YNet Millions of African citizens could come knocking on Israel's door in the next few years, demanding to be recognized as Jews, warns Dr. Shalva Weil. According to Weil, the past 15 years have seen a sharp rise in the number of tribes throughout Africa who are "rediscovering" their Jewish heritage.
Weil, from the Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is an anthropologist and expert on Ethiopian Jewry who has spent years studying the Ethiopian community and its acclimation into Israeli society.
Weil explains that every one of the African groups has a unique story. For example, the Lemba people of South Africa, Zimbabwe and in Mozambique and Malawi numbers some 70,000 Christians, but its leaders claim that they are the descendants of Yemenite Jews who migrated to South Africa. The Lemba people are seeking recognition as the descendants of Jews and have even appealed to the South African Jewish community for financial support to build synagogues.