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Home > Secteur-English > General > JEWISH PEOPLE IN AFRICA ? HOW ?

JEWISH PEOPLE IN AFRICA ? HOW ?

Since the time of Abraham and his wanderings in Egypt, the Jewish people have had a presence in Africa, making some communities the oldest in the world. Communities such as the Beta Israel of Ethiopia and the Lemba of South Africa and Zimbabwe claim descent from ancient Israel (the Lost Tribes of Israel). Furthermore, Jews in Africa are greatly diverse peoples with distinct cultures, languages, and customs.
They include the Sephardi and Mizrahi across North Africa, and mostly Ashkenazi Jews from Europe who settled in Southern Africa, particularly in South Africa. In fact,over several recent decades, a number of ethnic groups from around the continent have claimed a Jewish, Hebrew, or Israelite lineage. These groups include, but are not limited to, the Igbo (Nigeria), the Zakhor (Mali), the House of Israel (Ghana), and the Abayudaya (Uganda). Today, no Jewish community in Africa is expanding. Some are in great peril either in terms of population, economic hardship, political and/or religious pressures,
cultural assimilation, or a combination thereof. Many communities have already disappeared, leaving behind their synagogues, cemeteries, homes, buildings, legacies,and contributions to local life. Sadly, in most cases, those communities eventually fall into obscurity.

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