around them. Only in the last twenty years, did they discover that the religion they’ve been following all this time was Judaism. They also discovered something even more profound: They weren’t alone. Millions of people around the globe were following the very same religion.
From the Four Corners of the Earth takes us through the Sefwis’ journey of self-discovery – not just the journey of their past, but the journey they are about to embark on: their very first trip to Israel... More

by Gabrielle Zilkha (2012)

Help Fund Feature Doc - 'The Jews Of Ghana: From The Four Corners Of The Earth'


The first thing I thought of when I read about this was, another documentary we featured on this site earlier this year - RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria, which documents the lives of Igbo people who have embraced Judaism as a part of their legacy, and who believe Igbos are really descendants of Israelites.
And now, from Toronto-based director Gabrielle Zilkha comes The Jews of Ghana: From the Four Corners of the Earth, which follows a remote Ghanaian community known as the Sefwis, who have been practicing Judaism for centuries, and who only recently (over the last 20 years) learn that they weren’t alone, with millions of people around the world also following the very same religion.
The film will document their journey of discovery, which includes their very first trip to Israel... More

By Tambay A. Obenson (Dec. 2012)


The Jews of Ghana: From the Four Corners of the Earth


Lonely and homesick in Ghana as the Jewish holiday period of Rosh Hashana was beginning two years ago, Filmmaker Gabrielle Zilkha was able to make an amazing connection. She spent the holidays with the Sefwis of Ghana, a community that had been practising Judaism in Ghana for centuries but only discovered twenty years ago that they were part of a global religion with millions of followers.
Today Zilkha is working on “From the Four Corners of the Earth”, a film that will document the Sefwis’ journey of self discovery including, hopefully their trip to Israel, a long-held dream, planned for the fall of 2013.... More

Source: jewishboston.com, by azntaiji (Dec. 2012)

'Are There Any Jews in Ghana?' -- Hierarchies of Obligation and the Jewish Community, by Rabbi Alex Kaye, as published by the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

(Rabbi Kaye recently received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. During the 2007-2008 academic year, he was rabbinicintern for the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Currently, he serves as rabbinicassistant at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City.) Are there any Jews in Ghana?' I was asked this question numerous times after my return from Sub-SaharanAfrica in January, 2008. I had participated in a service trip with the AmericanJewish World Service (AJWS) through which 25 rabbinical students from acrossthe denominational spectrum, together with group leaders and ascholar-in-residence (Rabbi Rolando Matalon of Congregation Bnei Jeshurun inNew York,) had visited a village in Ghana to work with the local community andto learn about the challenges facing people there. We mixed cement, carriedwater, learned the local language, visited a herbal doctor,... More
by The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

The Jewish community of Ghana – a lost tribe?

Shabbat 21st July 2012.
Best clothes are put on and worn by all. Children are playing in the synagogue. Prayer books are lovingly opened. Songs praising God are being sung. Kiddush is recited over wine.
This is a familiar scene in every Jewish community all over the world.
There is one place, however, where this weekly scene is set in an unobtrusive blue-and-white painted synagogue hidden amongst the cocoa plantations and sugar cane farms of Western Ghana.
In the heart of Africa, in a small remote village called New Adiembra in a town called Sefwi Wiawso, is an isolated community of Jews... More

by Hannah Gaventa (July 2012)

A Trip To the Jewish Community in Ghana

For Easter break, we got off school Friday and Monday. I traveled far, far West, near the Ivory Coast border, to Sefwi Wiasco (pronunciation completely unknown) to engage in a Passover Seder at the only Jewish Community known in Ghana. My friend, Rachel, found out about it online when she googled, “Jews in Ghana”, or something like that. On Thursday, after class I wished my course mate a happy Easter. She replied with a straight face, “Thanks, you too. And I hope that one day you learn to believe in his resurrection.”
The day before, I ran into two Chabad Rabbi’s waiting outside my hostel searching for Jews to invite to their Sedar. You can tell the are trained to spot out Jews it’s kind of cool. It’s like they have a 6th sense that when they saw me walking they knew I was Jewish. Usually, eye contact means they’re right. And... More

by Jeremy Ginsburg (April 2012)

The Jewish Virtual History Tour: Ghana

Image The first traces of Judaism in Ghana appeared in 1976, thanks to a Ghanaian man named Aaron Ahomtre Toakyirafa. Living in the community of Sefwi Sui in Western Ghana, Toakyirafa had a vision and "spoke with spirits" driving him to believe that he and his fellow Ghanaian's were indeed descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel. He saw a clear connection and many similarities between his peoples practices and those of Judaism. For example, it was a tradition in Sewfi for Saturday to be a day of rest. Such a strong tradition that Sewfi that didn't adhere to it were frequently punished. Sewfi also followed the Jewish dietary law restricting the consumption of pork. Members of the male community were circumcised in youth. Toakyriafa was first viewed as crazy but over time his vision became more and more readily accepted...More
Source: the Jewish Virtual Library, by Mara Weiss

The House of Israel Community of Ghana

In 1976 a Ghanaian man named Aaron Ahomtre Toakyirafa had a vision. Sitting deep in the Ghanaian bush, in the village of Sefwi Sui, a seventeen hour drive from the capital of Accra and much further away from the mainstream of the international Jewish community, Toakyirafa "spoke with spirits" which inspired him to believe that he and his fellow villagers were actually descendants of the lost tribes of Israel... More
By Jay Sand (2000)

A Visit to the Jewish Community of Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana

Imagine a community of people who have never had a Sefer Torah, but know Torah—by heart; who don't know the word "kosher," but keep kosher; who until recently didn't know they were "Jews," but live a thoroughly Jewish lifestyle, and who claim to know the most impenetrable of Jewish secrets—how to pronounce God's name—but, out of reverence, don't. Ridiculous, you say? Ghana, I say... More
Source: Kulanu, by Michael V Gershowitz

Shabbat in Ghana : Young journalist seeks out African Jewish community

Image Born into a Presbyterian Ghanaian home, it never occurred to me that there was another way of worshiping God apart from Christianity and Ghana's other major religion, Islam.
I had read in the Bible and been taught by my Sunday school teacher about the Jews, who were led to the Promised Land by their maker through prophets of God. However, I could not believe that there were people practicing Judaism in Ghana... More



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Creation date : 26/08/2013 @ 02:20
Last update : 26/08/2013 @ 02:31
Category : Communities
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