In the United States, they will be learning about the Lemba of Zimbabwe. A visiting member of Zimbabwe’s Lemba Jewish community is scheduled to intervene as a guest speaker.

Florida International University research professors Nathan Katz and Tudor Parfitt will teach the class “The Jews of Asia and Africa,” which will be open to both degree-seeking FIU students and community members interested in taking it on an auditing basis. This course is the university’s initial offering at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

This 12-week course runs from Jan. 9-April 17 and will explore African communities such as Lemba of Zimbabwe, the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, the Ibo of Nigeria, and the Abayudaya of Uganda and Asian ones including the Jews of Kochi, Mumbai, northeastern tribal peoples of India, China’s ancient Jewish settlement in Kaifeng as well as Shanghai, a haven for Holocaust refugees, and a “Judaizing” movement in Papua, New Guinea.

“Professor Parfitt is without a doubt the world’s leading authority on Jews of Africa and I probably know as much as anyone about the Jews of Asia, so the two of us are combining our knowledge and that in itself is unique,” Katz said. 

The class will feature guest speakers, including a visiting member of Zimbabwe’s Lemba Jewish community. Parfitt will also incorporate things he’s learned from his travels in the African Jewish communities into the course.

For more information, email Katz at [email protected].