Nigeria

Nigeria kulanu

Write a few paragraphs about the history of the community, the present life and accomplishments of the community, and Kulanu’s involvement with the community. Ideally, this would be written in the voice of a person from the community/em>

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Multi-Media About the Igbo of Nigeria

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Nigeria

The boys crowded around us, many with peyot braided out of their afros. They peppered us with questions in halacha and philosophy, all of this after having watched them complete an hour long shacharit all read perfectly in a flawless Hebrew. Jewish Nigeria They asked for a daily lesson in Jewish law to be said after the morning prayers. They read from the paper torah and the chanting was perfect. Their skin is the rich dark black of western Africans and they are a dynamic and serious group of people looking for the truth and learning Torah.

It is lush huge country, the worlds 20th largest economy and its people are very poor. It is rich in minerals and diamonds and has plenty of oil. It is extremely hot and humid but the vast majority of buildings have no air conditioning. Even if they do, you need a gas powered generator because there are near continuous power cuts and large swathes of the country regularly go without power most of the time. Bribery is a way of life, we had to do it many times at roadblocks and in airports, life expectancy is just 54 years and despite it all, one of the most vibrant Jewish movements in the world is happening and it is entirely below the Jewish radar. Welcome to the emerging

Jewish community of Nigeria.

Nigeria from the eyes of a Jewish Nigerian

Shalom!

A very warm greetings from here Nigeria.

I am pleased to be part of this conference.

My name is Sar Habakkuk Nwafor, the leader of Tikvat Israel Synagogue in Abuja.

The history of Judaism in Nigeria dates back to many years ago. I am happy to have been on the forefront, propelling the Judaism culture and religion throughout Nigeria, most especially in Eastern Nigeria.   

Although, the practicing of Judaism to the fullest comes with quite a few challenges, but, we’ve managed to record some successes as much as we could, in our small capacity.

The major challenges include:

(1) Most of the youths are not gainfully employed in the face of the high rate of unemployment and poor economic situation in Nigeria. 

    The fact that they are Jews, makes it difficult to be employed by the Christians and other faiths who control major percentage of the job market in Nigeria.  

(2) The few members who are lucky to be employed are subjected to work at times on the Shabath, or face the threat of loosing their jobs.

(3) There are other minor challenges, but time may not allow me to mention all in details.

Tikvat Israel Synagogue Abuja has uphold the Jewish religion for over 13 years, and we owe this great success to the Holy One of Israel, Blessed is He.

The collaboration with Kulanu started back in 2011, and indeed set the pace to strengthen and expand the Judaism network in Nigeria. 

Let me use this opportunity to thank the board of Kulanu for their full support over the years. I appreciate greatly. 

Hezekiah and Solomon were sent to undergo study of Torah and Hebrew language in Uganda- thanks to the financial support of Kulanu.

Today, we have a functional cybercafe in our synagogue, with the help of Kulanu who donated a laptop, internet gadget and subscription, as well as other office accessories. 

Not to talk about the countless number of books and other religious materials that has been gifted to us.

In the near future, which has already began, we look forward to doing and achieving more, to help the course of the Judaism Network in Nigeria,

We’ve recently formed more alliance with over seven(7) Jewish synagogues in Eastern Nigeria, who have shown interest to work together, to help spread the faith across the length of the Igbo land. 

This is the new Mission. One which we are determined to lead and uphold, if given the right support to make this happen. 

We look forward to building and creating investments for the sake of the Jewish community, using the Eastern Nigeria as a permanent base. 

We need to be able to create jobs for our youths through these entrepreneurial investments, which may include: 

  • Agricultural businesses 
  • Schools to raise our children, and give them a proper Jewish sense of belonging
  • Have a typical Jewish community with full facilities to keep our youths involved, and fully engaged
  • We also kindly seek the training of 2 to 3 members of the youth, to become full Rabbis in the future, so they can in turn be able to train others here, who are interested and have the zeal. 

Lastly, the Hebrew language is something we love to establish and make it compulsory for members of the Jewish community here, especially for growing kids. 

We wish to establish a formal education for Hebrew learning, by having a center for learning the language. So that our children will have full access to learn the language. Currently, there are growing number of interest back here, people who are quite eager to be able to read and write in Hebrew. 

All these are possible to achieve if we work together,and if given the right support from sponsors and well-wishers from around the world.

Also, how I wish the president of Kulanu, Harriet Bograd, will find time to visit Nigeria with her team some day. This will have a great impact to drive down the message, and give boost to the course we pursue. And of course, it would mean a lot to the brethrens here. 

I thank you all for listening.

May Hashem continue to bless all of us.

Shana Tova!

Travel safety information – Visit  The US Government Fact Book For Nigeria

Health Information for Travelers – Visit   The CDC Health Information for Travelers to Nigeria

 

Kulanu Country Coordinators

Remy Ilona – remy.ilona@gmail.com

Ari Greenspan  – Ari@greenspandental.com