Finding Judaism Across Africa and Central America, Intersections with Sephardi and Mizrahi Culture and Practice
IN PERSON and ONLINE! Sunday, March 12 from 10 am – 4 pm EST Center for Jewish History, 15 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011
Communities across Africa and Central America are returning to their Jewish roots or finding Judaism. They are seeking out religion and a connection to the larger Jewish world, many with a view towards their own Sephardi ancestry and others through an affinity for the Sephardi rites.
Representatives of these communities, documentarians, and activists will come together to share their experiences and the unique interactions of these communities and the greater Sephardi world traditions.
Professor Tudor Parfitt, distinguished professor at Florida International University, world-renowned scholar and historian of Lost Tribes. Featured on the History channel, BBC, and PBS.
Professor Shalva Weil, senior researcher at Hebrew University, world-renowned scholar on Indian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Lost Tribes, and femicide.
Joseph F. Lovett, producer, director, and writer. Director of Children of the Inquisition, 2019.
Jator Abido (Yatov ben Yisrael), Jewish Nigerian Prince, representative to the Sub Sahara Africa Jewish alliance, and civil engineer
Patricio Serno, filmmaker and co-founder of Casa Tova, Mexico
Bonita Sussman, President of Kulanu, world traveler, author, and photographer
Genie Milgrom, world-renowned genealogist, Crypto-Jewish advocate, and author
Dr. Drora Arussy, Senior Director, ASF Institute of Jewish Experience
Yaakov Baruch was born in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and grew up in Manado. He learned of his maternal Jewish mother’s background while a youth, and began to research his Dutch Jewish roots while in college. Yaakov visited Jewish communities in Singapore and Israel, Europe and America and then chose more in-depth study of Judaism.
In 2000, Yaakov established a synagogue community in Manado and inaugurated the synagogue in 2004, which was attended by Israel TV Channel 10. While there were Jews in Indonesia with Iraqi and Dutch roots, those communities which had existed in other parts of the country no longer exist. In 2019, the Tondano community decided to change its Synagogue “minhag” to that of the Western Sephardic or Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities. The Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue was consecrated in 2022.
Learn more, with photos, historical facts, and personal histories of the Jews of Indonesia.
Join us to learn about the centuries of Jewish history in the Caribbean Island of Barbados. Neal Rechtman, an active member of the 50-person Barbados Jewish community, will lead us through the rich social and cultural history and practices of this Sephardic Jewish community.
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