The Surge of Judaism across Africa, the African Diaspora and Asia

in the Twenty-first Century


 International Conference, 10-11 November 2015

The Museum of Jewish History and Art


Paris, France


The International Society for the Study of African Jewry (ISSAJ invites contributions for its third International Conference.

The Conference will be hosted by the prestigious Museum of Jewish History and Art, situated in the historic Marais quarter of Paris, France.

In the course of the twentieth century, a fascinating phenomenon has developed: a sort of Jewish ‘rebirth’ that has been occurring throughout Africa, within the African-American Diaspora and in Asia. In west, east and southern Africa several ethnic groups have proclaimed that they are returning to long-forgotten Jewish roots and clans can trace their lineage back to the Lost Tribes of Israel. They are following in the wake of the rise of a growing number of African-American Jewish communities in the United States since the mid twentieth century. At the same time, ethnic groups in India adopted or rediscovered a Judaic religious identity and have emerged, for a variety of reasons, as members of the Jewish/Israelite fraternity. In China as well, individuals whose ancestors were Jewish have re-appropriated their ancient Judaic religious identity that had disappeared a century earlier.

In a world marked by political upheaval, ethnic conflict, economic uncertainty and ecological crises, tens of thousands of individuals have chosen to embrace Judaism in geographical areas where it hadn’t traditionally been present. The majority of them are seeking to further their religious education and to obtain formal conversion. This growth in new expressions of Jewish identity and new geographical areas of Jewish influence marks an astonishing transition in the history of the Jewish people.

The aim of this Conference is to examine the multiple sources and reasons for this shaping or re-shaping of modern Jewish identities throughout the world.

The Conference also aims to foster co-operation and the exchange of ideas between academics drawn from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and practitioners.

Papers and proposals for round-table discussions as well as documentaries that emanate from African, African-American, Caribbean and Asian contexts are most welcome. Special attention will be paid to documentaries on African, African-American and Asian communities.

The Conference is open to academic researchers and practitioners as well as non-presenters.

Date: Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11, November 2015

Venue: The Museum of Jewish History and Art situated in the historic Marais quarter of Paris, France.

Deadline for proposals: June 1, 2015; full papers: September 1, 2015.

Proposals: Proposals should be presented in no more than 200 words.

Proposals will be reviewed by the ISSAJ Scientific Committee.

Forms of Participation: Contributions may take the form of a paper, a round table or a documentary.  Academics are free to present papers or documentaries. Round tables discussions are dedicated to practitioners. Please indicate your form of presentation when you submit your abstract.

Send proposals to:

Registration: Presenters will be expected to pay conference fees and ISSAJ membership to the association as well. More information on the conference organization (accommodation, etc.) and the manner to submit payments will follow.

Conference fees, including ISSAJ Membership ( 80€ / $100)

Early Bird Registration before August 30, 2015: €190/$230
Late Registration: €240/$290
Fulltime Students: €160/$195


Organizers: ISSAJ President: Dr Edith Bruder; ISSAJ Vice-President: Prof. Magdel Le Roux.