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Nigerian Igbo Jews: Meet The Jewish Community In Nigeria

nigerian igbo jews

Nov 23, 2012 – Nigerian Igbo Jews: Meet The Jewish Community In Nigeria

The existence of Judaism in Nigeria is a new occurrence to many.

The fact however remains that there are thousands of Nigerian Igbo Jews in several rural part of South-east Nigeria.

According to a report from, few years back internet connectivity was introduced to rural areas of south-east Nigeria.

The introduction of the Internet has opened young Nigerian Igbo people to question their identity.

For Shmuel (who was then called Sam), the nagging question he wanted answered was whether there was any truth to the long-told lore that the Igbo people were once Jews. He began by comparing Hebrew traditions to Igbo traditions, and what he found astounded him. The similarities were so convincing that it sent him off on a journey in the quest to find other Igbo who might be practicing Judaism.

History Of The Jews, Judaism In Nigeria

RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria” is a journey into the heart of Igboland and into the lives and culture of the Igbo people. The film introduces the world to the many synagogues that dot the land, and a handful of passionate, committed, and diverse characters — each striving to fulfill their historical legacy with few resources and unbeknownst to most of the world. Individual stories are woven together with key facets of history, tracing the Igbo from Biblical times up to the brutal 1960s Biafran War, which killed over 1 million Igbo. A wide range of American academics help detail this history, including shedding new light on the Igbo origins of thousands of slaves captured during the Atlantic Slave Trade and brought to American shores. The film delves into this history and travels to the southeast coast of Georgia, where locals still speak of the Igbo spirit alive and well at a riverbed called Ibo Landing.

The individuals featured in the film also demonstrate that incredible Igbo spirit. Shmuel is a young man whose story exemplifies the journey toward finding Judaism. Today, he is a leader in his community who teaches and chants Torah, and has big dreams of one day becoming a rabbi. But like almost every Igbo, he grew up surrounded by Christian colonialism, and the road to discovery has been fraught with misunderstanding, wrong turns into Messianic worship, family exile, violent prejudice from both Muslim and Christian neighbors, scorn from Jews he has contacted in the Western world, and frustration of a lack of funds to further educate himself through Internet access. Yet, it’s also been an amazing discovery of community, and furthered with the love of an American rabbi who has been working with both him and the larger community to see their dreams become a reality.

I share these stories with you, as I know their quest for community, identity and ancestry are universal. I learned about these communities sitting in a synagogue in Los Angeles. A year later, I was in Nigeria, meeting the most welcoming people I had ever met. I promised to share these stories with the world, and for the past few years, I have sewn the individual stories, history, pictures and academic expertise into a feature film that truly makes me proud. I hope you will help me, and thus help these communities, by bringing these stories to life! (Credit:

Watch the short documentary below




  1. ocpeace

    November 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    is a tale. Mere deceit of converts and followers of jews religion. There is nothing like born ibo-jews. As an ibo man. anybody claiming such is fraud.pls stop mis-iforming the public….+2348057323826

  2. Chidi Elemike

    November 23, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Serve thy Lord your God in spirit n in truth, only him shall you serve, doesn't matter where you are from.

  3. the game behind the game

    November 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    although i’m an igbo, but what a crap story! are these people brain washed? they should have a proper look at the mirror and know that the darker the skin the deeper the root. identity is what you can’t run away from and these imbeciles are running away from them selves. these creations needs to go an learn about our great warriors that where salvaged by the west imperialistic ideologies such as jaja of opobo, benin empire and even the recent great leader that was brutally killed for defending his people great colonel gaddafi. africans should wake up and nigerians in particular should be playing which way nigeria song by sonny okosun everyday in order to assist the government to map out a strategic plan that will lead to our mission as well as vision.

  4. goodluck ebele

    November 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    that is a big liar igbo is not orignated in jews at all rather igbo are originated from isreal igbo people are from isreal through the history. be well understand that igbo are christian be clear that any igbo man that pratising judaism is trying to get what he/she won’t and find his. so jews people stop making that stupid comment in short do not mention any more.

  5. sunday obi

    November 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    this man called samuel is a stupid man that man need to k***, igbo are from isreal not jews, jews are muslems they don’t belive in christ jesus that why they kill jesus,is not jews that kill john the barptis,igbo’s i mine christians are killing by muslem,and this stuped man called sam want to bring similer law to muslem in igbo land so that bokoharm will enter igbo land please igbo’s stop that man for bring bokoharm in to igbo land that man is a dengerous man is a menber of bokoharam

    • jimoh

      November 25, 2012 at 7:01 AM

      sunday obi, i have less to say bcos u know fully well all you’ve just said is totally false i.e lies.for your information we muslim love jesus,we respect him, and we pray for him as one of the mightiest messenger of Allah subhanah wortallah.(Almighty God)

  6. Caleb

    November 23, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Igbos shall all come to practice islam.

    • Vicky

      April 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      You are a betrayer to the body of Christ , the celeb I know said ,give me the mountain for to deal with the sons of anarks but your own celeb Is embracing them even less than a freak another ifeajuna you are, denounce that your name (CALEB) and be re-baptise by the name ifeajuna or judas isscariot father of all betrayer

  7. Rita

    November 23, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Caleb your statement makes me laugh hahaha

    • ;(;(:o

      November 24, 2012 at 7:04 AM

      God forbid dat igbos will practice islam we ar full christians nd we will fight any one trying to bring such idea to d core

  8. Folux

    November 24, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    Why do we Nigerians like claiming to have originated from other countries? Yorubas claim to have come from Mecca, Igbos from Israel,etc. Let’s work together to develop this country. Those foreign countries will always treat us as foreigners and laugh off our kinship stories.

  9. Mac Bee

    November 24, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    igbos are really from isreal cause God had a convern.. with Abram with letter A and the first igbo people in nigeria was traced from ANAMBRA WITH letter A, so you see that letter A came to stay among the igbos which can be traced to our father Abram with letter A.

  10. Obinna

    September 1, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    the problem that i have now is who will help me tell pharaoh that the Isrealites must go, is not to tell pharaoh to allow them go. we are the missing tribe of menasah joseph,s son. during the journey back from egypt our tribe decided to move towards Africa. remember the moses wife in the bible is from Ethopia

  11. Omokehinde

    September 11, 2016 at 4:48 AM

    My dear Jonathan Ishaku, the Jews people never and will never accept any outside like you among them. They are one of the most conservative and smart people on planet earth.In fact, as long as they are concern, you are a total stranger from one of the most corrupt nations. But there is a good news for people like you looking for true identity or trying to feel among. The King of all the Jews-Christ Jesus has given you all access to become the children of God Almighty through His death and resurrection on the Cross of Calvary. What you need to do is very simple, just accept Him whole heartedly as your Lord and Savior because His death reconcile us to our Creator-God Almighty after the fall of Adam and Eve in the gathern of Eden thousands or millions of years ago. In fact, you don’t have to give Him your phone no, description, national ID no or your names. Why? He knew you from your mother’s womb. Shilom!

  12. fifelomo

    September 11, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    Just strolling.

  13. Sunday Chukwu

    September 23, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    When you never know where you are going in life, you can never know how to get there. Many worship or believe in what they don’t know but we..……… keep the work alive for those it’s meant for, very few. Am new and wants direct discussions. Thanks

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