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Jews in Africa: the Abayudaya in Uganda 🇺🇬 and Beta Israel in Ethiopia 🇪🇹

[additional-authors]
July 30, 2023

Thank you to Judith Gigliotti and Peter Decherney for joining me on my podcast. Peter is an author, filmmaker and Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where we met when my class had a film and TV panel for our 30th reunion. May 2024 is my 35th reunion at PENN!

Judith took the author photo for my book, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty, and is an incredible artist and photographer. We met because of ceramics and belong to the same art studio, Members Only LA (MOLA).

Listen to our discussion about the Jews in Africa: the Abayudaya in Uganda 🇺🇬 and Beta Israel in Ethiopia 🇪🇹Both Peter and Judith have spent years in Africa filming, photographing and helping.

Listen or watch our interview on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube or your favorite podcast platform

 

In 2020 with a colleague at Penn, Sosena Solomon, we made a film about the Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopia. There’s a lot written and films made about Jews, Ethiopians living in Israel, but it was actually hard to find information about the Jews who were still living in Gondar, what was their life like, and so that’s what brought us there and then over a few years led us to make to make a film about it.

The film is really just trying to amplify their stories, and we tell stories about their soccer team, amazing stories, and their circus, which is amazing, about a rabbi who moved to Israel, became a rabbi, and then goes back regularly to still be a rabbi in that community.

The film is on Discovery + and It’s called Dreaming of Jerusalem. But as we showed the film at festivals and synagogues and places, I was surprised by how little people knew about the story. I thought they knew, and if they know anything they know about the airlifts in the 80s and 90s, but not that there’s thousands of years of history before that and there’s still an active community and there’s a lot happening.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON WE SAID GO TRAVEL

Professor Peter Decherney’s website

Penn Global Documentary Institute

Info about Dreaming of Jerusalem

Virtual photography exhibit

Judith Gigliotti website

LISTEN on APPLE PODCAST: MAKE YOUR OWN MAP

Lisa’s book: Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty

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