In southeast Nigeria, many Igbo people keep kosher, pray in synagogues, and celebrate Jewish holidays. Known for their advanced metalwork and democratic traditions, as well as ancient Israelite customs including circumcision and scapegoat rituals, the Igbo have blended ancient African and Jewish traditions for centuries, sparking debates on their true identity.

When British colonialism introduced antisemitism into Africa, leading to the persecution of the Igbo people and the brief secession of the Republic of Biafra, the question of to what extent they should be accepted as part of the Jewish people became all the more pertinent.

00:00 Intro
00:41 Igbo Rituals
01:24 Similarities to Judaism
02:07 Connection to 10 Lost Tribes
03:21 Ancient Israelite Connection
04:03 Diversity in the Igbo Community
04:59 Anti-Igbo Antisemitism
07:03 Igbo Persecution After Independence
07:49 1967 Biafra Secession
08:23 The Biafran Genocide (Biafran Civil War)
08:57 Jewish Advocacy for Igbo
09:52 Igbo Hebrew Identity
11:28 The Struggle for Jewish Recognition
13:23 Igbo-Jewish Connection

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Image and footage credits:
Koinonia Global
Clare Nze
Iwuala chisom
Executive Producer:
— Barry Skolnick
Co-Executive Producer:
— Shmuel Katz
Translation credits:
Portuguese: Saymon Pires,, @safralivraria

About Explainers: From ancient Jewish traditions to the modern State of Israel, we explain it all. Diving into anything and everything related to Jewish culture, history, and even religion.
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