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Nowadays it is known that many Africans have Jewish roots. Throughout the centuries they have practiced Judaism handed down from their ancestors, despite suffering alienation and persecution for adhering to their faith.
Ghana's Jews wandered about in Africa for hundreds of years, moving because of religious persecution. Over the centuries they crossed the Sahara desert, lived in Niger, and in Mali and from there they moved to the Ivory Coast. They came to Ghana approximately 150 years ago.
There are two groups in Ghana that keep Judaism. One is in Accra the capital, and the other is the Sefwi Wiawso community in North Western Ghana.
The Sefwi Jewish community comprises about 200 people who are mostly poor farmers and their families. They have traditionally been stopping work on Shabbat, eating only kosher food, circumcising their newborn sons, praying in a synagogue and adhering to the laws of ritual purity.
For a long time they didn't know that they were keeping Judaism. It was only in the 1980’s that they started to become connected with Jews living in other countries.
Jacob is one of the pillars of the Sefwi Wiawso community. We are trying to bring him for a visit to Israel. This will be the first time that anyone from his community will have visited the Jewish homeland. Jacob's presence in Israel will forge an important tie between his community and Israel. Helping remote Jewish communities to connect to Israel is also necessary for the global Jewish community as a whole.
You can read about the Jews of Sefwi Wiawso here:
The money received from your donations will cover Jacob's flight ticket and his basic living costs while he is in Israel.
I am an Israeli Jew who is searching for unity. I want to play a part in strengthening the connection between these African Jews and the global Jewish community. I also believe that their sincerity and deep commitment to core Jewish values will benefit all of us. Jacob is a pseudonym for the person I am advocating for in Ghana.
A cultural photo of two Ghanaian women
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