Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

More Than 250 Igbo Jewish Youth Gather For Leadership Training

More than 250 youths from the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria were brought together last month for a week of Jewish activities, classes and leadership seminars.

The youths, along with 20 adults, came together in Onithsa, Nigeria between August 18-25 thanks to Shavei Israel, an organization that does outreach to far-flung Jewish communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The activities included Hebrew and Torah lessons and Shabbat activities.

The Igbo are one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups, and many believe that they are descended from ancient Israelites. A few thousand of them have started practicing Judaism in cities throughout Nigeria. A Christian missionary group claimed to have conducted DNA tests that showed no Jewish genetic markers in Igbo subjects, but the results were disputed by leaders in the Igbo Jewish community.

“In recent years, a growing number of Igbo in Nigeria have chosen to embrace Judaism and seek to learn more about the culture, faith and heritage of Israel and the Jewish people,” Shavei Israel founder and chairman Michael Freund said in a statement. “We decided to answer their call and we’re working closely with the growing numbers of Igbo Jewish communities that are now flourishing in places such as Lagos, Abuja and Anambra state.”

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Shavei Israel’s gathering was in Israel. In fact, it took place in Onithsa, Nigeria.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.