Film About Jews of Nigeria                                                   
The film, “Re-emerging: The Jews of Nigeria,” will be screened at Mishkan Torah in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Sunday, July 9, at 4:00pm. The 93-minute film will befollowed by a discussion led by Sabrina Sojourner, the Co-Convener of the DMVChapter of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN).

The 2012 documentary film by Jeff L. Lieberman introduces us to the Igbo people of Nigeria.  Although most of the 25 million Igbo practice some form of Christianity oday, many were taught by their elders that they were descendants of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. And, when the introduction of the Internet allowed more access to information about Judaism, at least some Igbo saw many parallels between the two traditions. As a result, a number of Igbo people have embraced Judaism and created communities structured around what they believe is their ancestral religion.

This touching film raises many questions about race, religion, and identity. Itdemonstrates the passion and love the Igbo have for Judaism, illustrates the possible route their ancestors may have taken from the Middle East to this part of Africa, examines some of the parallel traditions, and shows how they are educating themselves about and connecting to modern Judaism. It also discusses how some segments of the global Jewish community support their efforts, while others are more dubious about their ancestral claim. Lastly, the film shares that many Igbo were captured and brought to the United States as slaves, leading viewers towonder if many African-Americans could possibly be descendants of the same Tribe of Israel.

JMN describes itself as an organization that “brings together Jews of Color and Jewish multiracial families and individuals to learn about and celebrate theirJudaism. We are committed to diversity and inclusive community-building, and seek to help our members strengthen their identities as Jews and members of other ethnic groups.” For more information on JMN, please visit www.jewishmultiracialnetwork.org.

Hosted by Mishkan Torah’s Social Action Committee, this event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.