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Doc ‘Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria’ Opens at NY’s Quad Cinema 5/17 for 1 Week

Doc 'Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria' Opens at NY's Quad Cinema 5/17 for 1 Week

Directed by Jeff Lieberman, journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker, RE-EMERGING: The Jews of Nigeria documents the lives of Igbo people who have embraced Judaism as a part of their legacy, and who believe Igbos are really descendants of Israelites.

Re-Emerging opens at New York’s Quad Cinema (34 W 13th Street) on May 17 for a week-long engagement, with two shows daily at 1pm and 7pm. For tickets and more information go to the film’s web page at

The doc follows Sam, now known as Shmuel, on his quest for knowledge about Igbo identity and history – from Igbos’ roots in Israel, to their journey during the Atlantic Slave Trade, to the Nigerian-Biafran War.

The doc aims to reveal a rich Igbo history unbeknownst to African descendants all over the world, especially African Americans, many of whom are of Igbo ancestry.

Here’s more about the film:

“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.

Watch the trailer below:

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This is quite a problematic documentary and I am surprised that there is not a concerted effort by the Igbo community to challenge these distortions about our history. Anyone needing to know just how and why the myth that ndi Igbo is of Jewish ancestry should read the paper "AFRICAN ORIGINS OF JUDAISM" by Sidney Davis in which he discusses how it was those who colonized us who perpetuated this myth and we unfortunately have internalized this. Igbo people are not and never have been Hebrew. We need to really be careful about allowing this myth to continue to be perpetuated and have some real Igbo scholars come forward and challenge this.


There should be more research in this direction to bring this to light so that Igbo people will be able to know their real identity.

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