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The Forward’s Top Stories of 2016

Judaism Grows in Africa

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From Madagascar to Zimbabwe, Jews, would-be Jews and thousands of Africans who are simply Jewish-curious are turning up. The phenomenon is continent-wide. but nowhere is the story more amazing than in Nigeria, where the Igbo—at 30 million people, one of the country’s major ethnic groups—have long seen themselves as descended from the ancient Israelites.

Now, with encouragement from two mainstream Jewish groups with very different agendas, some Igbo villages are taking this a step further; they are beginning to practice their own form of traditional Judaism directly, complete with holiday observances and services, and making a claim on mainstream Jewry to be included as part of today’s Jewish people.

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