“[Miles’ book] is compelling. It examines the Jewish presence in Africa and the history of interaction between Jews and Africans … it is also a wise rumination on the nature of cultural exchange and religious tolerance. ” — Foreign Affairs Journal (May/June 2014)
A Muslim curator and archivist who preserves in his native Timbuktu the memory of its rabbi. An evangelical Kenyan who is amazed to meet a living “Israelite.” Indian Ocean islanders who maintain the Jewish cemetery of escapees from Nazi Germany. These are just a few of the encounters the author shares from his sojourns and fieldwork spanning 35 years in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Ocean, the West Indies, and the Holy Land. In this collection of new and revised essays, with a foreword by Professor Ali A. Mazrui, William Miles vividly illustrates how Africa, Israel, and their diasporas constitute an extraordinary crucible for African Jews, wandering Jews, and the unforgettable Afro-Jewish encounters that ensue.
Combining the rigors of academic research with a “you are there” delivery, this book is suitable for introductory courses on Africa, ethnography, Jewish studies, and religious studies, as well as for the reading pleasure of the ecumenical-minded traveler.