Jews in Places You Never Thought Of

In addition to historical overviews of the Sephardic Diaspora, Jewish Roots in Africa, and the Jews of India, the book contains five parts about lost and dispersed Jewish communities and a sixth part, “Reflections”, containing essays about the significance of these communities to modern mainstream Jewry. The volume features the writings of 45 authors, ranging from professors and members of the dispersed communities, to rabbis and interested travelers.

Part I is devoted to the Bnei Menashe of northeastern India, descendants of a Lost Tribe just beginning to settle in Israel in small numbers. The part describes the group’s historical background and traces the chronology of its historic return to Judaism and to Israel.

Part II covers “Marranos” in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Cape Verde, and the US, while Part III is devoted to Jewish roots in Africa – Ethiopians, the Balemba of Southern Africa, and Nigerians. Part IV discusses Jews in China.

Part V is devoted to five communities seeking conversion to Judaism, each with a fascinating of how it came to embrace Judaism. The communities are located in Italy, Uganda, Peru, India (Andhra Pradesh), and Ghana.

The closing Appendix lists suggestions for ways individuals and groups can get involved with these inspiring communities as well as organizations active in the field.

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