lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

Israelite Communities Thruout the world

Are the Eskimos from the tribe of Dan as some scholar has asserted?

Jubo is a word made of the words Jewish & Igbo.

Since Yahweh said we (British Israelites) would be scattered to the four corners, it must also include other dispossesed & subjugated people around the world: Palestninians (except for the few of Ishmaelite origins), Pathans, some Filipinos, Arawaks, Tainos, some other Amerindians, the Celts, the Basques, the Sicilians, various self-aware Israelite tribes (Igbos, Lembas...), many partially Israelite tribes (Yorubas, Dogons, Hausas, Bagandas, Tutsis, Zulus...).

There's much Jewish blood among white Martinicans. The Jews fled continental France cocealing their identity when they got to Martinique & dissolved by mingling with the local whites of the island.

The Judaeos of Loango (or Mavumbu Jews, Mavambo, Ma-yomba, Mayumba, Yombe) & the negro Jews of Fernando Po, Jamaica, Surinam are other black Jewish communities. Their sailors were called  Malemba. Related to the Lemba Jews?

Reading on the Aztecs, the British people, or the Afghans, everyone has found mentions of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. So many people in so many places throughout history were fascinated by their story. What does it tell us about the nature of collective identities and the way they are built? Rivka Gonen's book is fascinating since it is the first to explore one of the most enduring myths in Western―and up to a point also in Eastern―history. (Paul Claval, University of Paris-Sorbonne)

Kati is a name of different Israelite groups: Getai (Guti, Catti or Goths), Ka'ti Berbers, Katipunan Filipinos, Katiba Dayaks & the name of the most celebrated Maori chief. 

Be'chol Lashon looks for Jews of other branches than Ashkenazi & Sephardi, so it does a similar job than Kulanu.

Bushmans (Hottentots), Australian aborigines & Eskimos have been regarded as Lost Tribes. 

"The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs" is a document of Old Testament times, which claims to be the last words spoken by the sons of Jacob to their children.

The Far West was colonized from 1616 to 2016. Total 400 years read Gen15 vs 13 Israel in Egypt.

According to genetics, Ashkenazis, Sephardis, Mizrahis, bene Ephraimis, Lembas, Palestinians, Druzes, Armenians, Jordanian Muslims, Kurd Muslims, Southwestern American Latinos, Yemeni Muslims... have the same Israelite origin.

There are several groups of so called Jews that in reality might be from the groups of so called Jews that in reality might be from the Lost Ten Tribes so a most exact name should be Isralites or of the corresponding tribe. These are the Kaifeng Jews (Manassah & Zabulon), part of the Falashas (Dan), part of the Tutsis (Dan), the Bene Ephraim, the Bukhara Jews & part of their neighboring Jews (Isakar), the Cochin Jews (in part descended from Israelite seafarers that went there from Solomon's time), Igbo Jews (They are from different tribes, Judah included, but mostly from Gad), Karaites (Sometimes considered to descend from Lost Tribers), Bnei Menasseh...

Jews have come home from more than 100 nations, speaking dozens of languages, but in Zephaniah 3:9 we have a promise of God to restore to them their Hebrew.

These are some of the Jewish independent kingdoms (dicarding the Soviet & now Russian one) that were in history: African Great Lakes Tutsi kingdoms, the Jewish Kingdom of Ethiopia, the Khazar Jewish Kingdom, the Jewish Tribes of the Hijaz and the Jewish Kingdom of Himyar (Yemen), the Jewish Kingdom of Adiabene, the Kahina and the Berber Jews & the Soviet Jewish Autonomous Region in Birobidzhan.

Israelites in majority non-Israelite countries are in the category of what we term "Captive Jews". In the Last Days all "Captive Jews" will return and reunite with all Israel together with Judah and Joseph.

Jeremiah 31:21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. this map of the waymarks-dolmens shows most of the places in the old worlld with Israelite peoppled areas. The greatest bulk of them went to western Europe, some stayed in the Holy Land, others spread in northern Africa,  while others went into Ethiopia, Senegal... Even others went to southern India, Kashmir & Tibet (Qiangs). 

We all wanna be Levites or simply Israelites only paying tithes: Ezra 7:24 You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.

These are the nations with Israelite origin according to different ideologies & webs in leaving the ideology in brackets & capitals: France, Germany Denmark, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria, Spain, Portugal, United States, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Australia, Kiwiland, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay (TWO-HOUSERS), Amerindian, Mestizo, Mulattoamerican & Poynesian nations (MORMONS, EXPLORERS & OTHER PEOPLE), Negroafrican nations (BLACK HEBREWS), Albanians (Albania, Italy, Greece...), Alevis, Bektashis, Alawites, Mandeans, Yezidis... (Jewish Ideas). Not all of them might be right, but I believe that many or most are. These are some remarkable nations with Hebrew origin: Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominica, Mauritania, Ghana, Yemen, Philippines, Georgia, Mongolia, Armenia, Azerbajan, Tajikistan, Israel, Palestine, Jordan. & these are the non-independent ones peopled by Israelites, naming the ethnic group, with area or country in brackets: Hata (Japan), Tutsi (Rwanda, Burundi, R.D.C.), Sogas, Karamojongs, Acholis, Abayudaya (Uganda), Masai (Kenya, Tanzania), Bedouins (Egypt, Israel, Jordan...), Madi (South Sudan), Lemba (Zimbabwe, Mozambique), Rusapes (Zimbabwe), Balubas (Congo), Kurdishtan, Pathanistan, Sakha, Kashmir, some Caucasian & Altaic speaking peoples (Russia), Ossetians (Georgia, Russia), Mingrelians, Subbotniks, Gers, Vykrests, Lezgians, Karachays, Balkars, Kumyks, Krymchaks, Karaites (Russia), Gypsies (All over the world), Berber Israelites (Morocco, Algeria), Sefwi (Ghana), Enggano, Dayak, Batak-Toba, Nias, Belu, Talaud, Minang, Mentawai, Sangihe, Toraja, Minahasa, Dawan or Atoni, Sumba, Sabu, Ndao, Rote, Manggarai, Riung, Ngada, Nagekeo, Lio-Ende, Sikka, Larantuka, Adonara, Alef'uru, Helong, Solor, Lembata, Pantar, Pura, Alor (Indonesia) Sakai (Malaysa), Taiwanese aborigins (Taiwan), Jiosy Gasy (Madagascar), Ekois, Igbos, several neighbors of Ibos, Orons (Nigeria), Efutus, Akans, Ashantis, GaDangmes (Ghana), Kikuyus, Kasukus, Laikipias, Rendilles (Kenya), Beit Avraham, Qemants, Agaws (EthioEritrea), Senas (Mozambique), Yibirs (Somalia), Bankons, Basaas, Beth Yeshourun (Cameroon), Songhais (Mali), Dan (Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire), Bene Menashe, Desi Jews, Kukis, Brahmins, Kashmiris, Dombas, European Jews, Knanayas, Nasranis or Saint Thomas Christians, Bene Ephraim, Bene Israel, Cochin Jews [White, Black & Meshuchrarim Jews], Baghdadi Jews, Banjaras, Milkis, Rajputs, Jats, Gurjars, Gujaratis, Thakars, Saurasthras, Ahirs, Maddigim & Malmadim (India), Qidwais (Pakistan), Chiang or Qiang (Tibet, China), Karen (Thailand, Myanmar), Druzes (Lebanon, Syria) ...

There are many areas of the world with people of Israelite origin (Pashtuns, Shinlungs, Israelis, Kurds...) taking part right now or in the recent past (Tutsis, Igbos, Ossetians, Azeris...) in wars. Maybe the previous facts & the fact that the people of Pathani are at war are indicatives that they are Israelites. I believe wars with Israelites taking part are kind of a divine training for a future war of evil against all the House of Israel. Some people believe the whole earth is peopled by Israelites while otherss believe that the Jews are the only Israelites there are out there. I think the truth lies between  the two extremes. Some believe the biological Israelites can only be white, while others believe they can only be black. No matter what ethnic composition may have been the original Israelite, after dispersion the current biological Israelites cane be found in any ethnic group as DNA has proven with whith white (Ashkenazi, Sephardi...), black (Lemba) Israelites...

The Israelite people have been extremely influential wherever they have been as God promised. They would be a light on mountain & the salt of the earth. It is attributed to them the foundation of many different cultures & nations (Britain, Japan, France, Afghanistan, Skandinavian countries, the Great Zimbabwe, Iboland...), even if they were a minority sometimes. KuLin is the name given to the ancient Thais, but it has the KL letters which are switchable with GL of GaLut, diaspora in Hebrew. I'm not saying that all the Thai people are Israelites, but the KaRen or Kayin are Israelites & they may have been the founders of of this nation as it is believed the Lemba Israelites did with the Great Zimbabwe or the Hata Israelites did with Japan. Even the name KuLin is not extremely different from KaRen, especially under Hebrew vowelization.

These are some of the traveling and & business trend people with allege Israelite origin: Gypsies, Otavaleños, Ishaqs, Ibos, Galicians (northwest Spain), Basques (north Spain), Venecians (northeast Italy), Hanseatics (north Germany & other Baltic sea & North sea people), Britons, Yankies (& Dixies), Hollandese, Irish, Catalans (northeast Spain), Lebanese...

I believe in British Israelism (the offspring of the Lost Israelites are the British people & other western Europeans, Australians, Americans & other western white peoples) but I also believe the Lost Ten Tribes & the Jews went to Asia  (& some stayed while others went to western Europe) & today we have there the Pashtuns as their offspring & several African ethnic groups have Israelite origin as well. After all Hebrews were promised to be scattered all over the earth. That doesn't mean every single ethnic group is Hebrew but many are. An interesting conclusion taken by the Igbo scholar Remy Ilona is that a vitaal part of the Israelites were lost as early as even before the exile of the Kingdom of the Ten Tribes. Some off them stayed or came back to Egypt & maybe they went further into Africa. I Think he's outright correct. Judaism is one of the world’s oldest religions, and was the first major one to recognize one god (monotheism), rather than pantheism (multiple gods). Judaism has been practiced for thousands of years. It eventually gave rise to Christianity 2,000 years ago, and then Islam.

In his book "Ancient Kingdoms of West Africa" Dierk Lange, Bagauda, the great conqueror of Kano, was Daud, or in other words, king David of Israel. This may seem bordering the imagination, but David's & Solomon kingdoms are believed by many different scholars to have spanned the whole earth, so this conquest could have been done by proxy. They did not conquered all the earth, but together with the Phoenicians (in which the Greek historians included the Israelites) they had a fleet that reached distant places as southern Africa, India, the Pacific Islands, & even the Americas. This world reaching fleet (together with the Silk Road, expulsions of Jews...) is one of the reasons why there is such a large & scattered Israelite diaspora. I'm not only referring to the Talmudic Jewry, which is what most people know, but to the Karaites, Subbotniks, Anusis, Donmehs & mostly to the "Lost Israelites": Pashtuns, Ossetians, Armenians, Tajiks, Lezgins, Kukish, Lemba, Beta Abraham, Kashmiris, Ashantis, Igbos, Tutsis, Sennas, Hatas...

Jewish Communities You Didn't Know Exist !!!

I have bought many, many history books from and this is definitely one of the best and most interesting of them all. There are Jews and there are Jews. I grew up in Malaysia (where there are no Jews) thinking that the modern-day Jewish people is a Semitic Middle Eastern looking people since they all originated from Israel. Then I thought that Jews were in fact all whites after finding out that many white American celebrities were Jewish. Later on, I discovered that there were actually two Jewish "peoples": the Eastern European variety (i.e. Ashkenazim) and the Spanish/Mediteranean looking variety (i.e. Sephardim).

But after buying and reading this book, I now know that there is no such thing as a Jewish race (in the anthropological sense of the word). The concept of a "Jewish race" as perpetuated by Hitler and other anti-semites had truly fooled people like myself and others who grew up knowing little about Jews. As Jews became dispersed by persecution and massacres they brought along Judaism with them to almost every corner of the known world.

Not all went to Europe to become the ancestors of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim. Many settled in North Africa, the Middle East and Persia, Africa (i.e. Ethiopia)...and even travelled as far as India and China. In all these places, these Jews accepted proselytes/converts and married local women, who added their genetic material (and customs) into those isolated Jewish much so that these Chinese, Indian, Ethiopian, Persian, Afghan, Kurdish, Tat, Yemeni, Berber, Bukharan and Georgian Jews became physically indistinguishable from their Gentile neighbours and had very similar customs. In all these places, as the Gentiles became converts to Judaism, they and their descendants became an integral part of the Jewish people.

Similaly, the authors inform that a great many Jews & Israelites in North Africa, Persia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Yemen after the Islamic conquests converted to Islam (sometimes by force). No doubt they became absorbed by and contributed their genes to the aforesaid Muslim communities/peoples. Also, I thought that were only two Israelite kingdoms in history (i.e. Israel and Judah from the Bible) in the Holy Land, but several Israelite kingdoms were abroad. In fact, when Judaism spread with the Jewish dispersion, a number of peoples and kingdoms embraced Judaism.

Jewish kingoms in fact existed at one point in time from Berber North Africa in the West to Kurdistan and Western India in the East; and from Khazaria (modern day Russia/Ukraine) in the North to Yemen and Ethiopia in the South. Most of these kingdoms were small except for the Khazar Empire. The authors definitely deserves more than 5 stars for their research and the compilation of these facts into this truly intriguing book.

Mapping the world's Jewish population and migration patterns

JUDAISM is enjoying an unexpected revival, according to a special report to be published in the Economist.

The map and chart show where the biggest Jewish populations live and how this has changed over the past century.

In 1939, Jews numbered 16.5m people, up from 10.6m in 1900. By the end of the second world war, the Nazis had wiped out one-third of them, sweeping away a thousand years of Jewish civilisation in central and eastern Europe. The death toll might have been even higher, but a flurry of pogroms that started 60 years earlier across the then-tsarist empire had sent waves of Jewish emigrants westward. By the time Hitler struck, some 6m Jews were safe in North and South America and in Britain, with 3m more living in the Soviet Union. From 1948, most of the Jews of north Africa and the Levant emigrated. The break-up of the Soviet Union brought the latest big wave of Jewish migration to Israel in the early 1990s.

B’nai Ephraim from East and West: Telugu, Yoruba, I(g)bo, and Cherokee Identification with the Jewish People’

There are no less than three peoples in India, Nigeria, and the United States who identify as descendants as lost Jewish groups from the Tribe of Ephraim. In the last decades the Telugu Jewish community of Andhra Pradesh, India, the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, and the Cherokee native American Indians of Oklahoma have all claimed their Israelite roots, have visited Israel, some have converted to rabbinic Judaism, and they have written articles and books about their faith, lineage, and heritage. The Telugu have practiced Judaism since the 1980s and base their association as descendants of Ephraim as passed down orally throughout the generations.

The Bnai Ephraim live amongst the Yorubas rather than the Igbo people in some 20 villages in the Ondo district of southwestern Nigeria. The Igbo, with a synagogue in Lagos, are separate and claim descent from Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Bnai Ephraim in Yoruba kept portions of the Torah in their sanctuaries as opposed to the Igbo who practiced an Ancient Hebraic way of life without Torah. The Bnai Ephraim in Yoruba left Morocco in the 16 th century and speak a mixture of Moroccan Arabic with Yoruba and some remnants of Aramaic. Freeing themselves from hundreds of years of Christian missionizing, the Jubos in Abuja, also Igbos, formed the Tikvat Israel community; as well as the Gihon congregation; both read from Torah scrolls.

The Cherokee descents of Ephraim have a vast history of wandering through Africa under the Phoenicians, being taken into slavery in Nigeria as Igbos and sent to the United States, mixing in with Indian tribes such as the Aztecs and Mayas, and finally identified and mixed in with the black Creek and Cherokee Indian tribes in Oklahoma; although they roamed throughout via New York, Florida, and Louisiana. They also had contact with the Melungeons of Tennessee, who have Spanish crypto-Jewish roots. 

Their language has roots from Olmec and their Ten Commandments and Torah are written in Paleo-Hebrew. They have numerous stones which will be shown in the lecture depicting their history and faith. Since the Amariel family has revealed its history in 2006, historians and linguists have learned a lot of their origin, culture, and faith. Their Cherokee DNA reveals a mixed Iberian and American Indian ancestry.

Notes On the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel

Let us parse carefully the bare facts and findings:

 According to accepted lore, King Solomon died 2,900 years ago, roughly ca. the year 895 B.C. He left behind a son named Afghan (Aván), about whom we shall later read more. The North Kingdom consisted of the ten tribes; the South Kingdom was the home of the other tribes, JUDAH and BENJAMIN. Most Jews today claim descent from JUDAH, rightly or wrongly.

In modern Uzbekistan, which was once part of the USSR and is home to the great cities of Bokhara and Samarkand (which is Uzbekistani for "Samarian City"), there is a Jewish enclave still in existence, comprised of Samarian Jews. They live mainly in Samarkand, which is named after them. This gives the lie to the thought that modern Samaritans are separate from and enemies of the Jews, for they are Jews too.

There may very well be Danites among the Lemba Jews of South Africa.

Bene Yehudi, whom they consider "descendants of Indian Jews originally from Baghdad.

NAFTALI (NAFTALI) seemed to have reached China. In the city of Kai-feng there exists a community of Jewish descent, known today as the "Jews of Kai-feng" referenced simply as Chinese Jews. These people are labeled variously as Ju-dai, Yo-da, or Yu-dai, meaning "Jew". These Chinese Jews seem fully Chinese, but many have Semitic features and sentiments. 

At the same time the so-called "Nephtalite" Empire was ruling central Asia, an empire known as Z_vula was ruling in adjoining parts of India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

the Jews of Bombay think of themselves as descendants of shipwrecked Naftalites. Their cemetery is just outside Bombay, with grave markers that resemble Semitic ship anchors. Oddly, the graves have been shown to be both Naftalite and Zebulunite. Thus the Jews of Bombay are tied to the tribe of MANASSEH (MENASHE). Those of the community of Bombay who have immigrated to Israel immediately moved to the old lands once occupied by ZEBULUN (ZEVULON). There they congregate at Elijah's Cave.

Turkey, Iraq and Syria were once homes to many Jews. Afghanistan (Avánestan) still is home to Jews. The Khyber Pass (in Hebrew, Havor), well known as the only overland route into the Hindu Kush and India, lying in Afghanistan and stretching to Pakistan, is well guarded. The Afghani Pathan people, who call themselves Puchtun, are thought to be Jews but are of uncertain origin. The Pathan Jews believe that King Solomon's son Afghan is their ancestor. Scholars think the Afghani Pathan Jews are of the tribe of EFRAIM, descendants of whom seem most common in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They themselves merely call themselves Mosakhel, descendants of Moses.

2,300 years ago, Jews in Afghanistan and Pakistan were persecuted. They are absolutely hated there today. Most fascinating of all was the discovery of Buddhist Law petroglyphs, placed there by the Emperor Ashoka in the 4th century B.C., written in Hebrew and Aramaic. It beggars the imagination: Buddhist Dharma written in Aramaic for the sake of Jewish communities in Afghanistan! 

Off the coast of Tunisia on the Ile de Djerba (Island of Yerba), there was discovered an entire community of LEVI Jews. They claim to be ritually pure priests, awaiting the day of the shofar blast that calls all Jews back to Eretz Yisroel (Yisrael) under the Messiah. Then they will be at the ready, eager to serve at the restored Temple in Jerusalem. This Jewish community is famous for its silversmithing, and is generally recognized as the oldest Jewish community on earth. These Kohanim arrived on the island after the destruction of the 1st Temple. 

In the Southern United States, from southern Illinois to the Appalachian Mountain region, there exists a group of possible Jews. Known as Melungeons, many of them claim Jewish heritage. They are a perfect example of the trouble in hunting for old cultures; they are so racially mixed that there is no possibility of tracing their true origins without mtDNA testing for the Kohain (Kohen) Modal Haplotype.

Japan has long been suspected as a home of lost tribe communities. The Japanese language has many ancient Semitic words, and Jewish names, such as the surname Katsu ("Katz") and the given name J_shuya, are common. Another instance is the Hebrew term Kissu'i Rosh, meaning "to cover the head", which may have been a sort of title for scribes and rabbis. In Japanese, Hissui (Kissui) Roshi means "jade master".

Japan is famous for its indigenous, Eskimo-like Caucasian tribe called Ainu. There has never been speculation about the Ainu people being one of the Lost Tribes, but interestingly, they follow a general code of conduct similar to the Jewish one, and the men grow great, long beards. Most fascinating of all is the tribe's name: Ainu, which sounds like the Hebrew word for "father", avinu. Though perhaps ASHER landed in Japan, it seems more likely that any Jewish blood in Japan is of the tribes of NAFTALI (NAFTALI), MANASSEH (MENASHE) and ZEBULUN (ZEVULON). It seems ASHER is the most divided and perhaps permanently lost of the tribes. Japan must also be accepted as a possible haven for post-expulsion Sefardic refugees.

The Bene Lemba Jews of South Africa, scientifically proved to be Jews, are comprised of nearly every tribe, including LEVI. The Lemba seem to be closely related to Afghani/Pathan Jews, as they share surnames with them, such as Tsadikki and Suleimani. The Lemba Jews call themselves not only Bene Lemba but also "Israelites". There is a cause to move the Lemba Tribe in its entirety to Israel, but the Lemba prefer that the Messiah take them there.

The SAMARITANS, considered by Jews to be unclean, arrogant heretics and excommunicated enemies of Israel due to alleged Assyrian allegiance, continue to live and practice the ancient form of Judaism in Syria, Israel and parts of Uzbekistan. The Jews claim that today Samaritan practice is too Muslim, just as they outcaste them originally for allegedly cooperating with the Assyrian Empire. In Uzbekistan, they have, of course, assimilated into the general Jewish population– much of which was probably Samarian to begin with: and Samaria was the capital of the Israelite Jews' Northern Kingdom.

After the Assyrians fell, Samaria passed to the Babylonians and successive conquerors of Palestine. The Romans took the region and renamed the city "Sebaste"_ the modern village of Sebastiyeh (Sabastiyah) preserves the name. Today, Samaritan Jews continue to follow their version of the Torah. There are few left today, and these make their home near their ancient temple site at Mt. Gerizim, near N_bulus in the West Bank.

What is fascinating is that Jacobovici found among the Pathans and Puchtunwali practice the same kind of unforgiving Torah law as practiced by Samaritans. It is this fierce element that causes many scholars to misjudge the religious practice of Samaritan Jews as being tinged with Islam, though Islamic culture has had a deep impact on Samaritans in general.

Moses' time, time of Pharaoh Rameses III. Note that the following books were composed roughly in this time, ± 100 years: Torah, Vedas, Gathas, and Avesta. This makes an inexorable link between the Scriptures and religions of the Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Mithraics.

Ashanti means people of Ashan, name of a city in ancient Israel. It’s interesting to see a picture of an Ashanti priest with 12 different stones on his breastplate just like the Israelite priest. There are two good reasons to believe the Ashantis are from the priestly tribe of Levi. One is the mentioned breastplate that Ashantis use to wear. The other is the meaning of Ashanti, that means inhabitant of Ashan, a city in ancient Israel that belonged to the Levites. In the same way I attribute the Shans to come from the also ancient Israelite city of Beth-Shan.

The practice of circumcision is spread worldwide & in Australia is performed with a stone knife just as the Israelites of old did. This might prove the extension of the Hebrew diaspora worldwide. The extirpation of the clitoris from females was & still is practiced in some places like Africa, Islamic countries, Perú… & it’s considered a deviation from Israelite circumcision.

Scholars trace Samaria in Uzbekistan (Samarkand) Samara : KYUIBISHEV . In south Africa , the tribe of Lemba calls itself Bnei Dan just like the Fallashas and even The Igbos ...(Biafra) of Nigeria claim to belong to Dan and in fact Igbo is a travesti name of hebrew. Some AmerIndians from New Mexico claim or indeed did find stones with 10 commandments. In India ,there are Jews : Bnei Israel and NOT bnei Yehudi who claim an independent state of Israel inside India. around Manipur Mani (Menashe and pur :city).

We have Jews from Zvulon in China at Kai-feng who say they are YO'day, likewise many hebrew words are found in Japanese with different tonality etc..

New Jewish Communities Contacted by Kulanu in 2014

The new Jewish communities contacted by Kulanu in 2014 are: the Bnei Avraham in Shil doTatuape, Brazil,  India, Cameroon (Beit Yeshourun Sa’a & Beit Yeshourun Douala), Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and, most recently, in the Ivory Coast and Gabon. The name of Ivory Coast's congregation in Abidjan is Beith Israel (House of Israel). The last group we met in Abidjan were the Danites, an ethnic group of around two million native to Cote d'Ivoire, some of whom claim descent from the Tribe of Dan. Their traditional clothing seems to suggest tallitot (prayer shawls), which some take as a sign of Jewish origin. Though belief in their Israelite origin is widespread, most Danites are Christian or Muslim. A relatively small group is interested in exploring the practices of Judaism. A French documentary film was made about the group in 2008. The Danites we met were happy to talk about their Jewish connections and participate in the services at Beith Israel. Other communities: Javura Shirat Hayyam (Santa Marta, Colombia), Huanuco (Peru), Mexicali (Mexico), Quito (Ecuador), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Goiania (Brazil), Congregacion Israelita de Nicaragua.

Lost and "Found"

Here are some of the many claimants to being one of the lost tribes, in roughly decreasing order of likelihood:

The Falasha (Beta Israel) of Ethiopia. The Falasha are the most likely to be an actual lost tribe if there are any true claimants. They were ignored by mainstream Judaism for centuries, they originally spoke a Semitic language (Ge'ez), and they maintained vestigial cultural-religious aspects of Judaism.

The Lemba tribe of southern Africa. The Lemba speak a Bantu language, not a Semitic language. Some of the male members of the Lemba have the "Cohen modal haplotype" in their DNA, which is an indicator of Jewish ancestry through the male line. Since there is no proven matrilineal descent, they may not be "true" Jews.

There were real Jews who migrated to China, much later than the dispersal of the Lost Tribes, the Kaifeng Jews who arrived in China starting in 960 CE.

The Gogodala of Papua New Guinea. One of the authors of the Lemba study, Tudor Parfitt, went off the deep end and decided to investigate claims by the Gogodala that they were one of the lost tribes. 
Both the Bine and the Gogodala speak Papuan languages, whose speakers have most likely been in New Guinea for several thousands of years.

A variety of Pacific Island claimants to Jewish ancestry are discussed in the November 2015 issue of Oceania from Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

Searching for the “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel”

Some of the better known claims have been: the Ethiopians; the Ibos of Nigeria; the Berbers of North Africa; various Armenian, Afgan, and Persian groups of the Black and Caspian Sea regions; the Chiang-Min of Tibet; the Khazars; and the Karaites. Researchers have claimed to locate the Tribes all over the globe: the Masai of southeast Africa; the Yemenis; the Abyssinians; the Ganges Indians; the Kareens of Burma; the Shindai tribe of Japan; not to mention numerous Indian groups in the New World.

Toponyms of possible Biblical origin

Terms that may come from Canaan: poloKwaNe, balKaN, CueNca, CoNnery, o’CoNnor, cardigan, aKaN, KaNem, KaNuri, tibeto-KaNauri, GaNder, KaNaga, uGaNda, isawaGhaN, GhaNa, GuiNea (3 African countries & one Australasian), GaNdía, KeNnedy, CaNada, CaNaria, michiGaN, arKaNsas, KaNsas, braGaNza, briGaNte, KaNo, BorinQuéN, CoNnecticut, KiNdu, alarCóN, CaNCúN, aCoNcagua, KeNtucky, KeNya, yuKoN, burKiNa, turKaNa, KeN, QuiNdío, miKoNos, CoNgo (2 countries & one river), tanGaNyika, farafanGaNa, CuNene, KuNene, KaNanga, grytviKeN, KeNdall, turQuiNo, kilKeNny, KeNny, KuNta KiNte, balKaN, dunGaN, dunKaN, cardiGaN, KaNgua, KiNshasha, isawaGhaNKoNa, KhaN, KoNan, KoNar, GeNoa, GeNève, KoNya, shogun, alaGóN, araGóN, iberoGeN, CaNgas (2 Spanish villages from Asturias, one of the 2 Spanish CeLtic areas.).

Diaspora is GoLa in Hebrew & we may find it in several toponyms: CaRiñena (Similar to KaRen, KaRenni, KeRen…), Calais, CaLesa, hunGaRy, CoRnwall, CRimea, saKhaLin, KaLemie, benGaL, banGLadesh, KieL, GReece, CaRdigan, CaLais, CuéLlar, CuLlera, CaLaGuRris, GuLu, doneGal, GaRcía, GoLa, Celtic GaeL, anGLo, enGLish, GaLes (Wales in Romance languages), CaLpe, portuGaL, portuGaLete, GaLicia (twice), CaRranza, CaRrantuchill, KaRbala, KiRkuk, KaRen, KaRenni,  CaRdiff, CoRk, issyKuL, tulKaRem, CoRsica, CoRfu, GaLloway, GaLlway, anGoLa (in Africa, Indonesia as angKoLa, Book of Mormon & Cambodia as angKoR), CaLlaghan, CoLlins, CoLlis, CoLá, CaLGaRy, CaLlister, GeRmany, GaLdar, GuLkana, teguciGaLpa, seneGal, KoLa, pensaCoLa, madagasCaR, GoLan, GaLilea, GaLlia, GaLatia, CaLedonia, bulGaRia, KaRnataka, CaRrington, CaRmel, CaRranza, CaGaLdácano, GLenn, GoRki, QaLa (Malta), chilaQuiL, CaLvados, CaLi, mexiCaLi, buCaRamanga, GaRibaldi, guayaQuiL, CaRuarú, CReta, CRoatia, CaRacas, GaLdós, KiLkenny, KaLenga, KaLunga, CaRibbean, aKiRa, aChiLes, QuiRoga, QuiRós, CaLanda, CagLiari, CaLabria, acCRah, niGeR, niGeRia, monGoLia, mataGaLpa, KaLenjin, kiGaLi, KiLimanjaro, KaLima, KwaLe, manaKaRa, aGaLega, naCaLa, GweRu, KaLahari, benGueLa, KaRiba (in Africa), tulKaRem, KeRr, KeRry, KeLly, CaLafell, GaRriga, CaLaf, CagLiari, QueL, KaLimantan.

Some names that may come from DaN: DuNlop, TaNga, TaNa (KeNya), TaNa (Ethiopian lake), TaNganyka, TaNjona, maevaTaNana, banDuNg, keetDaNshoop, onDaNgwa, kaTaNga, DaNakil.

Names from HaM / CaM: kiGoMa, GoMa, KaMpala, inHaMbane, nGaMi, CaMbodia, CaM, GaMbla (in ancient Israel), GaMbia, KaMchatka, HyMalaya, HiMa, CaMeroon, HaM, KoMi, GeMena, 

Names from iSaaC: iShaQ (Somali entrepreneurial clan), iSawaGhan (Berber clan neighboring recognized offspring of the Jews: Iddao Sahak & iBeRogen), tawsSahaK, dawSahaK, iddaoSahaK, aSakrei, SueCa (town in Valencia , Spain ), nagaSaKi , ShiKoku, SaGa, SveriGe (Swedish in Swedish), SueCo (Swedish in Spanish), madagaSCar, EtruSQue, euSKeRa, gasCoN, vasCoN, vaSCon, gaSCon, euSKo, euSKal, euSKaL, tShiKapa, SwaKopmund, SeGovia, SiGüenza, ShoGun, SeGòlene, SeGóbriga, SaGunto.

Different Webs Regarding Different Beliefs Over Locations of Israelites

Christian Zionist

Messianic Christian

Latter-day Saint or Mormon (Native Americans & Polynesians are Israelites)

Black Israelites:

Israelites in Japan

Heterodox Muslims (mainly located in the M. East) are Israelites
Middle Eastern & other Muslim Hidden Israelite:

Lost Tribes' webs

Jewish Indian sites

Main webs looking for Lost Israelite Tribes

Maps with other points of view on the ethnic groups from the Middle East different than the classic ones

Some remarkable Jewish webs from Spain


Israelite webs                   

Videos & movies on Israelites today & in ancient times

Web on sacred books: Bible, Koran...


Web of everything, including videos

Shavei Israel's Goals

Shavei Israel strives to extend a helping hand to all members of our extended Jewish family and to all who seek to rediscover or renew their link with the people of Israel.

Shavei Israel believes that Jewish People is a family with links that never vanish completely; our endeavor is to strengthen the links wherever they may have been weakened by history, distance or social parameters.

The Need: The Jewish people are currently facing a demographic and spiritual crisis of unprecedented proportions. Our numbers are shrinking, Jewish commitment is waning, and more and more young people are leaving the fold. And yet, simultaneously, an extraordinary awakening is taking place. From northeastern India to southern Spain, from the coast of Portugal to the shores of Brazil, countless numbers of people are trying to make sense of their Jewish ancestry, wrestling with profound questions of history, identity and self. Many are literally knocking on our collective door, looking for a way to enter.

This presents the Jewish people with a tremendous opportunity to reinforce its ranks and reinvigorate its spirit by extending a courteous hand to all those who wish to return. Shavei Israel is the only Jewish organization today that is actively reaching out to “lost Jews” in an effort to facilitate their return. We are not merely a research team. We approach each case on a human level, lending guidance and understanding in tracing Jewish roots, exploring Jewish history and evaluating options for returning to the Jewish people.

The How-To’s of “Return”: Returning to the Jewish people does not and should not involve coercion or compulsion. It is a deeply personal decision and cannot be imposed from the outside. It may result from a desire to recover a lost heritage, or from an intense need to understand various inherited customs and family traditions. But whatever the source, Shavei Israel supports, guides and provides assistance for these personal journeys however varied they may be. Shavei Israel opens the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity. Shavei Israel does not proselytize nor does it support any form of missionary activity. Shavei Israel responds to personal expressions of desire to return to Judaism.

We Find the Term Saba, Seba, Sava... in Different Parts of the Globe, Nt by Chance.
"SEBA," the son of Cush, is the SABEANS in S. ARABIA (modern town is As Sabya) (Ant. 1:6:2). Isaiah 45:14 says the "SABEANS" are "men of stature" and Herodotus says Ethiopians are "the tallest ... people in he world" (3:20). This would include the WAHIM or BAHIMA of Uganda, the WATUSSI of Rwanda and Burundi, and the MASAI of Tanzania who are all very tall. The native name of the island of MEROE (near Egypt and Ethiopia -- Isa.43:3; 45:14) is SUBA (see Josephus) in SUDAN today!

Some African tribes are called WA-SIBA (Eastern Bantu Negroids), ISUBU (Negro Bantu Transitional) and SAPE (Negroes) (Brit.1:329). In Mozambique is the SAVE River. Fra Mauro's Map (1457) labels south central Africa "SABA" (17:642) while Behaim's Globe labels Ethiopia "SABA" (17:644c). We find SEBDU fort in Algeria (1:651c) and a SEBU river in both Algeria (5:37c) and Morocco (18:851, D1) and a SEBUNGA district and SEBAKWE river in South Africa (25:466, H2). Dravidians (of INDIA and CEYLON) were anciently called "SIBAE" (Smith's Class. Dict., p. 145). An INDIAN god is called "SIVA" (ancestor worship).

"SABAH" province, the city of SIBU, SAVU Island (17:466) E5) and SAVAI (17:466, F3) are located in Malaysia and SEBANGKA island (26:71, B-C2) as well as SIABA and SIABU towns all in Sumatra (26:71, A2). In Java is SEWANG (15:291) and SEWU Plateau (15:494c). We find SEBUKU island Borneo (4:257, C3) and the Bay of SEBANGAU Borneo (4:257, B3). In fact, both Micronesian and Polynesian races are dark-skinned and have straight black hair (Acad. Am. 16:34). 

"The traditions of many of the Polynesian peoples tend to make SAVAI, the largest of the Samoan Islands, their ancestral home in the East Pacific" (Brit.22:33d). In the West Indies we find SABA Island (28:544, F3). They came "from the Indian Archipelago" (22:33d). Australian aboriginees are Dravidian or SEBA also (9:851; 2:749a). In Fiji SAVU SAVU Point (10:335, B1) and in Samoa SAVAII Island (20:436, N8). In the Philippines many place names begin with SIB (29:727-728). 

Can There Be Such High Number of People With Some Israelite Blood?

85% of the people of the world has at least some Jewish/Israelite blood.

Tribal Ensigns or Tribal Banners

Reuven's flag was red (odem-ruby) with a picture of a mandrake plant of the kind brought to his mother.

Shimon's flag was green (petedeh-topaz) with a picture of the city of Shechem that he helped destroy.

Levi's flag was tri-colored, red, white, and black (bareketh-a multi-colored crystal) with a picture of the Urim V'Tumim-the breastplate of the Kohain Gadol.

Yehuda's flag was sky-blue (nofekh-garnet or carbuncle) depicting a lion. As the verse states, "Yehudah is a young lion" Ber. 49:9)

Yissachar's flag was dark-blue (sapir-sapphire) with a picture of the sun and the moon. The descendents of Yissachar were experts in astronomy and determining the calendar.

Zevulan's flag was white (yahalom-diamond or pearl) depicting a ship. The tribe of Zevulan were merchants who ventured across the seas doing business. They were able to support their own tribe as well as provide for the tribe of Yissachar who spent their time studying and teaching Torah.

Dan's flag was opal colored (leshem-opal) depicting a snake. As Yaakov described Dan, "Let Dan be as a snake"

Gad's flag was part white and black although his stone was turquoise(shevo- agateor turquoise). It depicted the outline of an army camp since Yaakov blessed him to be victorious in battle.

Naftali's flag was off red in color (ahelemah-amethyst) depicting a deer.

Asher's flag was emerald colored ( Tarshish-beryl) depicting a tree.

Yoseph's flag was deep black (shoham-onyx) depicting the two princes, Menashe and Ephrayim and the capital city of Miyzrayim.

Ephrayim's flag had the picture of an ox because Yehoshua came from Ephrayim and Moshe referred to Yehoshua as an ox. "His glory is like a first-born ox." (Divarim 33:17)Yehoshua was the “first-born” referred to in the Pasuk.

Menashe's flag depicted the form of aurochs (re'em). This referred to Gideon (one of the Judges) who descended from Menashe. Moshe prophesied about Gideon when he said, "and his horns are the horns of an aurochs." (Divarim33:17)

Binyamin's flag was multicolored. (his stone was a yeshefeth-jasper). Depicted on the flag was a wolf. "Binyamin is a vicious wolf" (Ber. 49:27)



According to the Old Testament Jacob had twelve sons and at least one daughter by two wives and two concubines.

When Israel was divided among the tribes of Israel by Joshua, the tribes of Levi and Simeon did not receive large areas but given cities with surrounding open space. Jacob elevated his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph by his Egyptian wife Asenath to the status of full tribes replacing and multiplying the single Tribe of Joseph.

When Israel was divided among the tribes of Israel by Joshua, the tribes of Levi and Simeon did not receive large areas but given cities with surrounding open space. Jacob elevated his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph by his Egyptian wife Asenath to the status of full tribes replacing and multiplying the single Tribe of Joseph.


The Kingdom of Israel (North) and Judah (South)

The kingdom of Solomon was divided after his death in ca.931. His son Rehoboam increased taxes and provoked a rebellion of the ten northern tribes. They elected a king of their own, Jeroboam, and chose a new capital, Tirzah near Shechem. This was the beginning of the history of the two kingdoms:

Israel in the north, with a swift succession of ten dynasties.  In ca722 it was made an Assyrian province and its population deported.  These are the ‘lost tribes’.  

Judah in the south, where the house of David continued to rule until 586.  They are the ancestors of modern Jewry.


Many groups claim descent from specific Lost Tribes but preliminary scientific evidence such as Y-DNA testing, specifically Haplogroup J, would exclude many of them. 

Some of these groups include: 1 Bene Ephraim of Southern India, 2 Nasranis of Kerala (ancient Malabar), 3 Bene Israel of South Asia, 4 Bnei Menashe of India, 5 Beta Israel of Ethiopia, 6 Bukharian Jews of Central Asia, 7 Persian Jews, 8 Igbo Jews of Africa, 9 Samaritans

Groups claiming descent from a non-specific Lost Tribe. Some groups believe they are descended from one of the Lost Tribes, but don't know which one. These include: 1 Lemba people of Africa, 2 Pashtuns of the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. 3 Chiang Min people of China, 4 Kaifeng Jews,5 Bedul, Petra.

Other ethnic groups: 1 Scythian / Cimmerian Theories (1 British Israelism variant, 2 Brit-Am variant, 3 Other variants), 2 Kurds, 3 Japanese, 4 Irish, 5 Native Americans, 6 General dispersions, via Media region. 7 Nathan Ausubel's list (Nathan Ausubel wrote: “There are quite a number of peoples today who cling to the ancient tradition that they are descended from the Jewish Lost Tribes: the tribesmen of Afghanistan, the Mohammedan Berbers of West Africa, and the six million Christian Igbo people of Nigeria. Unquestionably, they all practice certain ancient Hebraic customs and beliefs, which lends some credibility to their fantastic-sounding claims.” In his 1953 work Pictorial History of the Jewish People, Nathan Ausubel compiled the following list of peoples connected in one way or another to this legend: Baghdad, Iran, Kurdistan, Yemen, Georgia, Bokhara, Hadhramaut, Mountain Jews, Afghanistan, Bene-Israel, Cochin Jews, China, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Djerba, The Sahara Cave Dwellers = Atlas Mountains south of Tripolitania and Tunisia. Closely related to the Jews of the Sahara, they believe that their ancestors were brought as captives from Judea by Titus after 70 AD. They cut out tiny paper boats which decorate their synagogues where they pray: May a boat soon come and carry us to Jerusalem. The Falashas = Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Claim to have come with the Queen of Sheba to visit King Solomon. The Samaritans = Nablus (Shechem). Claim to be from the tribes of Ephraim, Menashe, and Levi, and built a rival Temple on Mount Gerizim in the days of Ezra. Karaites)

Other traditions: 1 Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

SHAVEI ISRAEL is an Israeli-based Jewish organization that locates "lost Jews" and assists them in returning (Hebrew "teshuva" תשובה) to Judaism.  Founded by Michael Freund it is a team of academics, educators and rabbinical figures.

Shavei Israel  

* comprises a team of academics, educators and rabbinical figures who reach out to “lost Jews” and assist them in coming to terms with their heritage and identity in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.

* was founded by Michael Freund and has the support of different rabbinical authorities in Israel and the United States of America

* extends a helping hand to all members of our extended Jewish family and to all who seek to rediscover or renew their link with the people of Israel.

Shavei Israel focus’ on:

• the descendants of anousim (crypto-Jews in Spain, Portugal, South America and elsewhere);

• the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (such as the Bnei Menashe of India);

• Subbotniks (descendants from a group from Russia who have converted to Judaism);

• Kaifeng Jews (descendants from an assimilated Chinese community);

• Hidden Jews from Poland (descendants from Jews adopted by Catholic families during the Second World War or Jews that hid their Judaism during the communist era);

• Jews from the Amazon who were descendants of assimilated Moroccan Jews who arrived for commerce

• Inca Jews.  Peruvians  from the Inca area of Peru who converted to Judaism

• San Nicandro An Italian community who converted to Judaism.  Today most of them live in Israel though San Nicandro still a women's community.

• descendants of assimilated Jews who wish to rekindle their connection to Judaism and the Jewish people;

• anyone touched by the spark of Judaism and is sincerely considering conversion and requires assistance so helping anyone wishing to return to the Jewish people


Kulanu is a network of people with a variety of backgrounds and religious practices. They do not proselytize: groups and individuals ask for their help; they are not sought out.

Kulanu is involved with several "developing" Jewish communities around the globe that are not yet recognized by all of world Jewry. Some of these groups are returning to long-forgotten Jewish roots. Others have embraced Judaism on their own, often in complete isolation. In either case, Kulanu helps supply educational materials, scholarships, Jewish ritual objects and prayer books, teachers, and rabbis. The communities benefit by forming closer ties to the world Jewish community, and mainstream Jews benefit as they are reminded of the richness of their own religion. Below is a list of "developing" Jewish communities as well as a variety of other Jewish communities around the world.

Jewish Communities Worldwide: * Abayudaya (Uganda), * Anousim, * Cameroon, * China, * Ethiopia, * Ghana, * India, * Lemba, * Mexico, * Nigeria, * Portugal, * Suriname, * Uganda (see Abayudaya)

Masais & Incas Related?

WHY IS ENKAI, THE Creator god of the Maasai, almost the same as Enki, who created the Sumerians, as well as Enoch, the Canaanite hero who  stormed heaven, and Inca, the divine chief of the ancient Andeans?

 Is it accidental that if you reverse the syllables of those names - a  word-game which ancient societies played all the time - you get Ka'in of the Sumerians, Kainan of the Canaanites, Cain of Genesis and Chanes of Mesoamerica?

The Maasai are likely to have come from around Napata and Meroe, the  seat of a celebrated Nilotic state where, at Nag Hammadi, ancient  gospels have recently been discovered which connects the authors with the Melchizedekian order to which Jesus belonged.

 All this may indicate why the worshippers of Enkai called themselves  Maasai. Cynthia Salvadori translates the word Maasai as "people of Maa speech." But that begs the question: What exactly is "Maa speech?" An answer that suggests itself is that Maa is another name for Enkai.

 Moreover, if Enkai is cognate with the Sumerian Enki, the Canaanite  Enoch, Genesis's Cain, the Andean Inca, the Mexican Chanes, to this list we can add the ancient Western African kingdom of Ghana and, in modern Ghana, the Akan.

 Robert Graves in The Greek Myths and Robert Temple in The Sirius Mystery report that Canaan is only a Hebrew corruption of Aganor - the Ugandan who became the eponymous father of the Canaanites - a name which closely resembles Ghana.

 They and Cheik Anta Diop - the great Senegalese archaeo-historian - demonstrate a direct cultural, mythological, linguistic and blood link between Cush, Egypt, Crete, Arcadia, Thessaly, Armenia, Lemnos, Canaan, Garamantia (ancient Libya), Dogon, Bambara, Wolof and Akan.

The mystery of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel has fascinated people through the ages. Explorers claim to have discovered evidence of them from Australia to Siberia. 

Tutsi/Batutsi/Batusi/Watusi/Wahuma/Tetse "Tutsi Judaism" "Kushim Jews" Batutsi people /Watosi/Wahuma/Banyamulenge/Tutsi/Batusi/Watusi/Batutsi/Abatusi & Bahima/Hima/Hema (used generically to include Batutsi, Bahima, Bahororo and Banyamulenge but who use different names and speak local languages). Kinyarwanda is similar to Kifumbira (a Uganda version of Kinyarwanda)

Israel has, to date, not recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. It took many years before the Chief Rabbinate recognized the Bnei Menashe as Jews, and it is thought that in due time the Igbo will also be recognized as descendants of Israel. One of the theories as to why Israel is reluctant to recognize the Igbo is because it has enjoyed good relations with Nigeria, and as the Igbo are a seccessionist tribe, recognizing them as part of Israel may injure political and economic ties between the two countries.

Could you give a complete list of every Lemba village, Lemba town, Lemba city including the region, province, district, state & country where that particular village, town or city is placed?Lembas are much concentrated on the mining belt from Mozambique to South Africa. In Zimbabwe , we are found in the areas of Wedza, Buhera, Gutu , Majiri, Mapakomhere, Renco Mine, Chivi, Mberengwa and Dande. These places I have mentioned are not far from each other. These places are found in the Manicaland province, Masvingo province and the Midlands province. There are leaders whom you can approach in these communities , eg the Lemba chiefs, or the Lemba headman. Currently , because of my influential public office, I am their spokesman. You can find the Lemba last names if you go to one of our Facebook groups, Lemba cultural association LCA. In South Africa, you find them at a place called, Mussina and Thouyandou. Lemba villages are found in these places. Sorry I cannot know all their names.  I think the first thing for the Lemba is that all practice Judaism since some are Christian & some others are Moslem. Then they have to be more united amongst themselves & realize in the elections that they are not common gentile Zimbabweans but Lemba, the People of the Covenant, like the rest of the Israelites. Maybe you should gather together in one location to be more unified. Maybe you should all the 70000 Lemba gather in the village Mapakomhere & turn it into a thriving practicing Jewish city of 70000 Lembas. Then one day you may be acknoledged as Jewish & from there make aliyah..

If there was a Jewish Shoah, Jewish Holocaust or simply Shoah or Holocaust we can call the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi as the Tutsi Shoah or Tutsi Holocaust & we can say the same about the Ibo Holocaust in Nigeria calling it "Igbo Shoah".

Gituutsi was the lingua franca of Kitara empire & came from Kushitic.Scholars comsider it part of the Afro-Asian languages. The Tutsi and Hima, despite being surrounded by Bantu populations, are "closer genetically to Cushites and Ethiosemites or Ethiopian Semites". The Gituutsi spokenby the Tutsi & Hima is the Judeo-Kushitic Yiddish of Central and East African. The Kirundi denomination coined by the missionary & the colonial reporters who were planning to break down the Tutsi Jewish cultural & political legacy to erase their memory as people & as Jews. The purpose was to re-write the history of the Tutsi-Hima Hebru people & civilization which were being.

Shepherd peoples: Tutsi/Abatutsi, Maasai, Peul/Fulani, Toubous.  We have had the Beta Israel of  Ethiopia return and accepted as Jews.  Following them have come the Bene Israel of India and recently and still arriving are members of the Shinlung tribe from the Indian-Burmese border.  "Thousands more are desirous of coming.  Other claims waiting in line are the Ibos of Nigeria, the Berbers of North Africa, various Armenian, Afghan and Persian groups of the Black and Caspian Sea regions, the Chiang-Min of Tibet, Khazars and Karaites.  Now the Masai of southeast Africa have claims and references as well as Yemenis, Abyssinians, Ganges Indians, Kareens of Burma, the Shindai tribe of Japan and Indian groups in the New World (America).

JEWISH COMMUNITIES: BETA ISRAEL, BETH YESHOURUN OF CAMEROON (Converts from Christianity), Beth-Avraham, ABAYUDAYA OF UGANDA (Converts from Christianity), The House of Israel Community of Ghana (or Sefwis), The Community of Rusape, Zimbabwe (Converts from Christianity), KASUKU Jews of Kenya (Converts from Christianity), Cape Verde-Israel Friendship Society, ZAKHOR JEWS of Mali, Qiang (Ch'iang, Chiang-Min, Erma), Yibir, Gogodala, Baluba, Shindai Japanese, Hima/Hema, Toubous, Fulani/Peuls, Maasai, Yoruba, Karen. There are laims of a historic presence of Jewish communities in certain regions of Africa ... such as the Malinke, Peul, Foulani, Mossi, Fanti, Songhay, Yoruba and Hausa.

Including the 1,500 who have already made aliya). This is more than natural growth.

The governments in Israel let the Falash Mura problem in Ethiopia fester for over 20 years and they were surprised when the numbers changed. The Bnei Menashe are not the Falash Mura though. We have a well-defined number this time with clear boundaries. Besides steady natural growth, there is no issue of tens of thousands of them jumping on the aliya bandwagon,\rdblquote  Freund says. And any way, what would be so bad if in 50 years there were 50,000?

In your article on Ethiopia you correctly said that the Beta Israel (also known as Falasha, Ayhud or Kayla)are all about to immigrate to Israel by (October) 2013. These are Ethipian Jews. The Falash Mura were Christian relatives of the Beta Israel apparently were obligated to become Christians & now once Jewish back again are being airlifted to Israel. Nevertheless there are other Jews which in this case are crypto-Jews an they are the Beta Abraham (Beta Avraham or Kechene Jews). They are more than 150,000 people:

The concept of a Jewish state does not refer to Judaism as a religion, but rather as a nationality and culture. Israel would remain committed to protecting the rights of all its citizens and residents, regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender.

Jewish Kohanim Buba clan of the Lemba is strongly related to the Beta Abraham of Ethiopia or House of Abraham who are also called Buda. Now Herodotus being not colorblind was not doubting at all the color of the people when asking. No He was asking, where did those Jews being a black skinned people, originally come from. all that is left is what apellation such as Dravidian, Aboriginal Vedic Ethiopian or whatever to apply. Incidentally India or Hindu Cush means "black". Cush being the Ethiopians. India was once considered an extension of Ethiopia. Just like " the middle East" now referenced by Asia, is actually in the middle of  Africa.

The Jewish Kingdoms of the South Kush (commonly called the African Great Lakes) and the Jewish Kingdoms of West Africa. The Tutsi (or Batutsi/Watutsi) are the traditional keepers of the South Kush Jewish Kingdoms. In West Africa, the Toubous are the traditional keepers of the West Africa Jewish Kingdoms.

The Tutsi and the Toubous share the same origins as their cousins, the Jews of Ethiopia, tracing their common ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Israeli Chief Rabbis Avraham Ytzchak Kook and Ovadia Yosef, and US Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, would have included the Tutsi and the Toubous as descendents of Dan, following the 1500s responsum of a renowned Orthodox Rabbi, Rbadaz, Rabbi David ibn Zimrah. In fact, numerous branches of the Tutsi elite belong to the Judah lineage. The Tutsi Jewishness was obstructed by the Christian Inquisition that took place since the 1920s, and was never addressed until the late 20th Century. At that time, Havila Institute in Brussels dedicated huge efforts to enhance the re-connection of the Tutsi people to their Jewish heritage, and helped raise awareness among concerned Jewish institutions.

The Toubous face a similar but more ancient case of obstruction. They were forcibly converted to Islam centuries ago by the successive Jihads.

I want you also to pay attention to it as well,especially if you are of Oromo descent. Here are two articles regarding the Tutsi people of Rwanda, Congo, etc. ==> The first article clearly quotes that,"Professor Yochanan (Jean) Bwejeri is a member of the Bene-Zagwei clan of the Tutsi people of Burundi. He claims that he is a Jew by birth. His ancestors and the ancestors of all Tutsi were all Jews by birth and not by conversion. Except where I write in the first person, I relate these claims and the facts and opinions upon which they are based as they were told to me by Professor Bwejeri  and as often as possible in his words." Notice the article quotes that Professor Yochanan (Jean) Bwejeri is a member of the Bene-Zagwei (Sons of Zagwei) clan of the Tutsi? Are not these Zagwei as in Zagwe notthe Bete Israel of the Zagwe dynasty who built the beautiful Churches in Lalibela, Ethiopiawe? Here are some interesting movies on the Tutsi Hebrews. ==> v=aGbAwEpaKOs

I have been watching the research of brothers/sisters who continue to seek whyEthiopians call themselves Habasa or Habesha. When you break the word Habasa downinto the ancient Hebrew, you get Ha = the, ba = sons, and sa(m) = Shem. What I amsaying makes sense because when you refer to the Wiki article on Shem it begins bysaying that,"Shem (Hebrew: "renown; prosperity; name")" Notice that the ancient Hebrew word sa(m) = Shem from above is exactly the same pronunciation and word as the Arabic word for Shem = Sam and the Ge'ez word for Shem = Sem? What I teach you Bete Israel makes very much sense because Habasameans "The sons of Shem", and when you break down the modern version of it which isHabesha in modern Hebrew, you get Ha = the, be(ne) = sons, and sha = Shem, or  basically said, "The sons of Shem". What I teach makes even more sense because theBasa Lemba as in Habasa Lemba as in Habesha Lemba of South Africa say that when theAssyrians came against the land of Canaan (Israel) in 721 BC, which in that time I am proud to say it was a part of the 25th dynasty of Kemet aka the ancient Kushite Empire, that they first fled to Yemen (Saba), which may explain why Ge'ez inscriptions were foundthere; from Yemen (Saba) they fled into mother Ethiopiawe where many stayed whileonly a small portion of them went into Zimbabwe and built the country there. The BasaLemba as in Habasa Lemba as in Habesha Lemba that settled in mother Ethiopiawe became known as the Bete Israel aka Falasha. We also know that the nation of Zimbabwein which they built is known as "The Land of King Solomon's Mines". What I havetaught above makes even more sense because when you remove the "ha" in "Habasa" you obviously get Basa, as in Basa or Basaa Lemba.

According to this web link, "List of Bantu Language Names" under the heading A.43 Basaa, you clearly see that Basa akaBasaa is a Bantu word. ==> Also"African Tribal Names", you will see that Basaa are a tribefound in Cameroon, Liberia, and Nigeria.==> Names.htmWith that being said, if you Bete Israel were paying attention, the "we" pronunciation isfound in Ethiopiawe, Zimbabwe, and Zagwei (Zagwe). We Ethiopiawe Hebrew Israelites are extremely intelligent people, and us founding the first civilization is an example of this intelligence. We have even built the great civilization of Babel/Babylon (America), and also built theoriginal great civilization of Babel/Babylon in the so called middle east which isconferred in Genesis 10:8-12 when it was founded and ruled by Nimrod the Ethiopian ason of Kush the Ethiopian.

Abraham himself was born in this land of ancient Babel/Babylon founded and ruled by Nimrod the Ethiopian a son of Kush the Ethiopian. Abraham even in Genesis 15:18 inherited these same lands in which he was born which began from the rivers Egypt (Nile) to the Euphrates, which is modern day Canaan (Israel), Kemet (Egypt), Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen (Saba), Arabia, and Iraq; these are the same lands in Genesis 2:11-14 which are the Garden of Eden and in history was known as the ancient Kushite (Ethiopia) Empire. This is why I stress to you young Ethiopia Hebrew Israelites the essence andimportance of education, because education is what sets your mind free from mental slavery. You Ethiopia Hebrew Israelites have to study your history from a Biblical perspective. I am disappointed that many of you did not pay attention to the World Cup in South Africa, where your people the Basa Lemba as in Habasa Lemba as in HabeshaLemba live, and who in past times fought against and won against Apartheid under the Ethiopianism movement.

Today, Tutsis in increasing numbers are seeking shuvah, return. Like the Western Jews, they envision geulah, redemption. They deserve pro-active support and monitoring from concerned Jewish organizations and networks. Like the Western Jewish Diaspora, the Tutsi Jews, some parts of which have been forcibly converted to Christianity and forbidden to practice the ways of YH, are People of Israel, no less than the Falasha Mura of Ethiopia.

Beta Abraham: The size of the community is estimated to be somewhere upwards of 150,000 in number.

There are people which say Jews come from places like India, Ethiopia or other ethnic look are not real Jews but converts to Judaism. The fact is that in ancient times Israelites or Jews mixed with other people that were sojourning with them therefore they look Asian or African. The Lembas look purely black but their DNA says they came partially from the ten lost tribes of Israel. The rabinnic establishment of Israel is not very willing to accept Igbos, Mizos, kukis, Pashtuns...

The word translated as Ethiopía in verse 5 of some Bible versions actually comes from the word Cush which designates the region of the Hindu Kush Mountains which straddles Afghanistan and Pakistan and is the home of strong anti-American, pro-Taliban sentiment.

There must be Israelites in all continents

Jews in Israel are interested in finding all the "Lost" people of the 10 tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, some of Benjamin, Manasseh, Ephraim, Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali. The tribes that had remained in Israel and were not lost were Levi and Judah and some of Benjamin. The reason for the interest is that it is said that when all the "Lost" are found again, there will be peace in the land. Also, for DNA science, it is most interesting to discover what has happened to us all, I think. To learn that the Maasai have E1b which is also a main haplogroup for many Jews is absolutely exciting. I'm so glad that Masais have been "found" once again.

Could you send me a copy or the link of where to buy "The Tutsi Jewish Handbook"? I'm not talking about The brief pamphlet which is a free of charge PDF. In the free PDF it's mentioned "The Tutsi Jewish Handbook" with that title. Do you know the exact or approximate location of the Tutsis & relatives in Rwanda, Burundi & Uganda & R.D. Congo ? Thanks in advance.

Why don't you try to reach Muslims with Jewish/Israelites origins to bring them back to Judaism? For example the Pashtun, Iberogen (Berber tribe), Yibir, Palestinians, Iddao Ishaak (Berber tribe), Isaaq clan (Somalia) ...How about Banyamulenge, Hima, Masai, Samburu, Hata clan (Japan), Knanaya (India), Cherokee (USA), Kurds, Zazas, Chiang (China), Karen (Myanmar), Kashmiri, Kukish ...? I know they don't practice Judaism anymore but missionaries can be sent to come back to the religion of their ancestors. 

Let's not forget the 32 million Anusim of Latin America, the Chuetas of Mallorca (Spain), the other Anusim in Spain, Portugal & Italy (especially concentrated in the south), the 1 million crypto-Jews from Poland or more. The Druzes (& many Palestinians, especially Bedouins) recognized their Jewish or Israelitish origin. At least the Likud member of the Knesset, Mr. Kara recognizes it.

Besides the Ashkenazim & Mizrahim, most of the immigrants that perform conversions & aliyah come from Third World countries. There's nothing wrong with that, but there must be millions of Israelites in Western European countries.

The Two-House Movement (BritAm, British Israel, Churches of God, Armstrongism...) is a large one with so many branches that sometimes are diverging but all of them believe "The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel" are the Western Europeans & their of spring: Britain, France, Holland, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Australia, USA... These groups believe the word "British" from Hebrew Brit (Covenant) and Ish (Man or People), the People of the Covenant. They also believe that ancient Celtic Druids were Levites indeed and many other interesting things like that. They are not Jewish because they don't come from Judah but from the other tribes. Some people have gone to Israel from some of these countries as Ephraimites, but really tiny groups & probably not under the Law of Return. Why not to bring them as Ephraimites, Reubenites, Manassehites as they believe to be?

Israelite Christians, Israelite Muslims, Israelite Buddhists & Israelite Pagans

The G-d of Israel proclaimed that there are only two groups of people who will be restored back into covenant with Him, the Jews of the House of Israel and the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel. Both families, the Jews and the Israelites were scattered across the face of the earth and would become HaShem emissaries incognito sent to elevate the 70 nations of the world, so that even Righteous Gentiles could become part of the covenant. Even the children of Ishmael still rooted in Islam, the children of the Lost Ten Tribes who today are now Buddhist, or the Lost Ten Tribes who today call themselves Christians will be assimilated into the Jewish culture. This will be because deep in their hearts they are known by the Divine to be “safe to save” and willing to live in peace with their brothers; all descendants of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Only the G-d of Israel knows who they are. 

We are quickly being polarizing a world in which there will be only two choices; we are either for the Hebrew Israelites; both now part of the Jews of the house of Judah and the Lost Israelites of the House of Israel or we will be against them. This comes to one sobering conclusion, if you are a descendant of the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel, whether Muslim, Buddhist or Christian, and you still despise your brothers, the Jews, you may be left outside, not redeemed to participate in the coming “Era of the Messiah” even though you think you want to be a part of them. 

So today, the G-d of Israel is whistling for you to come back home to the brotherhood of Klal Yisra’el (All Israel). To learn more about this redemptive process, you are Welcome to Contact “Kol Ha Tor”, the Voice of the Turtledove.  Here is a joint Orthodox Jewish and 10-Triber Vision to bring awareness of the imminent fulfillment of the Biblical Prophecies regarding the Redemption of all Israel (12 Tribes Re-conciled and Re-United). This super Event of all Times will entail establishing in the region of Shomron (the Ancient Bible Heartland of the Patriarchs) and the Judean Wilderness into a new homeland for the Return of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel when All Israel will finally be redeemed. 

Some groups that have come to the conclusion that their lives should be regulated by the Hebrew Bible

After the Khazars, other groups have come to the conclusion that their lives should be regulated by the Hebrew Bible, and as a result, they have come to observe the Sabbath, dietary laws and circumcision.

In the 17th century, the followers of John Traske left England for Holland to worship as Jews. In the 19th century, Russian Sabbath observers known as the Subbodniki sought to live as Jews, and some over time converted. Subbodniki still survive in Russia today, and many have emigrated to Israel. In 1919 an African military leader, after reading the Old Testament in Swahili, declared himself to be a Jew. He and his followers -- who today number about 800 -- are known as the Abayudaya of Uganda. Many of the Abayudaya were converted to Judaism by a Conservative Beth Din in 2002. A proselyte community in San Nicandro, Italy, was accepted as converts to Judaism in 1944, although they proclaimed themselves Jews in the early 1930s. 

There are Black Hebrews in the United States; American Indians in Mexico and Peru who profess to be Jews; and Christian sects in Japan who have taken a deep interest in Judaism.

All these groups appear to have come to Judaism on their own accord with little or no contact with the Jewish community. It would be unfair to assess Jewish reaction to those groups as though they all came from one pot since each group presented, and some continue to present, different issues to the Jewish community. But one theme pervades all of them: the initiative has rested with them, and only those groups who persevered despite threats from their neighbors and indifference from Jews have eventually been accepted as Jews.

Democracy for Israelite nations & Israelite tribes

The nations of Israel in the latter days identified as being democracies

One of the prophecies in one of the minor prophets identified the nations of Israel in the latter days as being democracies—that their princes (leaders) are from among themselves (chosen from among the people).

The prophecy which indicates that the latter-day nations of the house of Israel (and Judah) will be democracies is located in Jeremiah 30:21. This chapter is a prophecy about Jacob’s fate in the latter days (see verse 24 to confirm the time context). Verse 21 states of Israel and Judah: “their nobles shall be of themselves and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them…”  In ancient times and in modern non-democracies, nobles and governors (governmental officials) were/are selected from those born to royal blood or from individuals selected by kings and dictators.

This prophecy indicates that nobles and governors (governmental rulers) in the nations of the latter days tribes of Israel will be chosen from the “midst” of the people themselves. This can only happen in democracies where the common people can vote. Jeremiah 30:3-4 confirms this chapter’s prophecy applies to both latter-day Israel and Judah. Judah is the modern Jewish Israeli nation and it is a democracy. The USA, the UK and many European and western nations are the modern ten tribes of Israel. All are democracies, as prophesied in Jeremiah 30:21. The well-known phrase about “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” used by President Lincoln in his Gettysburg address, captures the meaning of Jeremiah 30:21 very well as Lincoln was talking about the Civil War being a test of whether elective republics/democracies would “long endure” or whether they would “perish.”

The mission of Kulanu

Kulanu (Hebrew for "All of Us") is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 that supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. Kulanu helps these communities and connects them with other Jews across borders and continents. All of our Jewish lives are enriched as we learn from one another.

The tribes of Israel will have democracies

The Igbos are a very democratic people like other Israelite peoples.

The tribes of Israel will have democracies. That includes the State of Israel, the Lemba, Kukish, Igbo & other Israelites as proclaimed in Jeremiah 30:21. This chapter is a prophecy about Jacob’s fate in the latter days (see verse 24 to confirm the time context). Verse 21 states of Israel and Judah: “their nobles shall be of themselves and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them…” This can only happen in democracies where the common people can vote. Jeremiah 30:3-4 confirms this chapter’s prophecy applies to both latter-day Israel and Judah. Judah is the modern Jewish Israeli nation and it is a democracy.

The USA, the UK and many European and western nations are the modern ten tribes of Israel. All are democracies, as prophesied in Jeremiah 30:21. The well-known phrase about “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” used by President Lincoln in his Gettysburg address, captures the meaning of Jeremiah 30:21 very well as Lincoln was talking about the Civil War being a test of whether elective republics/democracies would “long endure” or whether they would “perish.”

People that practice circumcision

The most celebrated people that practice circumcision are the Israelites, especially the Judahites or Jews.

Compared to the available history of circumcision in the Middle East, there is little verifiable evidence for its history among the Aboriginal Australians and Polynesians. What is known comes from their oral histories and accounts of missionaries and explorers.

Some groups in the Americas are known to have a history of circumcision. Christopher Columbus found circumcision in practice by the native Americans. It was also practiced by the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans.

It was and still it's practiced among many of current Americans Filipinos, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Koreans (thru American influence).

In the 19th Century was common practice among British.

Muslims are circumcised between 6 and 11 years old. Circumcision is widely practiced by the Druze. The procedure is practiced as a cultural tradition, and has no religious significance in the Druze faith. Male Druze infants are usually circumcised shortly after birth. The Pashtun practise circumcision on the 8th day like Jews, while Muslims perform circumcision usually at the age of 12 or 13, because of Yishmael, the father of the Arabs.

Circumcision is also commonly practised in the Polynesian islands of Samoa, Tonga, Niue, and Tikopia. In Samoa, it is accompanied by a celebration.

Among the Urhobo of southern Nigeria it is symbolic of a boy entering into manhood. For Nilotic peoples, such as the Kalenjin and Maasai, circumcision is a rite of passage observed collectively by a number of boys every few years, and boys circumcised at the same time are taken to be members of a single age set.

Non-Caucasian people of Israelite origin according to Brit-Am

People of Hebraic descent from the Lost Tribes from different regions and at various times reached the Americas before Colombus.

It is not our aim to dispute anything concerning the Jews of Ethiopia. In our opinion they are a portion of Judah and Judah is correct to recognize them regardless of where they came from. At all events this is an internal matter for Judah to decide upon. 

Those few hundred Shin lung who have come to Israel appear genuine and likeable on the whole.

Concerning the Chiang-Min. They may be descended partly from Jews or from Israelites.

Some Israelites may have reached Japan but I doubt if they were numerous.

The Khazars descend from the Lost Ten Tribes.

Armenians on the whole have been anti-Jewish but some descendants of Jews and Israelites are amongst them. Many of them were murdered by the Turks in an attempt at extermination.

The Roma or Gypsies probably come from India but some other element is intermixed with them.

The Huguenots in France were of Israelite and Jewish origin.

Brit-Am Replies: Igbo
(1. Words in Igbo have meanings in Biblical Hebrew. The Canaanites spoke a language similar to Hebrew. The natives of West Africa had traditions that both Israelites and Canaanites had settled amongst them. The name once given to the area, "Ghana" (whence we have "Guinea") is an Egyptian pronunciation of Canaan. (2. Concerning slavery and going back to Egypt in ships we have answered this question in our reply above to Tamika. It is interesting that the following chapter in Deuteronomy speaks of Erets Acheret (Another Land of New World) which was an name given to North America. [Deuteronomy 29:28] AND THE L-RD ROOTED THEM OUT OF THEIR LAND IN ANGER, AND IN WRATH, AND IN GREAT INDIGNATION, AND CAST THEM INTO ANOTHER LAND, AS IT IS THIS DAY. 

The Tutsi were identified by others as Israelites.

The peoples spoken about (Afridi, Pathans, etc) are merely a branch of the Afghans and we have discussed their alleged association with Israel elsewhere.

The Ashkenazi Jews are European Jews. They are named  "Ashkenazi" since in Rabbinical tradition "Ashkenaz" means Germany. The Jews of Europe were at one stage dominated by communities that had dwelt in Germany and received aspects of German culture such as Yiddish. There exists an idea that the Ashkenazi Jews descend from the Ten Tribes whereas Sephardi ("Spanish" or "Eastern") Jews come from Judah.

Brit-Am Comment: The Gion festival was held in one place in Japan and was a local custom NOT a national one and could therefore have pertained to a small number of people. The source of this tale could be the binding of Isaac. Isaac was the father of the twin brothers Esau and Jacob (Israel) so there is no reason why the descendants of Esau should not celebrate it. The Arabs also celebrate this event only in their version they substitute the figure of Ishmael for Isaac. Arimasa Kubo points to the Japanese Imperial crest that could resemble a 16 petalled sunflower. This was also a symbol found on Herod's gate in Jerusalem. [It has no known significance however in Jewish tradition. Herod himself was an Edomite]. Arimasa Kubo: <<Japanese Religious Priests "Yamabushi" Put A Black Box on their Foreheads Just As Jews Put A Phylactery on their Foreheads <<On the forehead of "Yamabushi," he puts a black small box called a "tokin", which is tied to his head with a black cord. He greatly resembles a Jew putting on a phylactery (black box) on his forehead with a black cord. The size of this black box "tokin" is almost the same as the Jewish phylactery, but its shape is round and flower-like. 

Brit-Am Comment: Jewish phylacteries ("tefilin" in Hebrew) are hard leather boxes containing parchment on which are written Biblical passages. They were always square-shaped. There is however a similarity between the Japanese custom and the Jewish one that could suggest Jewish influence at some time in the past. The same applies to references to a "tora-no-maki" (a scroll of the "tora") which has magical powers. "Tora" could derive from the Hebrew word "Torah".

Brit-Am Comment: Even though the Japanese today are largely of darkish Mongolian-type with sparse body hair they contain a brownish red-haired element which was once much more common amongst their warrior "Samurai-class". In Japanese cartoons and popular illustrations of themselves this brown-reddish element is still emphasized. A few years ago an American researcher  (C. Loring Brace, see below) caused a scandal when he claimed that the Samurai warriors were originally of despised "Ainu" origin. Since the Ainu are often of a relatively fair coloring this could explain the reddish-brown aspect of the Samurai. 

At all events the Japanese are not of Israelite descent though there may be a small minority of Hebrews amongst them in the same way as there could be such amongst any other group. It may be that the "Hairy Ainu" are descended from the original Horites of Seir who were conquered by descendants of Esau (Edom). it is almost certain that amongst the Samurai and ruling classes of Japan there was a lighter element of "Caucasian" type and build. These have been identified as a clan of the Ainu since they seem the most likely candidates and their descendants are still to be found in Japan. The Ainu are distantly related to both the Polynesians and the Aborigines of Australia. They are light skinned and combine aspects of both Caucasian and Mongoloid peoples. The possibility however should be considered that not the Ainu but a separate group (that was later thoroughly assimilated) of Edomites from the west comprised this determining element. 

Study about Israel and special the 10 lost tribes

I think that I have found that almost all the genocides in history were against Israel on one or another way.

For instance: 2e world war holocaust, against Armenians 10 tribes, against Roma 10 TRIBES, against Hugenuots 10 tribes, against Kurds 10 tribes, against Tutsi 10 tribes

There are maybe more.

The Romaniote Jews 

Romaniote Jews are Jews that have lived in Greece since the time of Alexander. They speak Greek and have Greek sounding names. The name "Romaniotes" appears to come from "Roman," denoting Jews who were part of the Roman Empire.

The Romaniotes are Jews who can trace their descent to the Jews that were taken to Rome as slaves after the destruction of the second Temple. Remember the famous relief sculpture on the Arch of Titus. They live in Greece and Italy. They are different from the Sephardic Jews who came after the Inquisition. Many of their communities were destroyed during Roman times because very often when the Judean Jews rebelled against Rome so did Jewish settlements outside and they suffered the consequences.

Recently genetic testing has been done on Romaniote Jews in Old Age Homes in Rome and there seems to be a common ancestry between Ashkenazi Jews and the Romaniotes. Romania was a province of Rome and Romanian is a Latin based language. We Ashkenazi Jews are all related to the Romaniotes but it seems that they have the most direct blood lines to the original Judeans.

Most of them were deported from Greece by Kurt Waldheim and died in Polish death camps almost immediately after deportation because they could not survive the harsh Polish Winters. Check the book "Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews" which gives a little history on the Italian Romaniotes.

The Romaniotes have nothing to do with Romania. The name originates in a legend that the Romans were transporting by ship Jews defeated in the first Roman war to Rome to be slaves when their ships were wrecked on the Greek coast. According to legend, they escaped and established a Greek Jewish community.

The Romaniotes should be looked upon as an indiginous Greek Jewish community. Fourteen centuries later, as a result of the expulsion from Spain, large numbers of Spanish Jews settled in Turkish domains which included Greece. Because of the greater sophistication and education of the Spanish Jews, many Greek Jews adopted their traditions and became Sephardim. A few in some of the more remote locations in Greece retained their indiginous traditions; these are the Romaniotes.


The Jews of Africa are not the only Jews who live in remote or distant areas, far away from the mainstream of contemporary Judaism. Similarly non-traditional Jewish communities exist all over the world, from the jungles of the Amazon to the distant mountains of India.

The Jewish people can trace their history back several thousand years to the Fertile Crescent, an area bordered by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Central Asian region once known as Mesopotamia. Since their inception as a people, many Jews have traveled eastward from the Fertile Crescent to trade silk and spices with other Central and Eastern Asian merchants. When the Assyrians conquered Palestine in 721 B.C. and the ten northern tribes of Israel fled to points unknown, did some follow those trade routes through Persia and Afghanistan to India, China, perhaps even as far as Japan? Some researchers believe that Jewish practices may more likely have spread eastward through gradual contact with Hebrew traders, but the fact remains that there are practicing Jewish communities sprinkled about Asia. In fact, there are well-documented cases of Jews fleeing eastward to avoid religious persecution by Romans and Muslims, and as recently as World War II, tens of thousands of Jews fled to distant Asian cities like Shanghai to avoid Nazi persecution, joining communities of already-practicing Jews in Central Asia, India and China.

Some of the more interesting communities that the authors could feature in The Jews of Asia may include: India: -- the Shinlung ("cave dwellers") live in the northeastern India near the border of Myanmar. According to tribal lore, this Jewish community descends from the wandering tribe of Menashe, cast out of Israel almost 2,700 years ago. After traveling through Persia to Afghanistan and finally to China, this tribe claims that they fled religious persecution a final time by moving into caves in the mountains of northeastern India. Over the centuries they emerged from the caves and began to live in mountain towns, finally falling prey to Christian missionaries in the late 19th century. In the last twenty-five years, several thousand Shinlung rediscovered their ancestors’ religion and have since become observant Jews. Three hundred members of the community have emigrated to Israel, though five thousand remain in India.

The Bnei Menashe believe that while in China their ancestors were enslaved yet again. During their years there, large numbers of the Israelites were killed and their assimilation started. These events caused the Israelites to flee and live in caves. The group was expelled in 100 C.E. and their "leather scrolls" were confiscated and burned. At that point different groups went in various directions. Some went down the Mekong River into Vietnam, the Philippines, Siam, Thailand and Malaysia, while some of the Israelites moved to Burma and west to India. Till today, some people refer to these people as "Shinlung" the "cave dwellers." Today, the descendants of those Israelites who settled in India and Burma have different names depending on where they live. Some are known as Shinlung, some Kuki, Mizo, Lushai or Mar. In 1894, Christian missionaries arrived to the Manipur area of North East India, intent on converting the local population. The Kukis, having been brought up with an oral history of their link to their ancestor "Manmaseh" and other stories, recognized some of the Bible stories.

Bene Israel. Different researchers came to different conclusions. Among the theories there were a few which came to conclusion that the Bene Israel’s forefathers arrived in India before the destruction of the second Temple and this is because the Bene Israel (meaning children of Israel) did not call themselves Jews (In the narrow sense the Jews are descendants only from the two of the twelve tribes of Children Of Israel, Yehuda and Benjamin) . For the same reason others concluded that the Indian Bene Israel are from the ‘Lost Tribes’ which are the ten tribes (of the twelve tribes of the Children Of Israel) whom the Assyrians exiled from the Land Of Israel in 800 BC and what happened of them is not known (and are therefore called Lost Tribes) . Others concluded that the Bene Israel originate from the tribes of Zvulun and Asher and that’s because the Bene Israel engaged in the profession of oil pressing which is believed to be the profession popular among the tribes of Zvulun and Asher. Other reasons that support the theory that the Bene Israel Jews are in India for over 2000 years is the fact that they weren’t aware of the main Jewish tradition which evolved in Judaism between 200 BC to 300 AD. Others concluded that the Bene Israel are Jews who came to India from Arab countries at a much later period, somewhere around the seventh century AD. And there are other theories, among them is that the Bene Israel aren’t at all of Israeli origin.

With the revival of Judaism among the Bene Israel by David Rahabi, he selected three men to be the religious leaders of the community and called them ‘Kaji’. These Kajis fulfilled all the religious jobs of the community. The Kaji’s profession was hereditary. From the eighteenth century the Bene Israel developed contact and communication with other Jewish communities especially with the ‘Cochini’ Jews who lived in the southern part of India the present state of Kerala and with Jews from Iraq andYemen. The contacts and communication with the Yemen Jews started when Bene Israels, who were soldiers in the Indian-British army, were posted at Aden in Yemen. The Bene Israel in Aden had their prayer hall in Aden and later on brought Yemenite Jewish cantors to India and so adopting the Yemenite style of praying (Because of the Yemenite way of praying some researchers wrongly presume that the Bene Israel originate from Yemen). In the first synagogues of the Bene Israel Jews the cantors were mainly Yemenite or Iraqi or Cochini. After the cantors, the Bene Israel began to bring to India Jewish circumciser and butchers from Yemen and so the Kajis lost their traditional position as head of the community.

The Bene Israels have a few Jewish customs almost unique only to them. The community members almost in every thanksgiving ceremony maintain a ritual called ‘Malida’. Malida is a home ritual in which the men sit around a plate full of roasted rice, fruits, spices and flowers. In this ceremony they sing songs praising the Lord. In the main song they also praise Prophet Elaija as the precursor of the Messiah. The Bene Israel legend also narrates of two occasions when Prophet Elaija visited them and returned to heaven. The first occasion occurred immediately after the arrival of Bene Israel to the coast of Konkan. On this occasion he revivified the unconscious Bene Israels who swam to the beach from the sea. The second occasion occurred at a much latter period.

At this visit the Bene Israel believe, Prophet Elaija also left a footprint from where he rose to heaven. In this place in the village of Khandala near Alibag (there is also a tourist town by the same name near Pune in Maharashtra and that’s a different place) the Bene Israels used to have religious rituals. Another custom unique to the Bene Israel was abstaining from eating beef. The majority of Indians are Hindus. The Hindus believe that cow is sacred and therefore to maintain good relations with their Hindu neighbors they abstained from eating beef and instead eat mutton. Another custom of the Bene Israel inspired by their Hindu neighbors was, not remarrying of widows and not maintaining the levirate marriage (a Jewish custom which commands marriage between the widow and her dead husband’s brother if the man dies childless) . The Bene Israels were also less strict about the Kosher laws. They didn’t keep two complete sets of kitchen utensils but only two sets of cooking utensils.

The Bene Israels divide their community into two groups. ‘Gora’ and ‘Kala’. Gora (meaning white) are majority in the community and their both parents are of Jewish religion. Kala (meaning black) is the smaller group whose father is of Israeli origin but mother is non-Jewish. These two groups use to pray together but the Goras didn’t accept the Kalas as complete Jews and didn’t mingle with them, nor did they marry with them. The Goras also didn’t allow the Kalas to hold the ‘Sefer’ or to blow the ‘Shofar’. The first Bene Israel synagogue built by Samuel Divekar in 1796. Divekar with other Bene Israels served as a soldier of the British in India. In one of the wars against the kingdom of Mysore in south India, he with other British Indian soldiers was captured. The King of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, was a Muslim. He used to execute the captured soldiers, but when his mother heard of the Bene Israel captives, she begged her son to spare the Bene Israel soldiers because the Bene Israel are referred to in the holy Muslim Koran as the Chosen People of the Almighty.

Many claim that if the Bene Israels had called themselves Yehudi (Jew) and not Bene Israel they would have been executed because the Koran looks negatively at Jews but in more positive way at the Bene Israels. After being spared Samuel Divekar decided to thank the Lord by building a synagogue. Later on more synagogue were build by the Bene Israels in India. There was even a Reform Jewish synagogue built in 1925. Among the synagogues, the synagogue in the town of Panvel (near Mumbai) is considered special and sacred where it is believed, prayers are fulfilled. Until the twentieth century the Bene Israels referred to themselves as Bene Israels or Israels and not as Jews. In the twentieth century they slowly began to refer to themselves as Jews but normally they used to refer to themselves as Bene Israel and to the Jews from Arab countries who settled in India (Baghdadi Jews) as ‘Yehudi’. In some of the birth certificates and other legal documents of the early twentieth century their religion was specified as ‘Bene Israel’ and not Jew. Many Indians (non-Jewish) of west Maharashtra even today refer to Jews as Bene Israel or Israel and not as ‘Jew’.

The Bene Israel as a community weren’t a powerful influential community in their local areas but there were among them some who advanced to high ranks in the armies of local rulers. Some of them also got land from the local rulers as a prize for their services. After the British arrived to India, many Bene Israels joined the British forces in India and fought for the British Empire in their different wars around the world. Later on the Bene Israels adopted the profession of building contractors and other new modern professions that emerged in India such as office clerks, law, modern medicine and other professions. There were some Bene Israels who reach to high positions of judges, lawyers, doctors, institute managers and administrative or other high ranking officers in government services. The Bene Israel’s population at their height was perhaps 30000 in India and that was in the 1950s. Proportionally they weren’t even 0.01% of the Indian population. Since the 1950s most of the Bene Israel have immigrated to Israel, and some to English speaking countries like Australia and England. Today in India there are less than 5000 Bene Israels, most of them live in Thana a suburb of Mumbai (Bombay).

The Mizo Tribe

What is so amazing to me that in Burma, the Mizo tribe, untouched by the missionaries, and the source of the Bnai Menashe, have so many ancient Jewish ceremonies and rituals, as circumcision, Sabbath, holidays, etc. and this group must be studied seriously. I think the Israeli universities should send a team of scholars, historians, anthropologists, biologists, rabbis to study the Mizo in Burma.


In 1603, then Brother Gabriel de San Antonio, in "A Brief and Truthful Relation of Events in the Kingdom of Cambodia" to King Don Philippe, wrote: "at the entrance to the road, (in the same way as we Christians erect crosses) Cambodian people erect high poles at the top of which is a golden snake. They all worship it; their criminals put themselves under its protection and it constitutes a sacred place. If they have a dispute between themselves and they want to contract a new friendship, they bleed, mix their blood in the same vessel and drink it, each one in his turn; then they dip a knife in it, keep it raised, and through ceremony, promise to be of the same blood, to have only one heart and one will, threatening with the knife anybody who would claim to the contrary. That practice, and the custom of putting snakes on the top of masts along the roads as well as that of the monks chanting the chorus seven times originates from some roman Jews who once lived in that kingdom. There are many Jews in the kingdom of china: they are the ones who built, in Cambodia, the city of Angkor which, as I said, was discovered in 1570. They abandoned it when they emigrated to china, according to what the Jews from the East Indies told me when, passing through there, I conversed with them about that matter."


Descendants of Iraqi Jews who came to Indonesia more than a century ago to trade spices still
live and practice in Surabaya in the eastern half of the densely populated (and almost exclusively Muslim) island of Java. Their Jewish traditions are primarily ancient in origin (the Sabbath before Yom Kippur, for example, the community leader slaughters a chicken and swings it around the synagogue courtyard to dispel the community’s sins), though Dutch Jewish traders from the 18th and 19th centuries introduced them to some European Rabbinical teachings.


The Bukharan Jewish community, living mainly in Samarkand and Bukhara, traces its origins back to 5th-century exiles from Persia, though some claim that Bukhara is actually the ancient city of Habor, to which the Lost Tribes were exiled. Community members speak their own Tajik-Jewish dialect and have a number of unique festivals and practices that have developed over centuries of relative isolation in the Asian mountains.


Nearly 8,000 "Mountain Jews" live in the Azerbaijan in cities like Baku and in villages such as Krasnaya, Sloboda and Vartashen. These Jews descend from Iranian tribes that moved into the Azerbaijani mountains in the 5th and 6th centuries. They are separate from other Jewish communities in that they speak Tat, a unique New-Persian language, and have developed many practices and traditions in kind with Dagestan mountain tribes. They have traditionally been grain farmers and wine makers, and were allowed to retain many of their skills (although less of their culture) during the Soviet period. The community has become active again since the end of the Soviet period, but Azerbaijiani nationalism has recently threatened to curtail their revival.


The roots of the Persian Jewish community reach back to the 6th century B.C. The Jewish community in Persia used to be one of the most culturally vibrant in the world, yet its numbers have dwindled due to centuries of harsh persecution. Before the Islamic revolution in 1979 there were 80,000 Jews in Iran, and though most have emigrated to Israel, there is still a dedicated Jewish community in Tehran. There currently a small number of synagogues in Tehran, as well as three Jewish schools. Though curriculum in the Jewish schools is strictly Islamic and teachers are only allowed to teach the Bible in Persian, there is some Hebrew instruction available through the community’s elders. The recent moderate regime in Iran has loosened control on the Jewish minority in Tehran, and the community has been able to revitalize some of its religious practices.

Bedul, Petra

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bedouin tribe of “Bedul”, living in the caves of Petra, Jordan, captured the imagination of Zionist pioneers. Among them was the historian, explorer and second president of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. Ben Zvi discovered traces of ancient Hebrew customs in the lifestyles of some Palestinian villagers and Bedouin tribes. He speculated that the inhabitants on both sides of the Jordan river may be descendants of the original Hebrew population which never left the area, despite the numerous exiles. Although 100 years ago they presented themselves to British historians as the “Sons of Israel”, the Bedul of today deny the legend concerning their Hebrew origin and claim that they are descendants of the Nabateans who built Petra.


Though Jews have populated Yemen since Biblical times, the first substantial number of Yemenites to accept Judaism did so in the fifth century under King Du-Nuas. As the only non-Muslims in the country, Yemenite Jews have faced constant persecution, including laws forbidding them to wear certain colors, ride animals or build tall houses. Jews began to emigrate from Yemen in 1882 and many landed in Israel. Emigration increased when Israel became a nation in 1948, and the fledgling nation accepted thousands of Jews who fled anti-Jewish riots. Despite the suppression, a small, secretive Jewish community remains in northern Yemen in villages in the vicinity of Saada, which is located in Sa'ata Province, close to the Saudi border. These Jews are not allowed to hold political office and are discouraged from having contact with their Muslim neighbors, so they continue their practices in virtual seclusion.

The Lemba of Southern Africa

According to tribal lore, the Lemba are descendants of attendants of the Israelite King Solomon who traveled to Ophir (Zimbabwe) in search of gold. The Lemba allege that when Solomon returned, some of his men remained, teaching the Africans to worship "Mwali," a single God and spreading their traditions throughout the region. Are the Lemba direct descendants of Jews from King Solomon’s court?

The Beta Israel of Ethiopia

"I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon." -- from "The Song of Songs" The word, "Falasha," means "stranger" or "immigrant" in Ge’ez, the classical ecclesiastical tongue of Ethiopia. Though the Ethiopian Jews prefer to call themselves Beta Israel (the House of Israel), "Falasha" is an apt way to characterize their community’s role as an interminable outsider since its inception nearly two millennia ago. Only since the Israeli government accepted the Falashas as "official" Jews in 1975 has this unlikely community begun to find some of the acceptance that it has sought.

Rusape, Zimbabwe

"We believe most African (Black) descendants are in fact the ancient Hebrews and in fact most Blacks are the descendants of the 12 children of Israel . . . . We believe the true faith of the African descendants is Judaism and not Islam, as Islam is a revelation for descendants of Ishmael."-- Solomon Guwazah of the Rusape, Zimbabwe, community, in a letter to The African Sun The community of self-proclaimed Jews centered in Rusape, about two hours from Harare, Zimbabwe, appreciates its unusual history.

Sao Tome and Principe

One of the most tragic episodes in the history of African Jewry occurred on two small islands
off the west coast of Africa called Sao Tome and Principe. The islands were not yet under Portuguese influence in 1496 when Portugal expelled its Jews in accordance with the Spanish Inquisition. When the Spanish had expelled the Jews who would not convert to Catholicism three years earlier many of them had fled to Portugal. King Manuel of Portugal had placed a huge head tax on the Jews there in order to finance his nation’s colonies. The king wished to colonize the small islands of Sao Tome and Principe but did not wish to risk too many Portuguese to do so. To punish the Jews who would not pay the head tax, King Manuel deported almost 2,000 of two to ten year old children to the islands. Only 600 were alive a year later.

Some of the surviving Jewish children retained some semblance of their parents’ religion. In the early 1600s the local bishop noted with disgust that there were still Jewish observances on the island and returned to Portugal because of his frustration with them. Observances had declined by the 18th century, but in the 19th and 20th centuries some Jewish traders arrived on the islands and seeded a new, small community. Today there are no known practicing Jews on the Islands but the descendants of the children, who distinguish themselves by skin that is slightly lighter than that of their neighbors, have expressed interest in learning more about the customs of their ancestors.

Cape Verde

The story of the Jewish community in Cape Verde is one of greed, slavery and the Portuguese
Inquisition. Since the 1460s, when the Portuguese discovered the array of fourteen islands that sit 450 kilometers off the West African coast, they used the archipelago as a fueling station for explorers on their way to conquer the New World, as a stopover terminal for the slave traders, where they could also refuel and "dispose of" weak or objectionable slaves, and as an outpost for Jews that the Inquisition forced to convert to Catholicism under threat of death.


"The worst insult that a Moroccan could possibly offer was to treat someone as a Jew..."-- Moroccan writer Said Ghallab, 1965 in Les Temps Modernes

The Jews of Morocco have maintained their faith for more than two thousand years, surviving
massacres, political and geographic segregation and continual legal status as second-class citizens. They have remained true to their religion through Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish and Vichy-French persecution. Even today, though much of the community has emigrated to Israel, Europe and the United States, its remaining members are confident, prepared to maintain their faith in the face of covert threats like assimilation, secularization and Westernization.


"Visiting this separate colony in an Arab country that not too long ago was home to the Palestine Liberation Organization, I felt like an alien on several levels. I was American, English-speaking and an Ashkenazi Jew, keenly aware of the overwhelmingly Muslim Arab population and unfamiliar with many of the rituals and customs of the local Jewish community. But I felt a kinship, too, with these observant, Hebrew-speaking people who have managed to preserve their traditions over centuries and whose affection for Israel is as deep-seated as it is unspoken, at least in public." Garry Rosenblatt, Publisher and Editor of the New York Jewish Week, in The Jewish World Review July 20, 1998

Jews in Tunisia have always tread a precarious path between social acceptance and downright oppression. From their first documented appearance in 2nd century Carthage to their current status as a tolerated minority, Tunisian Jews have been subject to shifts in regional and international politics that have dictated the relative security of their community. As the Oslo Peace Process has eased tensions between Israel and the Arab world, the Jews of Tunisia are once again able to practice their religion in public and with pride.

Today, the island of Djerba, ten hours from Tunis off the southeast of the country, is a particular center of Jewish spiritualism, one of the few places where scribes still hand print the Torah and community elders chant the words of the Zohar, Judaism’s book of mysticism. Most of the Djerban Jews still live as they have for centuries, surviving by metalworking and jewelry-making, maintaining strict and spiritual Jewish practices. In Djerba some children still dress in a blusa under which they wear a small, mauve vest to protect them from the cold and belgha, goatskin slippers. Some women wear brightly colored jumpers in red, green or bronze – in public the young women wear futa, striped silk or cotton dresses. They keep their hair covered, in formal occasions, with a gold-embroidered coffia (headdress). In their long prayer robes and dark skullcaps, Djerban men appear to come from a time long past. Though contact with the secular West has begun to influence the younger generation’s dress and observances, the Djerban Jewish community is what some would describe as a living museum to the Judaism of their ancestors.

Legends of the Lost Tribes  

From the heart of Africa to the jungles of Peru, from the Rastas in Jamaica to the British Israelites in England, people all over the world, in one form or another, identify themselves with the Lost Tribes of Israel and the Hebrew spirit. This 13 part documentary series is an intriguing journey into the beliefs, legends, rituals and lifestyle of such communities.

“Legends of the Lost Tribes” is an invitation to explore the hidden history of the Hebrew faith, to extend beyond the boundaries inherent in the concept of the “Jewish People”.  The essence of the Hebrew movement, of which Judaism is only a small fragment, has touched the whole of mankind. It begins with Abraham, the first Hebrew, who was called to transcend from idolatry towards an awakened sense of unity.  This movement sparked a fire that burns at the heart of humanity, infecting man with the urge to understand its mystery.  Although people use different symbols and myths to explain the world around them, the questions they pose are, in essence, the same. As we watch these legends unfold, as we laugh and cry with their stories, “Legends of the Lost Tribes” raising intriguing questions. What is the nature of the Hebrew spirit?  Why did it encounter such forceful resistance?  How did this ideal bring about such a fundamental change in human history?   

 The legend begins where history fades out.  After the death of King Solomon, the Hebrew nation split into two kingdoms. The Southern Kingdom of Judas comprised of two tribes, one of which, Judas, is the ancestors of today’s “Jews”.   The Northern Kingdom of Israel, centered in Samaria, united the remaining ten tribes.  In the year 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel and sent the Ten Tribes into Exile.  Since then, their fate has been cloaked in a shroud of mystery and legend. 

  Although the Ten Tribes disappeared as an historical entity, they spread the Hebrew spirit by assimilating among the nations of the world, preserving its hidden presence. Perhaps this is why such a variety of people from all corners of the earth claim some connection to the Tribes.  Like the mystery itself, these communities appear in unexpected contexts, defying ordinary explanation. Though blurred by cultural diversity and historical circumstances, they all point to this same origin, a common intention of unity. 

This series takes us through a colorful mosaic of 13 communities, spanning the entire globe, including the Samaritans in Israel, the Ibos in Nigeria, the Bene Israel in India, the Rastafarians of Jamaica, the Israelitas in Peru, the Karaites in Poland and Lithuania, descendants of Crypto-Jews in Dallas, and others. As Nick, the Techno-music prophet points out in the concluding chapter of the series: “The Lost Tribes were so lost that you can find them anywhere”. 

Synopsis of the 13 chapters

1. “Samaritans”

The opening chapter presents the series in a colorful mosaic of communities, all of whom, in one form or another, see  themselves as original Hebrew descendants. It then  goes on to explore the story of the Samaritan community in Israel.  Numbering about 600, these people, who still struggle to keep their ancient tradition, live in what was the capital of  Samaria - Nablus. They claim to be  authentic descendants of Israelite tribes that were not exiled. Here we see their customs, religious practices and heritage, culminating in a vivid portrayal of their renowned Passover sacrifice on Mount Grizim. For one day the summit of Mount Grizim is transformed into a scene from biblical times.

2.  “Bene Israel - India”

One of the legends which explains the origins of Bene Israel in India goes back to the sailors of the Zebulun tribe. It tells of 7 men and 7 women  who survived a shipwreck and found themselves on the Kunkan shore of India. There, they established a community.  Legend and reality are juxtaposed as we see what happened to them in modern-day Israel, when, after they immigrated to Israel in the mid-sixties, the religious officials refused to acknowledge their Judaism. Only after a long and exhausting campaign did the “Bene of Israel” succeed in becoming accepted as Jews.

3.  “Ibo Tribe of Nigeria”

The wild landscapes of Africa, its exotic rhythms and mask dances provide the picturesque background for this tribe, who believes itself to be the descendants of the Israelite tribe of Gad.

They have numerous legends which explain their origins, many of which don’t exactly fit in with the others.  But this doesn’t seem to bother the Ibo, whose powerful faith allows them the flexibility of accepting what is considered by Western man as a logical contradiction. They interpret their name “Ibo” as a mispronounced “Hebrew” and till today, the members pray to “Chuku Abiama” - Abraham’s God. The Ibos, well known for their struggle for independence in the Biafra war, are now considered the “Jews of Nigeria” and have contributed greatly to the intellectual and economic development in that country.

4. “The British Israelites”

This chapter documents  a weekend convention at the peaceful town of Harrogate, England. In the Imperial Hotel, immersed in a typical English atmosphere, the elders of a Christian cult meet to present a variety of scientific evidence, archeological discoveries, historical interpretations and even DNA tests to support their theory on the origins of the British nation.  They state  that the ten exiled tribes of Israel  traveled by sea to Ireland and then to England to form the mightiest nation in the world, Great Britain. They have explicit genealogical trees of the Royal Family which trace the ancestry of  Queen Elizabeth directly to the House of David.

5. “Bedul - Petra”

In the beginning of the century, the Bedouin tribe “Bedul”, living in the caves of Petra, Jordan, captured the imagination of Zionist pioneers. Among them was the historian, explorer and first president of Israel, Itzhak Ben Zvi. In this chapter we follow the observations of Ben Zvi who discovered traces of ancient Hebrew customs in the lifestyles of some Palestinian villagers and  Bedouin tribes. He speculated that the inhabitants on both sides of the Jordan river may be descendants of the original Hebrew population which never left the area, despite the numerous exiles. Although 100 years ago they presented themselves to the British historians as the “Sons of Israel”, the Bedul  of today deny everything...

6. “Beit Yaakov-India”

These people, claiming to be descendants of the tribe of Efraim, now live in two villages north of Madras. Under the Hindu caste system they are labeled as “Untouchables”, along with millions of other outcasts in India. They claim that their casting was a terrible mistake, and that they are Hebrews who have indeed kept the tradition to the best of their abilities. Living under constant discrimination, alienation and poverty, they try to maintain a Jewish way of life despite their harsh conditions. In their unfurnished hut which serves as a synagogue, they sit on the ground, praying, singing, and studying ‘Tora’, impatiently waiting for salvation, for their return  to Zion.

7. “Manasseh Tribe - Mizoram”

In the steep mountainous region which lies between the borders of India and Burma, live the Mizo people, numbering one and a half million. Paradoxically, this tribe, with typical oriental features, discovered its Hebrew origin when introduced to the Old Testament by Christian missionaries. A small but growing group of 5,000 converted fully to Judaism believing that they come from the tribe of Manasseh. Geographically isolated,  they long for any tidbit of information on Judaism that they can get, and dream of returning to the land of Zion. The chapter concludes with a moving scene in Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport with the arrival of immigrants of Mizo tribe.

8. ”Rastafarians - Jamaica”

The “Rastas” of Jamaica believe themselves to be the only authentic carriers of the Hebrew spirit and the Jewish destiny.  Like the Jews, they felt the bitterness of exile, they suffered the terrible effects of racial prejudice and cultural alienation and they, too, yearn to return to their Zion - Ethiopia. They also have a messiah, the Emperor Haile Selassie, whom they believe to be a direct descendant of the holy union between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

This chapter displays the unique Rasta rituals where they elevate themselves towards the divine with the help of Bongo drums and passionate Reggae music, cloaked in heavy smoke of marijuana, an integral part of their devotion.

9. “Israelitas - Peru”

The chapter opens with the quest to find the mysterious Israelitas. With rumor as the only guide,  the crew flew over jungles, crossed whitewaters and traveled perilous paths in the rain forests...

In 1957 God dictated the Ten Commandments personally to the leader and living prophet of Israelitas - Ezequiel Ataucusi.  Since his revelation they have increased in numbers to 40,000 and are even represented in the Peruvian parliament. Israelitas are, first and foremost, pious Christians. They follow the Old Testament to the letter, keeping all of its commandments.

They make sacrificial offerings, keep the Sabbath, and are in the midst of building the Third Temple. According to Ezequiel’s teaching, the year 2000 marks the Apocalypse. Only the virgin land of the jungles of Peru will be saved. Therefore, Atacousi and his followers are making urgent final efforts in their  move to the jungle by the end of the millennium.

10. “Venta Prieta - Mexico”

What goes on behind these “dark windows”, the name of a small town near Mexico City, where lives an Orthodox Jewish community?  They have a synagogue, they keep all the Jewish holidays  and some of them have immigrated to Israel.  Their facial features are indistinguishable from those of the local Mexicans.  Therefore, when this community was first discovered in the beginning of the century, they were called the “Jewish Indians” and against their will,  have become a tourist attraction.

11. “Magda”

This chapter portrays Magda, a descendant of the Crypto-Jews, living in Dallas, Texas.  Five hundred years ago her ancestors, who were forced to convert to Christianity, fled from the Spanish Inquisition to the New World, where they continued to be persecuted. They were called the “New Christians” and for generations have continued to cherish the Jewish traditions in complete secrecy. They developed and entire lifestyle based on fear, concealment and suspicion, that continues till this day.  Like many others with similar roots, Magda, a daughter of a priest, did not know that Jews still exist until she went to college,. When she learned more about Jewish customs, she was amazed by its resemblance to her family tradition. Despite the difficulty in breaking an age-old habit of hiding and fear, she courageously started a personal quest to find her way back to Judaism. 

It is impossible to remain indifferent to the emotional drama that accompanies Magda’s moving story..

12. “The Karaites of Poland and Lithuania”

The Karaite movement began as an offshoot of Judaism in 8th century Iraq.  Denying all authority,  rabbinical or otherwise, the Karaites obey only the letter of  the Old Testament. After 50 years of Communist oppression, the Karaites of Lithuania deny any connection whatsoever to Judaism. They speak and pray in a turkic dialect, which is according to them a remnant of their Khozar heritage. Still their strict observance of Jewish Law is uncompromising.  Today, these East-European communities are on the verge of extinction.

13. “Nick, the Techno-music Prophet”

Nick, the Techno-prophet, is a disc jockey in one of the largest rave clubs in London.  He regards  Techno music as the crusading sound of modern spirituality.  He has a vision: to construct the Third Temple as a site for his interactive Light and Music show in the “New Jerusalem” - London. From record companies to friends, Nick tries to gather support and funds in order to fulfill his messianic dream. In doing so, we meet his outstanding friends with their ideas about themselves as the lost tribe of Dan, and their thoughts on music and salvation.  The chapter ends the series with a twist that questions the meaning of tracing the Lost Tribes. In Nick’s words, “The Lost Tribes were so lost that you can find them anywhere.”

Every ethnic group supports Israel in USA

According to a poll conducted by the Israel Project, 48 percent of Hispanic Americans support the State of Israel, while only 9 percent support the Palestinians.Is it the "Jewish lobby" the American people that make the government of the USA support the State of Israel? It's the American people no matter if black, white, Hispanic...all groups support the Jewish State overwhelmingly.

Regarding the official Rabbinate I think it should be more open & accept not just Orthodox rite but Conservative, Reform, Reconstruction, Beta Israel, Karaite, Dönmeh Judaism...

Chief Rabbi Confirms Ebos Jews and Hebrews as lost Tribe of Ephraim:

I see both points of view. Israel is a great country. So it is his people but as anywhere else there is racism. Some in Israel don't like black Jews. Of course that doesn't make Israel as a whole a racist country because I guess most people are not racist. Regarding the official Rabbinate I think it should be more open & accept not just Orthodox rite but Conservative, Reform, Reconstruction, Beta Israel... They are different currents of Judaism. Beta Israel is very old but it doesn't make it any less Jewish or authentic. Chief Rabbi Confirms Ebos Jews and Hebrews as lost Tribe of Ephraim:

I am an African-American pro-Israel advocate who makes it his life's work to extol Israel's virtues. Everything you've stated I already know.

What you have not mentioned is that, unlike Israel's previous returns from exile, the issue of color/race is definitely a factor. The Jewish people originated as an Afro-Asiatic tribe in which light and dark skin were minor issues (See Song of Solomon), but not European vs. African. Once Ashkenazim became the standard by which all Jews would be measured, race became a factor. This is why White Jewish children would tell Ethiopian Jews that, "when Messiah comes you will be White like us."

I know whereof I speak. I love Israel and the Jewish people. I am just not oblivious to its challenges.

In the previous exiles it was not as much of an issue because we did not have to flee so far? We became cut off from one another really after the Inquisitions and the Ottoman Empire. Also, the politics of North Africa prior to Christianity were much different, Perhaps being a Jew in North Africa after the second exile was not such a disadvantage as it has been the past 2000 years since Christianity and Islam came into being? No doubt this has been the most terrible exile for ALL of us. WWII changed everything. Suddenly we all see home, and we all are called to return, and we have found our strength again. We cannot allow the past to determine how we treat one another. We are family, end of story.

I can imagine very well the Buba Lemba performing sacrifices with the rest of Cohanim in the Third Temple. Both Lembas & Azkenazi Jews came from ancient Israelites. The Zionist State of Israel will be able provide the Temple & the Lembas would be accepted eventually to join their fellow Israelites. Of this I'm sure of.

White Gadites: Gad's Other Sons

Finding three, possibly four of Gad’s sons in Nigeria is a wonderful thing, but what of the other 6 or seven sons of Gad? Who are they? Where are they, where did they go? Is it possible to find them?

Finding three out if seven sons and desiring to find all the sons of Gad I have researched the leading scholars and websites that propose alternate settlements for Gad besides Africa to see if such claims hold any water.

I do not agree with all of what British Israelitism teaches but I do keep an open mind and do not rule out the real possibility that, due to the Assyrian captivity that never came to an official end that parts of Israel could have migrated and settled in Scandinavia, Europe and other parts of the Western World.

To find and understand the tribe of Gad today one must look to and dissect the Mosaic and Jacobic prophecies concerning him in the last days. To which it behooves us to look at the prophecies as rendered in as many translations we can find so as to get a solid understanding of these enigmatic prophecies concerning this Tribe. Then we must look the passages in the Hebrew and exegetically, word for word cypher the true meaning of the verses and see if it be applicable to any peoples we may know of today.

Gen 49:19
(ASV)  Gad, a troop shall press upon him; But he shall press upon their heel. 
(BBE)  Gad, an army will come against him, but he will come down on them in their flight. 

Deu 33:20
(ASV)  And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: He dwelleth as a lioness, And teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head. 
(BBE)  Of Gad he said, A blessing be on him who makes wide the limits of Gad: he takes his rest like a she-lion, taking for himself the arm and the crown of the head. 

Deu 33:21
(ASV)  And he provided the first part for himself, For there was the lawgiver's portion reserved; And he came with the heads of the people; He executed the righteousness of Jehovah, And his ordinances with Israel. 
(BBE)  He kept for himself the first part, for his was the ruler's right: he put in force the righteousness of the Lord, and his decisions for Israel. 

Gen 49:19  (KJV) Gad,H1410 a troopH1416 shall overcomeH1464 him: but heH1931 shall overcomeH1464 at the last.H6119 

Gen. 49:19 exegetically dissected: The Tribe of Gad a troop, (a crowd of soldiers, an army, a company, raiders,) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) him: but he (Gad) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) at the last (track, lie in wait and attack as an army from behind).

Deut. 33:20-21 exegetically dissected: Deut. 33:20  (KJV) And of GadH1410 he said,H559 BlessedH1288 be he that enlargethH7337 Gad:H1410 he dwellethH7931 as a lion,H3833 and tearethH2963 the armH2220 withH637 the crown of the head.H6936

And (it is said of the Tribe of) Gad, Blessed (kneel in congratulatory adoration) he that enlarges (makes room and broadens and makes wide the way, or place,  literally and figuratively for) Gad: Gad dwells (Literally and figuratively makes his home, territory and resting place) as a lion (great, stout, roaring, hunting lioness) and tears (catch, pluck, feeds upon and tear into pieces) the arm (literally the dominate and powerfully outstretched shoulder and forearm or foreleg , and figuratively the force, strength and might) with the crown of the head (top of the head, pate, scalp).

Deut. 33:21  (KJV) And he providedH7200 the first partH7225 for himself, becauseH3588 there,H8033 in a portionH2513 of the lawgiver,H2710 was he seated; H5603 and he cameH857 with the headsH7218 of the people, H5971 he executedH6213 the justiceH6666 of the LORD,H3068 and his judgmentsH4941 withH5973 Israel.H3478 

And he (Gad) provided (saw and ceased) the first part (chief, principle, best, firstfruits) for himself, because there, a portion (smooth, flattering allotment and or parcel of land) of the lawgiver (decree carved in stone), seated (covered on the roof) and he came with the heads (chief rulers and leaders) of the people (tribe, nation), he executed (made or done) the justice (moral rightness) of the LORD (YaHuWeH) and his judgements (favorable and proper, rightful laws and verdicts) with (equal with) Israel.

Gen. 49:19, Deut. 33:20-21 exegetically dissected and read as a whole:

Gen. 49:19, Deut. 33:20-21 The Tribe of Gad a troop, (a crowd of soldiers, an army, a company, raiders,) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) him: but he (Gad) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) at the last (track, lie in wait and attack as an army from behind)… And (it is said of the Tribe of) Gad, Blessed (kneel in congratulatory adoration) he that enlarges (makes room and broadens and makes wide the way, or place,  literally and figuratively for) Gad: Gad dwells (Literally and figuratively makes his home, territory and resting place) as a lion (great, stout, roaring, hunting lioness) and tears (catch, pluck, feeds upon and tear into pieces) the arm (literally the dominate and powerfully outstretched shoulder and forearm or foreleg , and figuratively the force, strength and might) with the crown of the head (top of the head, pate, scalp). And he (Gad) provided (saw and ceased) the first part (chief, principle, best, firstfruits) for himself, because there, a portion (smooth, flattering allotment and or parcel of land) of the lawgiver (decree carved in stone), seated (covered on the roof) and he came with the heads (chief rulers and leaders) of the people (tribe, nation), he executed (made or done) the justice (moral rightness) of the LORD (YaHuWeH) and his judgements (favorable and proper, rightful laws and verdicts) with (equal with) Israel.

The Prophetic Mosaic and Jacobic blessings upon the Tribe of Gad are applicable and have been quite scholastically substantiated in regards to some historical people groups; mainly the Teutonic and Germanic (Gothic) peoples, the Scandinavian Vikings, the Igbo and the Native Americans, mainly but not limited to the Cherokee, Blackfoot and (D)Lakota Indians.

All the above mentioned groups were semi-nomadic, warrior nations with vast and expanding territories. They partially sustained themselves, due to harsh climatic conditions, by raiding other nearby and surrounding and or nomadic people groups.  All people groups mentioned above have been at one time or another, either severely persecuted and or conquered by other peoples, yet eventually shook off such oppression to emerge as conquerors in some sense of the word.

Each of these people groups, either by name and or language and culture can be traced back to the Hebraic peoples, specifically the Tribe of Gad. For example, the Goths, their name and various clans are directly traceable back to the Tribe of Gad proper. The Vikings, which were once part of the Germanic peoples, their runes are traceable back to the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, as well as many of the Native American inscriptions found in various parts of North America.  

The Germans almost conquered the world and were defeated only to emerge as the world’s financial and economic hub. The Scandinavian nations rose to recognize global achievements of man with the Nobel Peace Prize. Monetary wealth is like a mighty “arm” and the recognition of the Nobel Peace Prize represents intellect, the “head.” 

All such peoples at one time or another have been symbolized by either themselves or others as a lion or one from the big cat family, such as the leopard, cougar or panther or have been likened to a mythological creature with cat-like elements such as the Griffin. 

The Native Americans, all but the Blackfoot were officially “conquered” and yet today they have overcome by holding sway over the new age philosophy and issues concerning the environment. Also, monetarily, all that has been taken from them is being gained back by the casinos and entertainment industry. They have raided the pocketbooks as Israel plundered Egypt prior to the Exodus without firing a shot! 

The Igbos were conquered by British and now as a part of the independent nation of Nigeria, Igbos have many influential people in political, business, sports, entertainment, scientific, technical and religious mediums and industries. 

All these peoples live on and have claim to large swaths of prim real estate. North America rightfully belongs to the Native Americans, the Germans and Scandinavians have a claim to a vast majority of Europe and the Igbos territory is virtually all of southern half of Nigeria. 

All such lands are choicest and a vast part of it is relatively untouched and uncultivated and figuratively these peoples are gaining and holding vast uncultivated intellectual territories in business, literature, philosophy and religion. 

And just as with the Abrahamic blessing (Gen. 12:1-3) regarding his Children, Israel, those who blesses and helps Gad will in turn be blessed. 

Also, though warrior like and militaristic, Gad and her peoples connected with her as mentioned above, had high standards of morality like unto the Mosaic law before they became their modern day incarnations. However, despite their moral imperfection today, these peoples are nonetheless big advocates and leaders of human rights and equal treatment on the world stage. 

The Important thing we need to try and identify is; does the linguistic evidence have an uncorrupted base that exists to this day as it does with the Ibo people of Nigeria? Are clans, sons of Gad identifiable in their areas and easily traceable and identified in their Northern Hemisphere settlements such as Eri, Areli and Arodi clearly are in Nigeria? Another thing to keep in mind is that although Eri, Areli and Arodi have been found in Nigeria and knowing that often times sons were named after their fathers, the Eri, Areli and Arodi mentioned as sons of Gad may not have been the ones to end up in Nigeria but were descendants of these sons who were named after them, thus leaving open the possibility of other clans of Eri, Areli and Arodi to be found elsewhere in the world.

I must recall here how that Eri in the Ibo legend is presented by the Eze of Aguleri the custodian of the story of the Ibo, as a lighter skinned man with a pointed nose and is thus reminiscent of traits and attributes of Scandinavian and European people. This shows a possible connection to our Black Gadites in Nigeria and possible Gadites in the place where British Israelitism claims Gad to be.

The claims of many who believe  they know who and where the Tribe of Gad is today is vast, including but not limited to: Scandinavia, Sweden, West Germany, Scotland and Ireland, Prussia and Russia as well as Spain and Portugal and even the Cherokee and Lakota Sioux Nation of North America.

All the research I have investigated seem to put much emphasis on the Jacobic and Mosaic prophetic blessings of Gad:

Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Deut. 33:20 And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.

Steven M. Collins believes these prophecies link Gad to the predatory, militaristic Germans who enlarged territory in WWI and II, and tore the militaristic arm and crown off of Europe. They were raided by English and American forces but overcame as an economic superpower of the E.U. (European Union).

He goes on to say that specifically West Germany is Gad. But as many will contest that if Germany is Gad, how can Gad kill his brother Judah in the Holocaust. Mr. Collins points out that in Judges 19-21 Israel perpetuated a holocaust against Benjamin and almost wiped them out and Manasseh almost wiped out Ephraim. Collins also believes America is Manasseh and he brings up the civil war and how the North and the South was brother versus brother. Mr. Collins does mention that Berlin did most out of all of Germany to harbor and save the Jews more than any other part of Germany.

I will say this, one of Gad’s sons was named Ezbon but also called Ozni (Num. 26:16) and there is a West German town called Osnabruach which if pronounced in Hebrew would mean, “Blessed be Ozni.”

Abraham Rempel believes a portion of the Mennonites is actually Israelites and especially the ones who settled in Germany to be Gadites:

“The Hebrew origin of our Mennonite people is something that you might want to consider seriously. Whether or not you agree will have profound consequences.

I graduated from Eden Christian College, a Mennonite High School in Ontario, where a course was given on Mennonite history. The text we used has long ago disappeared from my library, but I distinctly remember reading that Mennonites are descendants of the Teutonic tribes in what is now Switzerland, Holland and Germany. A dictionary definition for Teuton is, “A member of a people speaking a language of the German branch of the Indo-European language family.” We should also recall that “Indo” refers to Ancient Persia, the subcontinent of India, and some other portions of the Near East. So just knowing that our past is Teutonic is a valuable clue to our ancient origin.

Late in the sixteenth century, Mennonites of mainly Dutch stock (both Dutch factions, Flemish and Frisian, with a liberal sprinkling of Moravians, Germans and Swiss) were invited to leave Prussia for Southern Russia by Catherine the Great. Catherine needed farmers for her newly acquired land and the Mennonite people needed to leave Prussia to avoid military service. By 1840 about seven hundred and fifty families had located in the Molotschna settlement north of the Black Sea. Little did our people know that their forefathers (before they were called Mennonites) had been in this area before... north of the Black Sea and east of the Caspian. They were actually returning in the direction from which they had come.

The Goths, the Germans and the Saxons are sometimes collectively called the Teutonic people. Their original Teutonic or Indo-European tongue gradually developed into the languages we now call English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. Yet Teutonic or Gothic speech was still recognizable in its original form in the Crimea in the sixteenth century. In the sixteenth century? In the Crimea? The Crimea is that area bounded by the Black Sea on the south and west, and by the Sea of Azov on the east... precisely the area settled by the Dutch Mennonites in that very same century! The implication is that the Mennonite-Teutonic people had been in this area before, in a past long forgotten. It is unlikely they knew that more than a millennia had gone by since their predecessors had been in the Crimea. (1)

As a second witness, in 1404 A.D. Archbishop Johannes de Gabonifontibus reported that two small nations were living along and around the Black Sea, the Tats and a few Goths. The Thats were also a branch of the original Teutons, but most of them had migrated to Northern Germany and Denmark. Some had remained in the area where:

“A section of the Tats by the Black Sea shores of Southern Russia practiced Judaism and... were identified with the Lost Tribes of Israel.” (2)

Here is further evidence that the Teutons came from the territory around the Black Sea - specifically Southern Russia - and then migrated into those areas of Europe later associated with the Mennonite people. However, there were still Teutons living by the Black Sea in the fifteenth century, and a century later when the Dutch Mennonites came there, or in a sense returned.

If we jump much father back into history, another story line was emerging in the first millennium B.C. when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was invaded and taken captive by the Assyrians. The captivity began in approximately 740 B.C. when the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh were carried away. In 721 B.C. the city of Samaria fell and the last of Israel’s ten tribes were deported. The majority of the tribes of Israel were settled in a vast territory east of the Euphrates and west of the Indus. Much of this area would eventually become Ancient Persia, including some of India and other countries in the Near East. It was this territory that became the birthplace of the Indo-European language, the language that would eventually become our modern English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. It would also be the language of the Teutons in the 15th Century.

In Hosea 1:6-10 Yahuah (YHWH) promised that the population of the ten tribes would be multiplied beyond calculation after they were expelled from the Promised Land. In the rise and fall of the nations, Assyria fell to the Medo-Persians, and they in turn fell to the Parthians. In the great Parthian Empire which lasted for five centuries, the ten tribes flourished and were multiplied over and over. The Jewish historian, Josephus, recorded how the tribes of Israel had a huge Asian population by the first century A.D. James wrote to the twelve tribes scattered abroad (James 1:1). Peter wrote from Babylon where he had gone to fulfill the great commission (1 Peter 5:13). According to tradition, Thaddeus, Matthias, Andrew, Bartholomew and Simon the Zealot all evangelized or passed through the Parthian province of Armenia. Both secular history and the Scriptures testify to a large and well established Israelite population within the Parthian Empire.

As the great nations and empires before it, Parthia fell to Persia it 226 A.D. The Persians, however, were not a Semitic people and were also Zoroastrians. Religiously intolerant, the Persians soon began to persecute Christians and to a lesser extent the Jews (this was the time of Esther and Mordechai), and triggered one of the largest population shifts in history. A tidal wave of Semitic people, both Israelite and non-Israelite migrated in the direction of the Christian country of Armenia, the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea. This region was a natural refuge because it had been inhabited by a previous wave of Israelites in about 500 B.C. As Steven M. Collins writes:

“When Parthia fell and its people fled into Armenia, the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel in Asia became compressed into a region the shape of a crescent: from Armenia, between the Caspian and Black Seas, around the Black Sea on the north and toward modern Romania and Eastern Hungary. For the first time since the fall of the old kingdom of Israel, the ten tribes of Israel who had scattered into Asia were now mostly together again.”(3)

In a migration that continued for centuries, millions of “Parthian” refugees populated much of Europe. Historians have often acknowledged that most of the nations in Northern, Western and Central Europe are descended from the massive waves of Caucasians who poured into Europe from Asia. Hence the Indo-European language of the Goths, the Germans and the Saxons, known collectively as the Teutonic people. It is from these ancient tribes that the Mennonite people came... the Flemish, the Frisians, the Moravians, the Germans and the Swiss. As a Teutonic people, the ancestors of the Mennonites came with the Parthians from the region around the Tigris-Euphrates.

In a strange twist of history, perhaps unique to the Mennonite people, they returned for a time to the region of the Caucasus, specifically Southern Russia, north of the Black Sea. This is the unusual path that the Mennonite people took as they migrated from Switzerland, Holland and Germany, to Prussia and then to Russia. When these people left the region of the Caucasus, they were known as Teutons. But when they returned, more than a thousand years later, they were called Mennonites.

Strangely, the Mennonite people have twice in their history been associated with that region of the world known as the collecting point for the ancient tribes of Israel. For it was in this very region of the Caucasus that all the tribes of Israel had gathered together as a people before populating most of Europe. There is a persistent rumor that Mennonites are really “Jews” or Israelites. Perhaps some did recall their ancient heritage when the returned to the area north of the Black Sea in the 16th Century.

Hoshea the prophet wrote, “My Elohim rejects them, because they have not obeyed Him, so that they became wanderers among the gentiles” (Hosea 9:17).

So the Mennonites are a people who wandered from Holland to Prussia to the area north of the Black Sea, then to Canada, the United States, South America and elsewhere. Before that, as Israelites, they were expelled from the land of Israel, relocated east of the Euphrates, and then sent westward to the Black Sea region. They have wandered so much that it has become one of their distinguishing characteristics... and a fulfillment of prophecy.The conclusion can only be that the Mennonite people are Israelites, specifically of the ten northern tribes of Israel, and that were scattered throughout the earth because of their disobedience.

Understanding our Hebrew origin has profound consequences.”

A Swiss genetic researcher in 2008 showed that those indigenous to Germany are 45% Celtic, 35% Germanic 20% Slavic and 10% Jewish! 

Phil Stone believes that because some translations of the prophecies in question speak of raiding instead of overcoming and that this points to the Spaniards and the Portuguese being conquistadores (raiders). Due to the linguistic similarities of Spain and Italy, Mr. Stone feels some Italians could be Gadites as well.

Steven Coneglan believes that the Viking Raiders of Scandinavia, but especially Sweden are the likely candidates for Gad as the prophecy mentions lions and how Vikings had manes if you will, like lions and they also had a predatory nature. I Chronicles 12:8 does mention that Gadite men had faces like that of lions. Gad and Reuben were known for being shepherds as well as warriors, more than any other tribe, that Vikings as well as the warlike Highland Scots, that this furthers the likelihood that Gad are the Scots and Swedes.

I must interject here with research of my own not related to the claims of British Israelitism which I embarked on my circumstances of curiosity prior to looking into the claims of British Israelitism.

Could the Germanic Scandinavians be Gadites?

The reason I say Germanic Scandinavians is because like Rome and Greece, Germans and Scandinavians share a common lore and pantheon of gods whose names differ slightly depending on the Germanic or Scandinavian rendering.

 So could the tall, white blonde and blue eyed Germanic Scandinavians be Gadites?

While watching the computer animated family film, “How to Train Your Dragon,” about a young Viking boy who trains an injured dragon I was dumbfounded when one of the characters cried, “Odin, help us!” Why did this phrase strike me so? Because of how close it sounds like “Adonai, help us!” The Hebrew word for Lord is Adon and the god of the Vikings is Odin; same consonants, but different vowels. Recall Hebrew originally had no vowels. Odin is the Norse (Anglo-Saxon) Father God, God of wisdom, wealth, inspiration, poetry, battle, hunting, magic, prophecy. Odin (Woden) – Adon – Adonai

Like with the Cherokee deity Yowah, looks and sounds a lot like the personal Name of G-d found in the Bible, Yahweh. Spelled: Yod-Hey-Vav (Waw)-Hey. In Hebrew there were no vowels and interestingly enough these names we are exploring have the same consonants but different vowels.

In the morphing of words through the ages, through various languages and cultures with the change in accent and inflection, usually the consonants remain the same and the vowels change and so it is easily to see how Yahweh can become Yowah and Adon can become Odin.

Coincidence? I am not a big believer in coincidences.

So could the similarities between the name and character of Odin and Adon indicate that post Assyrian captivity or Babel link?  

Adonis, originally a Phoenician god (Phoenicia being modern day Lebanon), also known in Greek mythology as the god of rebirth and vegetation, worshipped in mystery religions for untold eons. Again, the Name is uncannily similar to the Hebrew Adon; Adonis – Adon – Adonai.

Though the myth surrounding Odin gives him parents, a beginning if you will, Icelandic storyes tell us that Odin is “uncreated” and “unseen.” Odin supposedly had two brothers Villi (Will) and Ve (Holy) and they are spoken as if they were apart of Odin instead of bothers. This would make Odin a “Triad” or as the Christians would say, a “Trinity.” Indeed this would sync with the Three Pillared Kabbalistic and Messianic View of the Godhead. Odin being Father, Villi being the Son and Ve being the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

I was watching also the animated series about the Marvel comic superhero team, The Avengers, when Loki, Thor’s brother attempted to take over the nine realms, including Midgard (Earth). The nine realms are charted and connected to the fabled Nordic Tree of Life and when I saw this I literally gasped and said to myself, “This is uncannily similar to the Hebraic Seforitic Etz Chaim (Tree of Life) found in the Jewish Kaballah!” Not easily given to the premise of things being a coincidence, I thought this could be a connection between Israel and the Nordics. And thus my curiosity was sparked to the point of investigating and the following is my findings.

The comparisons can become exhaustive and tediously complicated and I love simplicity and so I will make a bare bones parallel between the Nordic Yggdrasil Tree of Life and the Kabbalistic Seforitic Etz Chaim (Tree of Life).

·        Both the Kabbalistic Seforitic Etz Chaim (Tree of Life) and the Noridc Yggdrasil Tree of Life boast of harboring spiritual, mystical and esoteric secret knowledge and wisdom.

·        The Nordic Tree is made up of 9 realms and the Jewish Tree is made up of 10 Attributes.

·        Both Trees have worlds, the Nordic Tree has 9 and the Kabbalistic Tree has 4.

·        Both are Trees, but the Jewish Tree of Life is seen with its roots in the sky and its boughs facing the earth whereas the Yggdrasil Tree is rooted in the ground but is occasionally depicted as a double rooted tree with roots in the heavens and in the earth with the foliage in the middle.

·        Both Trees represent and aspect of philosophy, spirituality a higher consciousness and an un-and-or-sub-consciousness.

·        Both Trees deal with realms or plains where angels, demons and other entities exist.

·        The Nordic Pantheon of gods in some ways parallels the attributes of Adonai found and depicted in the Seforitic Tree.

·        Both charts representing the Trees connections can be made back and forth between attributes and worlds.

·        The Kabbalistic Tree (Tree of Life) has Three Pillars and the Yggdrasil Tree has Three Roots.

There are other similarities that can be made, but suffice it to say, the parallels are striking.

One legend tells how Oden sacrificed himself on the Life Tree and was pierced in his side in order to give the Viking people the alphabet of the Runes, which can actually be traced to ancient Hebrew ("Scandinavian Secrets: The Hebrew Code of the Runes" by Orjan Svensson). This legend sounds uncannily like Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah dying on the tree to give us Life through His Word. Note as well that the Vikings were bearded as the Israelites were. Could their side braids have sprang from the tradition of peyot, the side locks Israelites grew in keeping with the commandment not to shave off the corners or the temples of one’s head (Lev. 21:5, Deut. 14:1?   Another Nordic myth is that Odin’s javelin/spear and or staff was made from the Yggdrasil Tree and Moses was said to have inherited his staff which he performed miracles with, was from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. In Nordic lore Odin often came to earth in disguise, so too God/Yeshua in pre-incarnate form would come as an “Angel of the LORD”, these are called “Christophanies” So I suppose you could call what Odin did in Viking myth as “Odinophanies.”

Also, regarding other characters of Scandinavian mythos it is of interest to note that Loki is the personification of Lucifer, Satan, because Loki, like Lucifer was beautiful and an evil trickster. Loki is cast out of Asgard by Odin and the gods and we know Lucifer was cast out of heaven by God.

Hoder and Balder is like Cain and Able, for Hodar slew the beloved Balder by the influence of Loki and Vadi, who being like Seth was born after and somewhat replaced Balder. 

I also find it of noteworthy fascination that there are 12 Tribes and that the Odin had 12 gods sit in council in Asgard.

Touching Viking Law and custom, like the Hebrews they deemed hospitality and the protection of guests a top priority and the mark of a true Norsemen. They also had strict rules as the Hebrews did regarding sacredness and placement of boundary stones and markers, which they were not to be moved.  Just as Hebrews had the law regarding life for life and the right to avenge a kinsmens death, so too did the Vikings.

And so I think there is strong evidence to link the Scandinavians, and according to British Israelite scholars, especially Sweden, to be Gadites.

I do think it is interesting to note that after my first trip to Igboland where Gad’s sons Eri, Areli and Arodi reside, a week later I went to Sweden, home of the Vikings and where some claim Gad’s sons also live!

Let us return to the Biblical prophecies concerning Gad and other speculations on where the other sons of Gad are.

Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Deut. 33:20 And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.

Still others say Gad is in Austria because the Nazis overcame Austria, but eventually Austria overcame.

Scotland has also been mentioned as a candidate to fit these prophecies because England once ruled Scotland, but they overcame because they control the coronation stone (Stone of Scone) used to crown Kings of England.

I also read where Russian is supposed to fit the cryptic prophecies regarding Gad focusing on the phrase “troop” and “enlargeth Gad” and liking it to Russia being a large land mass and territory and its massive multi-faceted army, its many divisions; Red Guard, Red Army, White Guard, What Army, Black and Green Army, etc., and how these armies “overcame” many enemies to be a world superpower in the 1980’s.

Finally, some apply the Prophecies to the Lakota Sioux who was conquered and overcame and that they had one of the largest Indian territories in North America.

From my own research I do personally believe the Germans and Scandinavians are the other portion of Gad and in researching my own family tree I have discovered that though Jewish (Judah) on my mother’s side, I am Gadite, possibly from the Ozni clan because my father’s paternal side were German Mennonites. So when God sent me to Igboland I thought I was Judah looking for my little brother Gad, when in fact I was Ozni searching for my brothers Eri, Areli and Arodi! Isn’t God’s Providence amazing that way!?


British Israelite scholars believe the Swedish Gadites are from Gad’s son Haggi/Chaggi due to the linguistic and phonetic parallels, as well as many Viking names made such with such letters and sounds. Who can forget the Sunday comic strip “Hagar the Horrible”? And because of the German-Swedish connection it is believed a portion of the Goths are made up of Gad and Reuben. Goths are said to Gad because holem which makes the sound of “a” in Hebrew was rendered in English as an “o” and the “d” was pronounced as a “th” and thus the transformation of Gad to Goth. 

The French Huguenots from Hugo are believed to be the sons of Haggi as well, like Jews the Huguenots suffered great persecution, expulsion and massacre. 

Gad’s son Shuni has also been a candidate for the Swedish Gadites. Apparently the Swedish-Goths (Gautland) allies were Svea which in Latin is Suiones. Suiones is similar to the Hebrew Shuni whose name in the time of the Judges (12:6) may have been pronounced as Suoni.

Another son of Gad to be in the Scandinavia area is said to be Arodi, because the Aorsi people from north of the Caucasus.

The Harudi from Denmark are believed to be the son of Arodi and the Eruli (Harules) to be Arelis sons.

To break it down, here are the sons of Gad according to British Israelitism:

·         Haggi/Chauci = Hugi Franks and the English Hocings as well as Yinglings of Sweden, Huguenots, Cauci of Iceland.

·         Eri (Geri) = Grani and Greotingl and Goths of Sweden.

·         Shuni = Suiones of Sweden.

·         Arodi = The Hreadgoths and Harudi.

·         Areli = The Eruli or Herules.

·         Ezbon/Ozn


Beni may refer to: Places in Bolivia, Beni Department, Beni River, the Beni savanna,  in Egypt, Beni Suef, Beni Hasan, in Morocco, Beni Mellal, Beni Amir, Beni, Nord Kivu , Democratic Republic of the Congo, Beni, Nepal, Beni, a Tanzanian Tanganyikan musical style Music of Tanzania, Beni , a Japanese color commonly called safflower red or carthamin in English, the Beni ass n , a historical Bedouin tribe People.

This toponym seems to come from the Semitic Beni, Ben, Bin... from which Beniamin or Benjamin comes. The Hebrew diaspora must have scattered it.

Other Variants

Other organizations teach other variants of the theory, such as that the Scythians / Cimmerians consisted in whole or in part the Lost Ten Tribes. One such theory posits that the lost Israelites can be defined by the Y-DNA haplogroup R, which consists of much of Europe and Russia, which is in contrast to British Israelism and Brit-Am which believe that the Israelites became only Western Europeans.

                                                                Multicolor Jewish girls

Nevertheless there are certain ethnic groups or pockets of people that are considered to have Israelite origins: most of the peoples in the Caucasus area, some Uralo-Altaic peoples... 

The Jewish people are the only people that hasn't dissappeared as a people after millenia

The Jewish people are the only people that hasn't dissappeared as a people after millenia. Babylonians & other peoples don't exist today.

Ours (the Jews) is a people and a religion

Nu 23:9.To paraphrase the Prophet Balaam, "Ours is a people . . . and a religion . . . that dwells apart, that shall not be numbered with the nations nor with pagan religions"

The Ten Lost Tribes are still lost

The problem with the study quoted is that they did NOT test the members of those specific Afghan tribes who do claim descent from Jews. Not all Afghan tribes claim this, but the ones who do are well known and identified in various sources.

For the laymen I suggest R. Yaakov Kleinman's, DNA and Tradition: The Genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrews.

There are two other areas to pursue.
1. Study of subpopulations, as noted in the Comments
2. Prevalence and nature of specific genetic diseaseas that are found in the Jewish population.

The study news reports said that the study sponsored by the Israeli government was in January 2010 and that results could be expected in 3months to a year. Has any one heard of any results. Also Technion University in Haifa does genetic screanings for individuals and has been engaged in seeing if a person has a match with the Jewish gene pool. Has any Pushtun taken advantage of this. If so what were the results?

As a forensic anthropologist, I have been assured for many years that genetic studies are highly ambiguous, especially when looking for ancient genetic data. The Pashtuns of Afghanistan would certainly be very interesting to look at as they have been quite isolated for a long time, but they are not the easiest to find. Abroad, there are many Afghan immigrants, but the Pashtuns number very few among them.

Also, they seem to have established Afghanistan, conquering an enormous stretch of land from the grasp of Iran.

Yemen has a Jewish history as does parts of North Africa. Before the rise of Islam in these lands, many of the Arab and pagan tribes converted to Judaism -usually after coming under the influence of local Jews (Mohammed himself is said to have taken many of his teachings from a Jewish Rabbi). After Mohammed many converted to Islam but some held unto their Judaism and assimilated within the rest of the Jewish population.

It is my understanding that both Ethiopian Jews and Ethiopian (Ge'ez) Christians share a common canon of the Tanakh. That being said, is it possible that a) Ethiopian Jews are self converted ex Christians ? or b) Ethiopian Jews are converts with little contact with Jews of The Diaspora ?

The reason I made mention of their canon of The Tanakh, is that it contains texts which correspond to books within The LXX Canon of The Tanakh as well as texts found at Qumran (1 Enoch etc.). It would be curious to explain how they obtained those extra texts in their canons if they didn't have contact with Jewry from before. Then again, perhaps their origins are with Egyptian Jewry.

The Jewish cannibals of Polynesia

The noted British researcher Tudor Parfitt in his The lost tribes of Israel; History of a myth, writes about the Maori tribes of New Zealand who fought against the British. One of their leaders Te Ua Horoparera Haumene founded the Pai Marire movement. Pai Marire religion was a strange hybrid of Maori and Judeo/Christian culture. Undoubetedly influenced by their encounter with Christianity and often encouraged by British Missionaries, many of the Aborigines believed themselves to be desendants of the lost tribes of Israel. The aforementioned Haumene began to see himself as a Prophet and saviour akin to the Prophet Moses sent by God to liberate his people; the Jews, he subsequently went under the name Te Ua Jew Ua.

Richard Taylor in Te Ika a Maui, or New Zealand and its inhabitants (1855) wrote:

The many points of resemblance in feature, general customs and manners may enable us to discover in the widely spread Polynesian race, a remnant of the long-lost tribes of Israel.

The fascinating segment in Parfitt's book that really caught my attention is a hair raising tale involving a Jewish sea captain from NJ, Christian clerics and a group of Maori Cannibals:

The Hau Hau's sense of Jewish solidarity led them to spare any Jews they came across in the settler towns they captured. In March 1781, Eclipse berthed in Opitiki, on the north-east coast of the North Island. Some of the passengers including the Reverends, Carl Volkner and T. S. Grace were captured by the Hau Hau under the command of their arch-priest Kereopa. The owner and captain of the Eclipse was a Jersey-born Jew, Captain M. Levy (1821-1901). Both he and his brother, as Jews and thus 'akin to the Hau-Hau' were freed. On 2,March 1864, however, Volkner was taken into the local Church of St. Stephens, stripped of his clothes and allowed to pray in front of the altar before being hanged. An hour later he was decapitated and the Hau Hau allegedly crowded around the altar to drink his blood from the communion cup while Kereopa recited the prayer 'Hear O' Israel , this is the word of God, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are the Jews who were lost and have been persecuted!' Kereopa then gouged out Volkner's eyes and gave orders that his head be smoke cured.

"Coincidentally", the Maoris also share some genetic diseases known as "typical" of Ashkenazic origin.

Maoris shares basically the same mitochondrial haplogroup as Navajos, Cherokees and Andean people. Even more interesting is that there are people among those groups which ALSO claim an ancient israelite conection.

The Maori and Native American tradition of Totems may resemble the ancient israelite cult of Ashera, practiced before by some of the northern tribes.

Here are some of the facts of our culture (Maori) that I know. We take our dead back to their ancestral lands like Joseph did for his father Jacob and as Pharoah did for Joseph when he passed into the next life.

We have a purification process after visiting our deceased or graveyards where we will always sprinkle ourselves with water as a cleansing ritual after we leave the graveyard or the deceased's location.

We have always believed in a rest day on the 7th day even before the first non maori arrived or first christian arrived teaching about the sabbath. We had a similar dietry code to the ancient hebrew laid out in the old testament. Every 7 times 7 or 49 years we celebrate a jubilee year.We have a sacred month given over to thanksgiving for the harvest that corresponds with the Hebrew month of Tishri and the Festival of Tabernacles.

We have a strong emphasis on geneology as a part of our identity process. And we always link our selves to our land through a prominent mountain and river from the area where we were born and raised. Our social organisations are tribes sub tribes organised along blood lines.Our greeting to each other is to Hongi or Press foreheads and noses together in the practice of sharing a breath. The breath of life that god gave to Adam.

Every tribe and sub tribe had a Priest called a Tohunga. We had our own prophets who foretold of things to come. Some prophecies have manifested some haven't. Our Sun god is Ra.

I am not sure if all or any of these are enough to convince you that there are a number of similarities that point me to believe that either we came from Ancient Israel or somewhere in our history we met a people of Israelite origin that had a significant influence on Maori that have shaped the traditions that we have today.

That said it all could be a big coincidence but as a Maori I don't believe it is a coincidence. I can go to Central or South America and people think I am a local, I can go to the middle east and people think I am Egyptian or of Middle east descent I was in Malaysia and people started talking to me in Malaysian thinking I was a local. I believe that we are all connected in some way and that Maori come from one of the tribes of Israel.

The account may have been exaggerated for effect. It is possible that anti-semitism played a not minor role in the description of the Maori and their identification with Jews.

                     Some of the tribes with Israelite claim all over the world


Nasranis Kerala (Malabar) in southern India. Tibet, Koreans in North Korea & South Korea. The tribes in the Philippines. Nias in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Batak-Toba in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. In the western part of Sumatra Mentawai, Indonesia. Minangkabau of western Sumatra, Indonesia. Enggano in southern Sumatra, Indonesia. Dayak in Kalimantan (Indonesia, Malaysia & Brunei). Talaud in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Sanghie in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Minahasa in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Mandar in southern Borneo & southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Southern Toraja in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Sumba, Sabu, Ndao, Rote, Manggarai, Riung, Ngada, Nagekeo, Lio, Ende, Sikka, Larantuka, Adonara, Solor, Lembata, Pantar, Pura, Alor, Timor-Helong, East Timor. Dawan & Belu in Flobamora, Indonesia & Timor Leste. The tribes in northern Maluku, Indonesia. Alef'uru and other tribes in southern Maluku, Indonesia. Some of the Melanesian tribe in Papua, Indonesia & Papua New Guinea. Eskimos in Canada & Alaska, United States. Some of the tribe in Cameroon. Bilad el-Sudan, Mali & Ghana. Annang in Nigeria. Sefwi (House of Israel) in Ghana. Children of Israel in Senegal. Arab-Jews in Arab League. Countries & OIC Countries. Some Tribes in Kyrgyzstan. Some Tribes in Sudan. Serai in Eritrea. Meroni in Eritrea. Dembia in Ethiopia. Karamojong in Kenya. Some Tribes in Laikipia, Kenya. Bakwa Dishi in Zaire & Congo. Some of the Tribe in Sao Tome & Principe. Some Tribes in Mali. Some Tribes in Cote d'Ivoire. Some of the tribe in Guinea. Jewish Tribes in Cape Verde. Latin-Jewish (Bnei Anousim) in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Vatican, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, France, Romania, Philippines, Timor Leste, Latin American States, the United States & Australia.


It is well known that many Israelites came to reside in Afghanistan. The Pathans are still divided into Israelite tribal identities: Afridi= Ephraim, Asheri=Asher, Gadun=Gad, Shimwari=Shimon and Lewani=Levi. As with the ancient Israelites they are led by the House of Joseph. The most powerful Pathan tribes are the Yusef Zai= The Sons of Joseph and the Afridi being the Ephraimites both groups descend from the Prophet Joseph. Just prior to the deportation of the Israelites in 722 B.C.E. many Israelites led by the Ephraimites settled in Nubia and Arabia. From there they moved westward settling in Morocco where they became known as the Banu Ifran (Ephraimites). The Roman name Africa came from the IFRAN and thus Africa actually means Ephraim. The root Afri in Africa is the same as the root Afri as in Afridi the Pathan tribe of Ephraimites in Afghanistan. The Ephraimites of Morocco were also known as the Bafar tribes which included the Mande tribes of Ghana,Mali and Songhai being the ” Black Moors ” . Some of the Ephraimites moved to Nigeria where as BIAFRANS (AFRAN) they became the leaders of the Igbo-Israelite tribes. This is why the Igbo tribal leaders (Chiefs) wear the Moorish Red Fez. The Ephraimites in Nigeria established the Igbo divination system of EFA (Ephraim) which amongst the Yoruba is known as IFA (EPHRAIM). In 1993 an Igbo named Chima petitioned the Israeli Government for recognition of the Igbo as members of the tribe of Ephraim. A community known as the Bene-Ephraim were found to be living in the Ondo district of Yorubaland. They spoke a dialect which contained many Moroccan Arabic words which verified their tradition of coming from Morocco and Mali. Just as we must come to understand the origins and whereabouts of the true Israelite tribesmen, we have to understand the fullness of their religious history and beliefs which includes the Prophets Moses, Jesus (Isa) and Muhammad.

Some groups claiming affiliation with Israelites

Claimed Israelite descent, with lineage proven, recognized as Jews

Cochin Jews

Cochin Jews, also called Malabar Jews, are the descendants of ancient Jews who settled in the South Indian port city of Cochin. They traditionally spoke Judæo-Malayalam, a form of the Malayalam tongue, native to the state of Kerala, in India. Several rounds of immigration of the Jewish diaspora into Kerala, led to a diversity amongst the Cochin Jews.

Some sources say that the earliest Jews were those who settled in the Malabar Coast during the reign of Solomon, and after the Kingdom of Israel split into two. They are sometimes referred to as the "black Jews." The Paradesi Jews, also called "White Jews," settled later, coming to India from Middle Eastern and European nations such as the Netherlands and Spain, and bringing with them the Ladino language. A notable settlement of Spanish and Portuguese Jews (Sephardim) starting in the 15th century was at Goa, but this settlement eventually disappeared. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Cochin received an influx of Jewish settlers from the Middle East, North Africa and Spain.

Jews came to Kerala and settled there as early as 700 BCE in order to trade. An old, but not particularly reliable, tradition says that Cochin Jews came in mass to Cranganore (an ancient port, near Cochin) after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE They had, in effect, their own principality for many centuries until a chieftainship dispute broke out between two brothers in the 15th century. The dispute led neighboring princes to dispossess them. In 1524, the Muslims, backed by the ruler of Calicut (today called Kozhikode), attacked the Jews of Cranganore on the pretext that they were tampering with the pepper trade. Most Jews fled to Cochin and went under the protection of the Hindu Raja there. He granted them a site for their own town that later acquired the name "Jew Town" (by which it is still known).

Unfortunately for the Cochin Jews, the Portuguese occupied Cochin during this same period and they indulged in persecution of the Jews until the Dutch displaced them in 1660. The Dutch Protestants were tolerant, and the Jews prospered. In 1795 Cochin passed into the British sphere of influence. In the 19th century, Cochin Jews lived in the towns of Cochin, Ernakulam, Aluva and Parur.

Claimed Israelite descent, with lineage proven, not recognized as Jews

Knanaya Jews

Claimed Israelite descent, with lineage unproven, recognized as Jews

Bene Israel

According to Bene Israel tradition, the Bene Israel arrived in India in the first century BCE after a shipwreck stranded seven Jewish families from Israel at Navagaon near Alibag, just south of Mumbai. The families grew and integrated with the local Maharashtrian population adopting their language, dress and food. They were nicknamed the śaniwar telī ("Saturday oil-pressers") by the local population as they abstained from work on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath.

The Bene Israel claim a lineage to the kohanim, descendants of Aaron.

Genetic analysis shows that the Bene Israel of India "cluster with neighbouring autochthonous populations in Ethiopia and western India, respectively, despite a clear paternal link between the Bene Israel and the Levant."

Beta Israel

Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewish) or Falasha that has a tradition of descent from the lost tribe of Dan. Their tradition states that the tribe of Dan attempted to avoid the civil war in the Kingdom of Israel between Solomon's son Rehoboam and Jeroboam the son of Nebat, by resettling in Egypt. From there they moved southwards up the Nile into Ethiopia, and the Beta Israel are descended from these Danites.

They have a long history of practicing such Jewish traditions as kashrut, Sabbath and Passover and for this reason their Jewishness was accepted by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Israeli government in 1975.

They emigrated to Israel en masse during the 1980s and 1990s, as Jews, under the Law of Return, during Israel's Operation Moses and Operation Solomon. Some who claim to be Beta Israel still live in Ethiopia. Their claims were formally accepted by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and are accordingly generally regarded as Jews.

Bnei Menashe

The Bnei Menashe is a group in India claiming to be descendants of the half-tribe of Manasseh. Members who have studied Hebrew and who observe the Sabbath and other Jewish laws received in 2005 the support of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel in arranging formal conversion to Judaism. Some have converted and emigrated to Israel under the Law of Return.

According to their oral tradition, along with the rest of the tribes of Israel, the Bnei Menashe were exiled to Assyria (722 BCE). Assyria was conquered by Babylon (612 BCE), which later was conquered by Persia (457 BCE), which later was conquered by Alexander the Great of Greece (331 BCE), from here they were deported to Afghanistan.

They couldn’t settle in Afghanistan, so from there they headed east until they reached the area of the Tibetan-Chinese border. They finally settled in China in 231 BCE.

This is when they realized that they probably should have stayed in Afghanistan, because the Chinese were extremely cruel to them and enslaved them. A sizable portion of them managed to escape and went into hiding from the Chinese in mountainous areas called Sinlung, which later became another name for the Tribe of Menasseh. Another name that they are commonly called are "cave people" or "mountain people". They were in hiding for two generations, during which they lived in extreme poverty, having almost no personal belongings, although they kept the Torah Scroll with them the whole time. Gradually, they started to come out of hiding, and they eventually started assimilating and picking up Chinese influences, however, because of their morbid experiences in China, they decided to leave. They set out west, through Thailand and eventually reached Mandalay, a city in Myanmar. From there they reached the Chin Mountains. In the 18th century a part of them migrated to Mizoram and Manipur which are located in North-East India.

However, with the arrival of Christian missionaries in the area, the whole community was converted to Christianity and all of their written history was destroyed. Today, there are an estimated 2 million people who can be considered Bnei Menashe, however, only about 9,000 of them returned to Judaism.

Non-Jewish groups with proven Israelite lineage


Samaritans, once a comparatively large, but now a very small ethnic and religious group, consisting of about 700 people living in Israel and Samaria. They regard themselves as descendants of the tribes of Ephraim (named by them as Aphrime) and Manasseh (named by them as Manatch), the sons of Joseph. DNA tests have resulted in evidence the Samaritans are of Israelite origin. Y-DNA haplogroup studies have concluded the majority of Samaritan men have a variation of the Cohen gene an Israelite genetic signature found on the Y-DNA of Jews with the tradition of being patrilineally descendant from Aaron the brother of Moses. Samaritans also retain ancient Israelite traditions that predate Judaic customs and the Oral Law. The Samaritan Pentateuch is preserved in a Paleo Hebrew derived script that predates the Babylonian exile and further lends credence to the Israelite lineage of the Samaritans. Samaritans adhere to a version of the Torah, known as the Samaritan Pentateuch, which differs in some respects from the Masoretic text, sometimes in important ways, and less so from the Septuagint. Samaritans do not regard the Tanakh as an accurate or truthful history. They regard only Moses as a prophet, have their own version of Hebrew, and while they do not regard themselves as part of Judaism, Samaritans do consider Jews to be fellow Israelites and view themselves and Jews as the two authentic houses of Israel. Less archaeological work had been performed on investigating the direction and regions of post-Assyrian exile largely because those enthusiastic in pursuing this path of research usually lack skills while archaeologists lack funds, access unlike in Israel where the period of Judges had been to some degree substantiated by physical finds, or interest in pursuing what is seen as a semi-mythical pursuit at the edge of serious research. Usually the lack of archaeological evidence has been explained by the assimilation theory that proposes the exiled Israelites adopting so much of their surrounding cultural traits that any unearthed artefacts can not be identified with them with any certainty.

Since 539 BCE, when Jews began returning from Babylonian captivity, many Jews have rejected the Samaritan claim of descent from the Israelite tribes, though some have regarded them as a sect of Judaism. The advent of genetic studies, the discovery of the Paleo-Hebrew script, and textual comparisons between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Masoretic Text all have made it very difficult to refute the Israelite origin of the Samaritans, causing the majority of the Jewish world in modern times to view the Samaritans as an authentic Israelite group.


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Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin are an ethnic group and a nation who claim to be indigenous to Palestine and the Land of Israel. The scholarly consensus is that Palestinians are descendant from a people who have inhabited the area since antiquity or earlier. There has also been some slight immigration from other nations into the Palestinian people over the centuries. New DNA and historical evidence demonstrates that Palestinians and Jews as well as Samaritans are essentially a single people and ethnic group. Genetically the Palestinians, Jews, and Samaritans all descend from the same stock of Semitic people who lived between 2000 and 3400 years ago in Palestine. Palestinians have the Cohen gene in high frequency which is an Israelite genetic signature found on the Y-DNA of Jewish men with the tradition of being descendent from Aaron the brother of Moses. Palestinians also retain some Hebraic customs such as circumcision after one week, mourning for the dead seven days, and the lighting of candles at grave sites all of which other Arab cultures do not practice. By the time of the Maccabean revolt and Roman occupation of Syria and the Levant the Canaanite, Philistine, and Edomite inhabitants of Palestine had disappeared and by that time Palestine was inhabited solely by Jews and Samaritans. Tsvi Misinai has suggested that about 85% of Palestinians in Judea and the Galilee are descendant from Jews. When the Roman emperor Hadrian exiled the Jews from Palestine in 135 AD after the Bar Kochba revolt some of the 'Amei Haaretz' (people of the land) converted to paganism and stayed in Palestine. This population was converted to Christianity under Constantine and then to Islam during the Muslim conquest of Syria, and today are known as Palestinians.

Evidence suggests while the majority of Palestinians in Judea and the Galilee are the descendants of Jews who remained in Palestine after the Roman exile in 135 AD, Tsvi Misinai has concluded that the majority of Palestinians from Samaria are descendant from Samaritans. This is especially true around the greater area of Nablus where it is estimated that nearly all of the Palestinian inhabitants are Samaritan converts to Islam. Some Palestinians in the Galilee are also descendant from Samaritans or the other northern Israelite tribes of Zebulun, Issachar, Naphtali, Asher, and Dan who populated the region of the Galilee before the Assyrian exile, but who practiced Judaism and not Samaritanism from the time of the Maccabean revolt onward.

Isars or Bnei Makir

The Bnei Makir, better known as Isars (or Isaric Jews), are Hebraic Christians of mixed Indo-European and Asian lineage now living in East Java, Indonesia, and claim direct matrilineal descent from the tribe of Makir (East Manasseh), as well as indirect descent from the tribes of Reuben, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad. They believe that their ancestors were originally exiled from ancient Gilead and Bashan to the plains north of modern Hamadan in Iran, then migrated to Colchis (modern Georgia), and later to central Europe, where they finally settled in Prussia and converted to Catholicism. When the French invaded the region under the rule of Napoleon, the ancestors of the Isars fled to America, ultimately finding refuge in the Plaquemines region of Catholic Louisiana. From there, they intermarried with Hrvats (Croatians) and developed close ties to the Jews living in the region. Most assimilated to the surrounding culture, but one family, led by Yaqob bar-Karoza, left America for Indonesia, where they remain, in the hope that their descendants will one day return to the land of their ancestors, i.e., northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria.

They practice a hybrid form of Christianity that outwardly resembles Karaite Judaism and Islam. Their use of Aramaic in liturgy and prayer is unique among Indonesia's Christian community. The founding Isaric clan belongs to mtDNA haplogroup W3a1, which occurs at relatively high frequency in modern Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan, and the Caucasus. The rarity of this haplogroup in Europe lends support to the Central Asian origin of the maternal line, though the Isars' claim has yet to be recognized by any external Jewish organization. Isars are not the only group of people having mtDNA haplogroup W & claim to descend from Manasseh.

Isars (or Isaric Christians or Bnei Makir) comprise a small ethnoreligious group in America and Indonesia that claims descent from the Byzantine Samaritan Diaspora communities that settled along the Adriatic Sea, specifically those of Dalmatia; thus, like Samaritans, they believe themselves to be descended from the sons of Joseph. They also refer to themselves as Na?orin (a dialectal Aramaic word for Samaritans), and use a Hebraic hybrid form of Aramaic in their liturgy. In contrast to their supposed Samaritan forebears, Isars practice the Christian religion, but their Christianity reflects a mixture of Jewish, Samaritan, and various Christian traditions. They also claim descent from Hebrew peoples who migrated from the Caucasus and from Persia into eastern and central Europe, some of whom may have had ties to Khazarian Jews.

Claimed Israelite descent, with lineage unproven, not recognized as Jews

Benei Sión

Benei Sión, also known as Sabatarios and Cabañistas in Chile, are an ethno-religious group that believe in the Iglesia del Nuevo Pacto (Church of the New Pact). The group originated in Chile where it had by 1994 around 6000 members but is present since the early 1950s in Argentina where it had by 1994 3000 members. It has been proposed that the group derives from cryptojews active in colonial Chile. While originating in the Araucanía Region of Chile the group deny to be Mapuche (Araucanian). One leader has been quoted saying "We are Jews and that's how we feel, because we have the same aspirations as the Jewish people".

Bene Ephraim

The Bene Ephraim, also called Telugu Jews because they speak Telugu, are a small community of Jews living primarily in Kottareddipalem, a village outside Guntur, India, near the delta of the River Krishna.

The Bene Ephraim trace their observance of Judaism back to ancient times, and recount a history similar to that of the Bnei Menashe in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur. They adopted Christianity after the arrival of Baptist missionaries around the beginning of the 19th century.

Since 1981, about 50 families around Kottareddipalem and Ongole (capital of the nearby district of Prakasham) have learned Judaism, learned Hebrew, and have sought recognition from other Jewish communities around the world. Because of the very recent re-ëmergence of this community, and also because of the current overwhelming emphasis on the use of Hebrew as a living language, rather than merely as a liturgical language, the impact of Hebrew on the daily speech of this community has not led to the development, as yet, of a distinctly identifiable "Judæo-Telugu" language or dialect.

The community has been visited over the years, by several groups of rabbis, who have thus far not seen fit to extend the same recognition to this community as that recently extended to the Bnei Menashe.

Black Hebrew Israelites

The Black Hebrew Israelites, or Black Hebrews, are groups of African Americans who claim to be descendants of the ancient Israelites. They claim that they and many Africans, and blacks in places like Brazil, Madagascar and the Caribbean are descended from the Israelites. The Bible claim of the descendants of African slaves in America is specifically based on the prophecy in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.


As recounted in Lemba oral tradition, the ancestor of the Buba clan "had a leadership role in bringing the Lemba out of Israel" and eventually into Southern Africa. The genetic study found that 50% of the males in the Buba clan had the Cohen marker, a proportion higher than in the general Jewish population. While not defining the Lemba as Jews, the genetic results confirm the oral accounts of ancestral males originating from outside Africa, and specifically from southern Arabia.

More recently, Mendez et al. (2011) observed that a moderately high frequency of the studied Lemba samples carried Y-DNA Haplogroup T, which is also considered to be of Near Eastern origin. The Lemba T carriers belonged exclusively to T1b, which is rare and was not sampled in indigenous Jews of the Near East or North Africa. T1b has been observed at low frequencies in the Bulgarian and Ashkenazi Jews as well as in a few Levantine populations.

Recent research published in the South African Medical Journal studied Y-chromosomes variations in two groups of Lemba, one South African and the other Zimbabwean (the Remba). It concluded that "While it was not possible to trace unequivocally the origins of the non-African Y chromosomes in the Lemba and Remba, this study does not support the earlier claims of their Jewish genetic heritage." The researcher suggested "a stronger link with Middle Eastern populations, probably the result of trade activity in the Indian Ocean."

Claimed Israelite descent, with lineage unproven, recognized as Jews

Bene Israel

According to Bene Israel tradition, the Bene Israel arrived in India in the first century BCE after a shipwreck stranded seven Jewish families from Israel at Navagaon near Alibag, just south of Mumbai. The families grew and integrated with the local Maharashtrian population adopting their language, dress and food. They were nicknamed the śaniwar telī ("Saturday oil-pressers") by the local population as they abstained from work on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath.

The Bene Israel claim a lineage to the kohanim, descendants of Aaron.

Genetic analysis shows that the Bene Israel of India "cluster with neighbouring autochthonous populations in Ethiopia and western India, respectively, despite a clear paternal link between the Bene Israel and the Levant."

Other claims of Jewish origin

Other claims of lost tribe status or other Jewish origin, have not yet been accepted by normative Jews.

A tribe of Siberian Asian origin based in Central Russia connects their claims of Jewish rather than pantheistic practices with the Khazars. The latter, an invading tribe from either Mongolia or Kazakhstan that conquered and ruled Russia in the 9th century, is said to have adopted Judaism instead of Christianity or Islam, by their leaders' preference.

A tribe in western Burma near the Indian and Bangladeshi borders has sought genetic research to vindicate its tradition that their ancestors were Syrian and Iranian Jews. Judaism has not become a major theological force in Southeast Asia. Introduced religions such as Hinduism and Islam, which converted several tribal groups, have existed in Indochina (Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) for hundreds or thousands of years.

Affiliation claimed independent of membership with the Jewish people

In Christianity

Based on the New Testament, some Christians claim that Christians are the "new Israel" that replaced the "Children of Israel" since the Jews rejected Jesus. This view is called Supersessionism. Many European settlers in the New World saw themselves as the heirs of those ancient tribes, hence one finds that they named their children and many towns they settled in with names connected to the figures in the Bible. However, other Christians believe that the Jews are still the original children of Israel, and that Christians are adopted children of God but are not the new Israel. This view is a part of dispensationalism.

Ten Lost Tribes

Claims of descent from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel have been made for a variety of non-Jewish groups. These groups include Pashtuns (see Theory of Pashtun descent from Israelites), the British (British Israelism), Kurds, the Japanese, and many others. See the Ten Lost Tribes article for more information on these claims.


According to the Book of Mormon, Lehi was an ancient prophet who lived around 600 BC (1 Nephi 1:4) He was an Israelite of the Tribe of Manasseh (1 Nephi 5:14, Alma 10:3). Lehi and his family lived in Jerusalem in the Kingdom of Judah under the reign of King Zedekiah (1 Nephi 1:4). Lehi also held other property, perhaps outside the city of Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2:4). Some have suggested that he was a merchant. Lehi had at least six sons: Laman, Lemuel, Sam (2 Nephi 1:28), Nephi (1 Nephi 1:4), Jacob, and Joseph (1 Nephi 18:7); and at least two daughters (2 Nephi 5:6), who were not named in the Book of Mormon. Lehi's sons are said to be characteristically Ephrathite, though it is uncertain what this means or why this would be.

Shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem, the Book of Mormon reports that Lehi escaped with his family, along with his friend Ishmael and his family, and another man named Zoram (1 Nephi 2:2-3; 16:7-9). Together, Lehi led them south down the Arabian Peninsula until they reached a fertile coastal region they named Bountiful (1 Nephi 17:1-5). There, they built a ship, and sailed across the ocean to the Americas (1 Nephi 18:6, 1 Nephi 18:22-23). Lehi's sons Nephi and Laman are said to have established themselves and to have founded Israelite nations: the Nephites and the Lamanites (Jacob 1:13-14).

The Palestinian town of Khirbet Beit Lei ("The Ruin of the House of Lei") is purported to be the location of the ancient home of Lehi, although there is only problematic and circumstantial evidence to support it. Very few FARMS scholars and Mormonism historians will definitively tie the two together because of the lack of evidence.

The Latter Day Saint movement (commonly termed Mormons), believe that through baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, they become "regathered" as Israelites, either as recovered from the scattered tribes of Israel, or as Gentiles adopted and grafted into Israel, and thus becoming part of the chosen people of God. These religious denominations derive from a movement started by Joseph Smith, Jr., and almost half of all members live in the United States; the movement does not strictly believe that they are ethnic Jews as such, but rather that Israelites can refer to many different cultures, on occasion including Jews. They believe that certain Old Testament passages are prophecies implying that the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) will take a prominent role in the spread of the gospel to all of scattered Israelites in the last days, and that the tribe of Judah (i.e. Judah) also has a prominent role in the last days and during the Millennium.

Tudor Parfitt Has a New Book

Tudor Parfitt and Emanuela Trevisan Semi have co-authored Judaising Movements: Studies in the Margins of Judaism, published by Rotledge/Curzon in London in April. The book deals with general issues of the Lost Tribes in colonial discourse, the evolution of the Sons of Menasseh, the Lemba, the 'Lost Tribes committees' in Palestine in the 1930s and 40s, the conversion of the community of San Nicandro in Italy and the black Jews of Harlem. Parfitt, well known to Kulanuites as the British anthropologist who has studied the Lemba of Southern Africa, is professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the University of London and director of the Centre of Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Emanuela Trevisan Semi is Professor of Modern Jewish and Hebrew Studies at the University of Venice in Italy.

Jewish Genetics

Some studies pointed at the genetic similarity between European Jews and Middle Eastern populations such as Palestinians, while few pointed at the similarity to Caucasus populations like Adygei, and others pointed at the similarity to Southern European populations like Italians.Most of these studies were done in the pre-genomewide era, using uniparental markers andincluded different reference populations, which makes it difficult to compare their results. Morerecent studies employing whole genome data reported high genetic similarity of European Jewsto Druze, Italian, and Middle Eastern populations

The Khazarian Hypothesis predicts that European Jews share similar ancestry with Caucasus, European, and Middle Eastern populations, whereas the Rhineland Hypothesis predicts their sharing similar ancestry with native Middle Eastern populations.

Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations. Among the European populations, the Adygei population, from the Caucasus region, shows some similarity in cluster membership coefficients to the Jewish populations, especially to the Ashkenazi population The European populations that cluster closest to the pooled Jewish populations are the Tuscan, Italian, Sardinian, and Adygei populations

Individuals with at least 5/6 matches for the original 6 marker Cohen Modal Haplotype occur widely across the Middle East, with significant frequencies in various Arab populations mainly with J1 Haplogroup, "that are not traditionally considered admixed with mainstream Jewish populations" – notably Yemen (34.2%), Oman (22.8%), Negev (21.9%), and Iraq (19.2%); and amongst Muslim Kurds (22.1%), Bedouins (21.9%), and Armenians (12.7%). Support for a Near Eastern origin of this lineage comes from its high frequency in our sample of Bedouins, Yemenis (67%), and Jordanians (55%) and its precipitous drop in frequency as one moves away from Saudi Arabia and the Near East.

"The Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population has long been viewed as a genetic isolate, yet it is still unclear how population bottlenecks, admixture, or positive selection contribute to its genetic structure. Here we analyzed a large AJ cohort and found higher linkage disequilibrium (LD) and identity-by-descent relative to Europeans, as expected for an isolate. However, paradoxically we also found higher genetic diversity, a sign of an older or more admixed population but not of a long-term isolate. Recent reports have reaffirmed that the AJ population has a common Middle Eastern origin with other Jewish Diaspora populations, but also suggest that the AJ population, compared with other Jews, has had the most European admixture. Our analysis indeed revealed higher European admixture than predicted from previous Y-chromosome analyses. Moreover, we also show that admixture directly correlates with high LD, suggesting that admixture has increased both genetic diversity and LD in the AJ population.

"The higher diversity in the AJ population was paralleled by a lower inbreeding coefficient, F, indicating the AJ population is more outbred than Europeans, not inbred, as has long been assumed (P < 1e-7) (Table 1). The greater genetic variation among the AJ population was further confirmed using a pairwise identity-by-state (IBS) permutation test, which showed that average pairs of AJ individuals have significantly less genomewide IBS sharing than pairs of EA or Euro individuals (empirical P value < 0.05). Thus, our results show that the AJ population is more genetically diverse than Europeans. [...] We removed SNPs in high LD and measured the mean heterozygosity per locus across the combined Middle Eastern populations (Bedouin, Palestinian, and Druze) and found that the AJ population had higher heterozygosity Both analyses show that AJ individuals cluster between Middle Eastern and European populations while also verifying that the Ashkenazi Jews possess a unique genetic signature clearly distinguishing them from the other two regions there is a closer relationship between the AJ and several European populations (Tuscans, Italians, and French) than between the AJ and Middle Eastern populations".

proximity of the AJ and Italian populations

"We used the combined Palestinian and Druze populations to represent the Middle Eastern ancestor.

'We were surprised to find evidence that Ashkenazi Jews have higher heterozygosity than Europeans, contradicting the widely-held presumption that they have been a largely isolated group,' says first author Steven Bray, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Warren's laboratory. [...] High linkage disequilibrium can come either from an isolated population (for example, an island whose residents are all descendents of shipwreck survivors) or the relatively recent mixture of separate populations. Bray and his colleagues did find evidence of elevated linkage disequilibrium in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, but were able to show that this matches signs of interbreeding or 'admixture' between Middle Eastern and European populations. The researchers were able to estimate that between 35 and 55 percent of the modern Ashkenazi genome comes from European descent. [...] He adds that his group's analysis agrees with a recently published study from New York University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and supports estimates of a high level of European admixture, accounting for up to half of the genetic make-up of contemporary Ashkenazi (how'bout if the Europeans are fellow Lost Israelites?).

"For more than a century, Jews and non-Jews alike have tried to define the relatedness of contemporary Jewish people. Previous genetic studies of blood group and serum markers suggested that Jewish groups had Middle Eastern origin with greater genetic similarity between paired Jewish populations. However, these and successor studies of monoallelic Y chromosomal and mitochondrial genetic markers did not resolve the issues of within and between-group Jewish genetic identity. Here, genome-wide analysis of seven Jewish groups (Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek, and Ashkenazi) and comparison with non-Jewish groups demonstrated distinctive Jewish population clusters, each with shared Middle Eastern ancestry, proximity to contemporary Middle Eastern populations, and variable degrees of European and North African admixture. Two major groups were identified by principal component, phylogenetic, and identity by descent (IBD) analysis: Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews. The IBD segment sharing and the proximity of European Jews to each other and to southern European populations suggested similar origins for European Jewry and refuted large-scale genetic contributions of Central and Eastern European and Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry.

"The genetic, cultural and religious traditions of contemporary Jewish people originated in the Middle East over three thousand years ago. Since that time, Jewish communities have migrated from the Middle East into Europe, North Africa and across the world. ... This study shows that although Jewish people experienced genetic mixing with surrounding populations, they retained a genetic coherence along with a religious one. 'Previous genetic studies of blood group and serum markers suggested that Jewish groups had Middle Eastern origin with greater genetic similarity between paired Jewish populations,' says senior study author, Dr. Harry Ostrer... 'More recent studies of Y chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA have pointed to founder effects of both Middle Eastern and local origin, yet, the issue of how to characterize Jewish people as mere coreligionists or as genetic isolates that may be closely or loosely related remained unresolved. ... Yet the genomes of the Jewish Diaspora groups have distinctive features that are representative of each group's genetic history.' says Dr. Ostrer. 'Our study demonstrated that the studied Jewish populations represent a series of geographical isolates or clusters with genetic threads that weave them together,' added Dr. Gil Atzmon... The researchers identified distinct Jewish population clusters that each exhibited a shared Middle Eastern ancestry, proximity to contemporary Middle Eastern populations and variable degrees of European and North African genetic intermingling. ... The two major groups, Middle Eastern Jews and European Jews, were timed to have diverged from each other approximately 2500 years ago. Southern European populations show the greatest proximity to Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Italian Jews, reflecting the large-scale southern European conversion and admixture known to have occurred over 2,000 years ago during the formation of the European Jewry. An apparent North African ancestry component was also observed as was present in the Sephardic groups potentially reflecting gene flow from Moorish to Jewish populations in Spain from 711 to 1492. ... Dr. Ostrer noted, 'The study supports the idea of a Jewish people linked by a shared genetic history. Yet the admixture with European people explains why so many European and Syrian Jews have blue eyes and blonde hair.'"

Jews worldwide share genetic ties: But analysis also reveals close links to Palestinians and Italians."

"Different communities of Jews around the world share more than just religious or cultural practices -- they also have strong genetic commonalities, according to the largest genetic analysis of Jewish people to date. But the study also found strong genetic ties to non-Jewish groups, with the closest genetic neighbours on the European side being Italians (In times of the Roman empire many Italians [Roman soldiers & others. People from the Italian peninsula] moved to Britain mixing with the native Celts & when the Roman empire fell they stayed. Later when the Anglosaxons invaded they expelled the Celts [including the Roman offspring] to current western & northern areas peopled by Celts: Scottland, Wales, Cornwall... Nowadays in these areas, especially in Wales, you find people with dark hair & eyes like the celebrated Welsh actress Catherine Z. Jones. Nevertheles, many Jewish slaves were brought to Italy. When the Germanic [regarded as Lost Israelites] Longobards, Ostrogoths & Lombards invaded Italy the population input changed even more. Finally many parts of Italy belonged to Spain & many Jews, especially in a concealed Christian form, found refuge in Italy. Northern Italy has a larger Celtic [also regarded as Lost Israelite] & Germanic input, whereas southern Italy has a higher Jewish input), and on the Middle Eastern side the Druze (several people consider them as having Jewish origin, including a Druze parliamentarian), Bedouin and Palestinians (many Bedouins & Palestinians recognize their Jewish-Israelite roots). Researchers in New York and Tel Aviv conducted a genome-wide analysis on 237 individuals from seven well-established Jewish communities around the world, hailing from Iran, Iraq, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria and eastern Europe (these nations have large populations regarded as having Jewish or Israelite origin: Druzes, Dönmehs, Alawites, Alevis, Bektashis, Zazas, Kurds, Armenians, Yazidis, Mandeans, Shabaks, Kakais...). The team then compared these genetic profiles to those of non-Jews in the same geographic regions based on data from the Human Genome Diversity Project.... The genetic ties identified in the present study... are consistent with the results of previous work, says Sarah Tishkoff, a human geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, 'but this is, I would say, the first study to put everything together into a big picture by looking at a large number of sites in the nuclear genome'. The researchers analysed single-letter differences in the genome called single nucleotide polymorphisms, longer segments of DNA shared between different Jewish groups, as well as deleted or duplicated stretches of DNA called copy-number variants. Although the groups had strong genetic commonalities, the results also showed a varying degree of genetic mixing with nearby non-Jewish populations. The most genetically distinct Jewish communities, compared both to other Jewish groups and to nearby non-Jews, were those from Iran and Iraq. theory proposes that Ashkenazi Jews (of eastern European origin) are largely descended from Khazars in eastern Europe who converted to Judaism, but the genetic closeness between Ashkenazi Jews and other non-European Jews does not support this idea. ...Ostrer says... 'We really see the events of the Jewish diaspora in the genomes of Jewish people.' ... Ostrer says that the researchers are extending their analysis to more Jewish populations. They also hope to apply the findings to medical research..."

Sharon Begley. "The DNA of Abraham's Children." Newsweek Web Exclusive (June 3, 2010). Excerpts:

"The latest DNA volume weighs in on the controversial, centuries-old (and now revived in a 2008 book) claim that European Jews are all the descendants of Khazars, a Turkic group of the north Caucasus who converted to Judaism in the late eighth and early ninth century. The DNA has spoken: no. ... To sort it out, researchers collected DNA from Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Ashkenazi Jews around New York City; Turkish Sephardic Jews in Seattle; Greek Sephardic Jews in Thessaloniki and Athens; and Italian Jews in Rome as part of the Jewish HapMap Project. (All four grandparents of each participant had to have come from the same community.) ... Jewish populations, that is, have retained their genetic coherence just as they have retained their cultural and religious traditions, despite migrations from the Middle East into Europe, North Africa, and beyond over the centuries, says geneticist Harry Ostrer of NYU Langone Medical Center, who led the study. Each Diaspora group has distinctive genetic features 'representative of each group's genetic history,' he says, but each also 'shares a set of common genetic threads' dating back to their common origin in the Middle East. 'Each of the Jewish populations formed its own distinctive cluster, indicating the shared ancestry and relative genetic isolation of the members of each of those groups.' The various Jewish groups were more related to each other than to non-Jews, as well. Within every Jewish group, individuals shared as much of their genome as two fourth or fifth cousins, with Italian, Syrian, Iranian, and Iraqi Jews the most inbred, in the sense that they married within the small, close-knit community. In general, the genetic similarity of any two groups was larger the closer they lived to one another, but there was an exception: Turkish and Italian Jews were most closely related genetically, but are quite separated geographically. Historical records suggest that Iranian and Iraqi Jews date from communities that formed in Persia and Babylon, respectively, in the fourth to sixth centuries B.C.E., and the DNA confirms that. The genetic signatures of these groups show that they remained relatively isolated--inbred--for some 3,000 years. The DNA also reveals that these Middle Eastern Jews diverged from the ancestors of today's European Jews about 100 to 150 generations ago, or sometime during the first millennium B.C.E."

"Study Points to Shared Genetic Patterns amongst Jewish Populations."

"The research, scheduled to appear online today in the American Journal of Human Genetics, suggests all Jewish populations tested fall into a large genetic cluster that contains population-specific sub-groups with different levels of Middle Eastern ancestry and European and North African admixture. 'It's really cool that Jews have maintained this degree of genetic coherence over time,' senior author Harry Ostrer, a human genetics researcher with the New York University School of Medicine, told GenomeWeb Daily News. Within this larger Jewish group, the team found two main sub-groups: one representing Jewish populations in Europe and Syria and another containing Jewish populations from Iran and Iraq. ...studies of most Jewish populations have relied on relatively limited Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA sequence data. For the current study, researchers used the Affymetrix 6.0 microarray platform to genotype 305 Jewish participants... These individuals came from one of seven major Jewish groups, representing Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardic Jews from Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and Mizrahi Jews from Iran, Iraq, and Syria. After quality control steps, the team was left with data for 237 Jewish individuals, which they compared with hundreds of non-Jewish samples from the Human Genome Diversity Project... In particular, Ostrer said, the researchers were surprised to see such a high level of genetic relatedness in European Jewry, with Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Italian, and Syrian Jews clustering more closely to one another than to Jewish populations in Iran and Iraq. The results argue against the notion that Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of Eastern European groups such as the Slavs or Khazars, Ostrer noted. 'There's just no evidence for that.' Instead, Ashkenazi Jews seem to be more genetically similar to non-Jewish populations in Northern Italy, France, and Sardinia. Meanwhile, Jewish populations in Iran and Iraq tended to cluster closer to non-Jewish Palestinian, Druze, and Bedouin populations than to Europeans. ... Down the road, the team intends to genotype additional populations..."

Bayesian clustering, neighbor-joining trees, and multidimensional scaling place the Jewish populations as intermediate between the non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations. ... These results support the view that the Jewish populations largely share a common Middle Eastern ancestry and that over their history they have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish populations of European descent. ... The Middle Eastern populations included in the study were Bedouin (46), Druze (42), Mozabite (there's no secret regarded the long Berber-Jewish mixture), and Palestinian (46). The European populations were Adygei (17), Basque (24), French (28), Italian (13), Orcadian (15), Russian (25), Sardinian (28), and Tuscan (8). Middle Eastern and European non-Jewish individuals were taken from the H952 subset of the HGDP-CEPH panel. The Jewish samples included Ashkenazi Jews (20), Moroccan Jews (20), Tunisian Jews (20), and Turkish Jews (20). ... Figure 2 illustrates the major clustering solutions for each value of K from 2 to 6. ... For K = 4, the Druze, Bedouins and Palestinians are each largely distinct in cluster membership coefficients; the Jewish populations show somewhat greater similarity to these three Middle Eastern groups than do the European populations other than the Adygei (most peoples in the Caucasus are regarded as Lost Israelites), but they also have greater similarity to the European populations than do the Middle Eastern groups. Among the European populations, the Adygei population, from the Caucasus region, shows some similarity in cluster membership coefficients to the Jewish populations, especially to the Ashkenazi population (this similarity is also observable for K = 2 and K = 3). For K = 5, the new cluster produced contains most Palestinian individuals, as well as sizable components of the four Jewish populations, the Adygei and the Bedouins. For K = 6, this cluster is further subdivided, producing one cluster that corresponds mainly to Palestinians and one cluster that corresponds mainly to the Jewish populations and to a lesser extent, the Adygei and Bedouins. ... French and Palestinians also provide the most similar pair for Moroccan Jews, with coefficients very nearly equal to the values in the case of Turkish Jews (? = 0.45 for French). The most similar pair for Ashkenazi Jews consists of French and Turkish Jews (? = 0.50), whereas for Tunisian Jews the most similar pair consists of Sardinians and Palestinians (? = 0.42 for Sardinians). For all four Jewish populations, many of the ten closest pairs of populations consist of one Middle Eastern population and either one European population or one of the other Jewish populations. ...The Tunisian Jews are located further from the pooled European populations than are any of the other Jewish populations... The plot places the Palestinians closer to the Moroccan and Turkish Jews than to the other Jewish populations... It further suggests that the Tunisian Jews are the most distinctive Jewish population, whereas the Ashkenazi, Turkish, and Moroccan Jewish populations are genetically more similar to each other. ... The Turkish Jews are not easily distinguished from the Ashkenazi and Moroccan Jews in the MDS analysis, and are placed in positions overlapping with the Ashkenazi and Moroccan Jewish individuals. ... While the ultimate fate of the Khazar population remains unknown, the theory has been advanced that a large fraction of the ancestry of eastern European Jews derives from the Khazars. This theory would predict ancestry for the eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish population to be distinct from that of the other Jewish populations in the study. Although we did not observe such a distinct ancestry, it is noteworthy that in some analyses ... we did detect similarity of the Adygei, a north Caucasian group from the area once occupied by the Khazars, to the Jewish populations. ... Among the Jewish populations, the Tunisians were found to be the least variable and most distinctive, and their genotypes could be most easily distinguished from those of the three other Jewish populations. This result suggests a smaller population size and greater degree of genetic isolation for this population compared to the other Jewish groups, or a significant level of admixture with local populations. These explanations are not incompatible, as it is possible that early admixture was followed by a long period of isolation. Some Berber admixture of Tunisian Jews may very well have taken place [61,63], and documentation of rare Mendelian disorders in Tunisian Jews [67-69] supports a view of isolation with relatively few founding individuals. A smaller-scale autosomal study that did not include Tunisian Jews found the neighboring Libyan Jewish population to be distinctive with respect to other Jewish populations [66], and our results concerning the Tunisian Jewish population might reflect a similar phenomenon."

"Data on the Y chromosome indicates that the males originated in the Middle East, while the mothers' mitochondrial DNA seems to indicate a local Diaspora origin in the female community founders....

"The emerging genetic picture is based largely on two studies, one published two years ago and the other this month, that together show that the men and women who founded the Jewish communities had surprisingly different genetic histories.... A new study now shows that the women in nine Jewish communities from Georgia, the former Soviet republic, to Morocco have vastly different genetic histories from the men.... The women's identities, however, are a mystery, because, unlike the case with the men, their genetic signatures are not related to one another or to those of present-day Middle Eastern populations.... The new study, by Dr. David Goldstein, Dr. Mark Thomas and Dr. Neil Bradman of University College in London and other colleagues, appears in The American Journal of Human Genetics this month.... His [Goldstein's] own speculation, he said, is that most Jewish communities were formed by unions between Jewish men and local women, though he notes that the women's origins cannot be genetically determined.... Like the other Jewish communities in the study, the Ashkenazic community of Northern and Central Europe, from which most American Jews are descended, shows less diversity than expected in its mitochondrial DNA, perhaps reflecting the maternal definition of Jewishness. But unlike the other Jewish populations, it does not show signs of having had very few female founders. It is possible, Dr. Goldstein said, that the Ashkenazic community is a mosaic of separate populations formed the same way as the others.... 'The authors are correct in saying the historical origins of most Jewish communities are unknown,' Dr. [Shaye] Cohen [of Harvard University] said. 'Not only the little ones like in India, but even the mainstream Ashkenazic culture from which most American Jews descend.'.... If the founding mothers of most Jewish communities were local, that could explain why Jews in each country tend to resemble their host community physically while the origins of their Jewish founding fathers may explain the aspects the communities have in common (including the Lembas, Igbos, Maggidis, Chinkukis, Qiangs, Maoris, Hata Japanese...), Dr. Cohen said.... The Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA's in today's Jewish communities reflect the ancestry of their male and female founders but say little about the rest of the genome... Noting that the Y chromosome points to a Middle Eastern origin of Jewish communities and the mitochondrial DNA to a possibly local origin, Dr. Goldstein said that the composition of ordinary chromosomes, which carry most of the genes, was impossible to assess. 'My guess,' Dr. Goldstein said, 'is that the rest of the genome will be a mixture of both.'"

"Founding Mothers of Jewish Communities: Geographically Separated Jewish Groups Were Independently Founded by Very Few Female Ancestors." The American Journal of Human Genetics 70:6 (June 2002): 1411-1420. The study collected mtDNA from about 600 Jews and non-Jews from around the world, including 78 Ashkenazic Jews and Georgians, Uzbeks, Germans, Berbers, Ethiopians, Arabs, etc. 17.9% of sampled Iraqi Jews have an mtDNA pattern known as U3, compared to 2.6% of Ashkenazic Jews, 0.9% of Moroccan Jews, 1.7% of ethnic Berbers, 1.1% of ethnic Germans, 0.0% of Iranian Jews, 0.0% of Georgian Jews, 0.0% of Bukharian Jews, 0.0% of Yemenite Jews, 0.0% of Ethiopian Jews, 0.0% of Indian Jews, 0.0% of Syrian Arabs, 0.0% of Georgians, 0.0% of Uzbeks, 0.0% of Yemeni Arabs, 0.0% of Ethiopians, 0.0% of Asian Indians, 0.0% of Israeli Arabs. (According to Vincent Macaulay, U3 is found also among some Turks, Iraqis, Caucasus tribes, Alpine Europeans, North Central Europeans, Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Eastern Mediterranean Europeans, Central Mediterranean Europeans, Western Mediterranean Europeans, and southeastern Europeans.) Another pattern, called Haplotype I, was found among 12.1% of Bukharan Jews, 2.6% of Ashkenazic Jews, 1.8% of Iraqi Jews, 1.3% of Iranian Jews, 1.1% of ethnic Germans, and 2.4% of ethnic Asian Indians, and none of the other groups among individuals tested. (According to Vincent Macaulay, Haplotype I is found also among some Northeastern Europeans, North Central Europeans, Caucasus tribes, Northwestern Europeans, and Scandinavians.) Yet another pattern, called Haplotype J1, was found among 12.5% of Iraqi Jews, 2.7% of Iranian Jews, 9.2% of Yemenite Jews, and 1.7% of Israeli Arabs, and none of the other groups among individuals tested. (According to Vincent Macaulay, Haplotype J1 is found also among some Iraqi Arabs, Bedouins, Palestinian Arabs, and Azerbaijanis.) To compare with Vincent Macaulay's research on mtDNA, visit Supplementary data from Richards et al. (2000). Abstract:

"We have analyzed the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA from each of nine geographically separated Jewish groups, eight non-Jewish host populations, and an Israeli Arab/Palestinian population, and we have compared the differences found in Jews and non-Jews with those found using Y-chromosome data that were obtained, in most cases, from the same population samples. The results suggest that most Jewish communities were founded by relatively few women, that the founding process was independent in different geographic areas, and that subsequent genetic input from surrounding populations was limited on the female side. In sharp contrast to this, the paternally inherited Y chromosome shows diversity similar to that of neighboring populations and shows no evidence of founder effects.

"Unfortunately, in many cases, it is not possible to infer the geographic origin of the founding mtDNAs within the different Jewish groups with any confidence.... || In two cases, however, comparison [of Jewish mtDNA] with the published data does provide some indication of the possible geographic origins of the modal types. The modal type in the Bene Israel is a one-step mutational neighbor of a haplotype present in the Indian sample, as well as being a one-step neighbor of a type previously identified in India. Similarly, the commmonest type in the Ethiopian Jewish sample is also present in the non-Jewish Ethiopian sample and occurs in the worldwide mtDNA database only in Somalia. Other high-frequency haplotypes in the Ethiopian Jewish sample are also found almost entirely in Africa (data not shown). The lack of an indication of a Middle Eastern origin for these haplotypes, on the basis of the Richards database, makes local recruitment a more reasonable explanation in these two cases." (pp. 1415, 1417)

"Studies of human genetic diversity have barely begun. Yet the fashion for genetic ancestry testing is booming.... Buoyed by the hype, the private sector has been moving in. Other groups, such as Jews, are now being targeted. This despite the fact that Jewish communities have little in common on their mitochondrial side - the maternal line down which Judaism is traditionally inherited. It's the male side that shows common ancestry between different Jewish communities - so, of course, that's what the geneticists focus on."
Ariella Oppenheim's study, 2001

"The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East."

"A sample of 526 Y chromosomes representing six Middle Eastern populations (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Kurdish Jews from Israel; Muslim Kurds; Muslim Arabs from Israel and the Palestinian Authority Area; and Bedouin from the Negev) was analyzed for 13 binary polymorphisms and six microsatellite loci. The investigation of the genetic relationship among three Jewish communities revealed that Kurdish and Sephardic Jews were indistinguishable from one another, whereas both differed slightly, yet significantly, from Ashkenazi Jews. The differences among Ashkenazim may be a result of low-level gene flow from European populations and/or genetic drift during isolation. Admixture between Kurdish Jews and their former Muslim host population in Kurdistan appeared to be negligible. In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors. The two haplogroups Eu 9 and Eu 10 constitute a major part of the Y chromosome pool in the analyzed sample. Our data suggest that Eu 9 originated in the northern part, and Eu 10 in the southern part of the Fertile Crescent... Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin differed from the other Middle Eastern populations studied here, mainly in specific high-frequency Eu 10 haplotypes not found in the non-Arab groups. These chromosomes might have been introduced through migrations from the Arabian Peninsula during the last two millennia..."

"The most-frequent haplotype in all three Jewish groups (the CMH [haplotype 159 in the Appendix]) segregated on a Eu 10 background, together with the three modal haplotypes in Palestinians and Bedouin (haplotypes 144, 151, and 166). The dominant haplotype of the Muslim Kurds (haplotype 114) was only one microsatellite-mutation step apart from the CMH and the modal haplotype of the Bedouin, but it belonged to haplogroup Eu 9. .... Previous studies of Y chromosome polymorphisms reported a small European contribution to the Ashkenazi paternal gene pool (Santachiara-Benerecetti et al. 1993; Hammer et al. 2000). In our sample, this low-level gene flow may be reflected in the Eu 19 chromosomes, which are found at elevated frequency (12.7%) in Ashkenazi Jews and which are very frequent in Eastern Europeans (54%-60%) (Semino et al. 2000). Alternatively, it is attractive to hypothesize that Ashkenazim with Eu 19 chromosomes represent descendants of the Khazars, originally a Turkic tribe from Central Asia, who settled in southern Russia and eastern Ukraine and converted en masse to Judaism in the ninth century of the present era, as described by Yehuda Ha-Levi in 1140 A.D. (Dunlop 1954)."Page 1104: "It is worth mentioning that, on the basis of protein polymorphisms [which are not to be confused with Y chromosome polymorphisms], most Jewish populations cluster very closely with Iraqis (Livshits et al. 1991) that the latter, in turn, cluster very closely with Kurds (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994)."

At Table 1: Y Chromosome Haplogroup Distribution, it is indicated that 11.6 percent of Muslim Kurds and 9.4 percent of Bedouins also have Eu 19 chromosomes; hence, genetic drift rather than admixture with East Europeans may theoretically explain Eu 19's presence among Ashkenazi Jews. On the other hand, the origin of Eu 19 (now known as R1a1) is from eastern Europe thousands of years ago, perhaps the kurgan culture, and is found in much higher quantities among Slavs (like Sorbs, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Poles) than any Middle Eastern tribe.

In Figure 3 of Nebel et al.'s 2001 paper, it can be seen that while some Muslim Kurds possess the Cohen Modal Haplotype (at a frequency of 0.011), and even some Palestinian Arabs do (at a frequency of 0.021), more Muslim Kurds (0.095) have a haplotype that is a different Y DNA lineage, with a different allele number in one of the six microsatellite locis. Figure 3 is also interesting since it shows that 0.021 of Palestinian Arabs have the Cohen Modal Haplotype.

Judy Siegel. "Genetic evidence links Jews to their ancient tribe." Jerusalem Post (November 20, 2001). Excerpts:

"Despite being separated for over 1,000 years, Sephardi Jews of North African origin are genetically indistinguishable from their brethren from Iraq, according to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They also proved that Sephardi Jews are very close genetically to the Jews of Kurdistan, and only slight differences exist between these two groups and Ashkenazi Jews from Europe. These conclusions are reached in an article published recently in the American Journal of Human Genetics and written by Prof. Ariella Oppenheim of the Hebrew University (HU) and Hadassah-University Hospital in Ein Kerem. Others involved are German doctoral student Almut Nebel, Dr. Marina Faerman of HU, Dr. Dvora Filon of Hadassah-University Hospital, and other colleagues from Germany and India. The researchers conducted blood tests of Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Kurdish Jews and examined their Y chromosomes, which are carried only by males. They then compared them with those of various Arab groups - Palestinians, Beduins, Jordanians, Syrians and Lebanese - as well as to non-Arab populations from Transcaucasia - Turks, Armenians and Moslem Kurds. The study is based on 526 Y chromosomes typed by the Israeli team and additional data on 1,321 individuals from 12 populations... Surprisingly, the study shows a closer genetic affinity by Jews to the non-Jewish, non-Arab populations in the northern part of the Middle East than to Arabs."

"Sephardic North African Jews are genetic twins of their Iraq brethren, says a study by researchers [Nebel, Faerman, et al.] at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.... Although the genetic affinity of Jews to the ancient, Middle Eastern non-Arab populations is greater than to Arabs (as shown in the present study), a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Jews (70%) and Palestinian Muslim Arabs (50%) belong to the same chromosome pool. An additional 30% of the Muslim Arab chromosomes belong to a very closely related lineage... [because] part - or perhaps the majority - of Muslim Arabs in the Land of Israel descended from local inhabitants, mainly Christians and Jews, who had converted after the Islamic conquest of the 7th century A.D."

"The people closest to the Jews from a genetic point of view may be the Kurds (because the Kurds are Lost Israelites), according to results of a new study at the Hebrew University. Scientists who participated in the research said the findings seem to indicate both peoples had common ancestors who lived in the northern half of the fertile crescent, where northern Iraq and Turkey are today. Some of them, it is assumed, wandered south in pre-historic times and settled on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Professor Ariella Oppenheim and Dr. Marina Feirman [sic: Faerman], who carried out the research at the Hebrew University, said they were surprised to find a closer genetic connection between the Jews and the populations of the fertile crescent than between the Jews and their Arab neighbors... The present study, however, involved more detailed and thorough examinations than previous research. In addition, this was the first comparison of the DNA of Jews and Kurds... The researchers used the DNA of 1,847 Jewish men of Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Kurdish descent; Muslims and Christians of Kurdish, Turkish and Armenian descent; various Arab populations; and Russians, Poles and residents of Belarus."

"A new study by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem reveals: the Kurds are the people closest to the Jews genetically. Scientists who carried out the study, including Prof. Ariella Friedman [sic: Oppenheim] and Dr. Marina Fireman [sic: Faerman], say that according to the findings, the Jews and the Kurds share common ancient forefathers, who lived in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent (a part of contemporary Iraq and Syria). Some moved southward in pre-historic times and settled along the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean. The researchers say that they were surprised to find that the Jews were closer genetically to the Kurds (and to the Turks) than to their Arab neighbors. The findings of the study, which for the first time included a comparison between DNA samples from Jews and DNA samples from Muslim Kurds, also surprised historians such as Prof. Bezalel Bar-Kochba of Tel-Aviv University and Dr. Gunner Lehman of Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, who said: "`It is difficult to explain the findings within the context of the knowledge we have about material and historic culture.'"

"Professor Ariella Oppenheim of Hebrew University, a geneticist of mixed Ashkenazic and Sephardic descent and one of six scientists who authored the study, called the results surprising. 'I expected a few more admixtures,' Oppenheim told the Forward. Almost all the researchers expected to see a greater link between Ashkenazic Jews and non-Jewish Eastern Europeans. They thought they would see in the bloodlines the results of Eastern European pogroms, when many Jewish women were raped, producing offspring whose biological fathers were not Jewish.... 'It had an effect,' Oppenheim said, but it didn't significantly alter the gene pool. Ashkenazic Jews are still closer, genetically, to Sephardic and Kurdish Jews than to any other population.... 'Part of [the study] was financed by [the government of] India,' Oppenheim said.... The scientists looked at Y-chromosomes, which come from the male, 'Mostly because [they] give us a bit of a simpler picture,' Oppenheim said. Oppenheim said that a more thorough study, involving mitochondrial DNA, which comes from the female, will soon get under way."
Ariella Oppenheim's study, 2000

"High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews."

High-resolution Y chromosome haplotype analysis was performed in 143 paternally unrelated Israeli and Palestinian Moslem Arabs (I&P Arabs) by screening for 11 binary polymorphisms and six microsatellite loci. At the haplogroup level, defined by the binary polymorphisms only, the Y chromosome distribution in Arabs and Jews was similar but not identical. At the haplotype level, determined by both binary and microsatellite markers, a more detailed pattern was observed. Single-step micro-satellite networks of Arabs and Jewish haplotypes revealed a common pool for a large portion of Y chromosomes, suggesting a relatively recent common ancestry. The two modal haplotypes in the I&P Arabs were closely related to the most frequent haplotype of Jews (the Cohen modal haplotype). However, the I&P Arab clade that includes the two Arab modal haplotypes (and makes up 32% of Arab chromosomes) is found at only very low frequency among Jews, reflecting divergence and/or admixture from other populations.

"Jews and Arabs Share Recent Ancestry." Science Now (American Academy for the Advancement of Science, October 30, 2000). In the last sentence, it is admitted that European Jews mixed with groups residing in Europe. Excerpts:

"More than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men whose DNA was studied inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the last few thousand years. The results match historical accounts that some Moslem Arabs are descended from Christians and Jews who lived in the southern Levant, a region that includes Israel and the Sinai... Intrigued by the genetic similarities between the two populations, geneticist Ariella Oppenheim of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who collaborated on the earlier study, focused on Arab and Jewish men. Her team examined the Y chromosomes of 119 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews and 143 Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. The Y chromosomes of many of the men had key segments of DNA that were so similar that they clustered into just three of many groups known as haplogroups. Other short segments of DNA called microsatellites were similar enough to reveal that the men must have had common ancestors within the past several thousand years. The study, reported here at a Human Origins and Disease conference, will appear in an upcoming issue of Human Genetics. Hammer praises the new study for 'focusing in detail on the Jewish and Palestinian populations.' Oppenheim's team found, for example, that Jews have mixed more with European populations, which makes sense because some of them lived in Europe during the last millennium."

Judy Siegel. "Experts find genetic Jewish-Arab link." Jerusalem Post (November 6, 2000). Despite its merits, this study uses a small sample size and an improbable set of test subjects. It is puzzling that the Northern Welsh were tested, because it's obvious that they are farther away from European Jews than Arabs.

"DNA research carried out at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School and University College in London has shown that many Jews and Arabs are closely related. Over seven out of 10 Jewish men and half of Arab men whose DNA was studied inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors - who lived in the Middle East in the Neolithic period in prehistoric times. The research, to be published soon in the journal Human Genetics... was carried out by Prof. Ariella Oppenheim, a senior geneticist in the Hebrew University's hematology department. Dr. Marina Faerman, Dr. Dvora Filon of the Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem, HU doctoral student Almut Nebel, and Mark Thomas and others at the British university assisted. The work was also reported last week in the journal Science. Oppenheim and her colleagues tested blood from 143 Israeli and Palestinian Moslem Arabs whose great-grandfathers were not related. Chromosome set data were compared with that of 119 Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, and to that of non-Jewish residents of northern Wales. The researchers found that the Arabs are more closely related to Jews than they are to the Welsh, indicating a more recent common ancestry. Arabs and Jews had about 18 percent of all their chromosomes in common... 'Our findings are in good agreement with historical evidence and suggest genetic continuity in both populations despite their long separation and the wide geographic dispersal of Jews,' Oppenheim wrote."

"Analysis of the Y chromosome has already yielded interesting results. Dr. Ariella Oppenheim of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem said she had found considerable similarity between Jews and Israeli and Palestinian Arabs, as if the Y chromosomes of both groups had been drawn from a common population that began to expand 7,800 years ago."

Tamara Traubman. "A new study shows that the genetic makeup of Jews and Arabs is almost identical, and that both groups share common prehistoric ancestors." Ha'aretz (2000). Excerpts:

"About two-thirds of Israeli Arabs and Arabs in the territories and a similar proportion of Israeli Jews are the descendents of at least three common prehistoric ancestors who lived in the Middle East in the Neolithic period, about 8,000 years ago. This is the finding of a new study conducted by an international team of scholars headed by Prof. Ariella Oppenheim, a senior geneticist in the Hebrew University's hematology department and at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. In the study, soon to be published in the scientific journal 'Human Genetics,' the researchers probed the history of Jewish and Arab men by analyzing the genetic changes in the Y chromosome... The study was conducted by doctoral student Almut Nebel, with the participation of Dr. Dvora Filon and Dr. Marina Faerman of the Hebrew University and Dr. Mark Thomas of the University College of London. The results of the study, says Prof. Oppenheim, 'support the historical documentation according to which the Arabs are descendents of an ancient population of the country and that a large proportion of them were Jews who converted to Islam after Islam reached Eretz Israel in the seventh century CE.'... They examined 134 Palestinians from Israel and the Palestinian Authority and 119 Ashkenazi and Sepharadi Jews. Unlike the previous study, they also traced changes in DNA that occur more frequently, at a rate of about once in 1,000 generations. In this way, they discovered that Jews and Arabs have common prehistoric ancestors who lived here until just the last few thousand years.... In view of the small geographical area of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the researchers were surprised to discover that some Palestinians on the West Bank have a unique genetic trait that is reflected in a relatively high frequency of certain genetic signs. This fact indicates that they are the descendents of people who have lived here for a few hundred years at least. The unique genetic feature of the Palestinians from the West Bank became even more explicit when the researchers studied a genetic defect that may cause a blood disease known as thalassemia. There are many genetic defects that can cause thalassemia, but 50 percent of the mountain dwellers examined carried the identical defect, compared to only 10 percent of Galilee dwellers and 15 percent of Gaza residents. Dr. Filon says that the unique genetic trait is characteristic of a population that has lived in the same place for many generations."

"Family Matters: Funny, We Don't Look Jewish."

"...As the fair-haired, blue-eyed daughter of a woman who looks more Nordic than Jewish, I always wondered if I was really Semitic. My siblings and I didn't look much like most other Jews - Ashkenazic or Sefardic... As a child, I blamed our looks on Cossack rapes. When I read Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe, I bought his theory that Ashkenazim were descended from the Khazars, a Caucasian people who had converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. The search for genetic knowledge strikes a deep chord among Jews. Last year, through my local genealogy society, I met Dr. Harry Ostrer, head of the Human Genetics Program at the New York University School of Medicine... The study of evolutionary and genetic history through DNA analysis is transforming what we know about ourselves... In 1997, Karl Skorecki in Haifa, Michael Hammer in Tucson and several London researchers surprised everyone by finding evidence of the Jewish priestly line of males, the Kohanim. Half of Ashkenazic men and slightly more than half of Sefardic men who claimed to be Kohanim were found to have a distinctive set of genetic markers on their Y chromosome, making it highly possible that they are descendants of a single male or group of related males who lived between 1180 and 650 B.C.E., about the time of Moses and Aaron. The Kohen marker is but a fragment of the information gleaned from DNA analysis... A study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science looked at the Y chromosomes of 1,371 males from seven Jewish population groups and came up with a profile of Jewish genes. They found 13 major Y-chromosome patterns or signatures, called haplotypes. 'The haplotypes of all but Ethiopian Jews shared a similar pattern,' says Ostrer, a member of the study team led by Hammer and Batsheva Bonne-Tamir of Tel-Aviv University. 'This means we are not descended from one person or 12 tribes but 13 founder males' (if we count the two Josephite tribes of Ephraim & Manassah, there were thirteen tribes). The same 13 haplotypes, by the way, are common among Middle Eastern Arabs including Palestinians and Syrians. They also show up in Greeks and other ancient Mediterranean lines, who may date from the time before Jews emerged as a people... 'We are definitely Jews,' says Ostrer. 'We share Jewish haplotype patterns.' Ostrer estimates the European admixture over 80 generations is an extremely low 0.5 percent. The study also found that male Jews of Russian and Polish ancestry do not have a chromosome profile similar to Russian and Polish non-Jews. Haplotypes have also helped the identity seekers to retrace the path of the wandering Ashkenazic Jew. We who hail from East Europe most likely migrated there from Alsace and Rhineland, says Ostrer, as confirmed by Yiddish, a form of low German. Based on his study of Roman Jews, Ostrer concludes that Ashkenazim lived in Italy for a thousand years before they migrated into Alsace and Rhineland. 'There's no genetic difference between Ashkenazic and Roman Jews, who say they have lived in Italy for 2,000 years,' he observes. Ostrer and Hammer are now conducting the largest study of Jewish genetics so far, trying to determine how we are all related, and tracing the migrations that formed communities during the 2,000 years of diaspora... 'Being Jewish is a spiritual, metaphysical state and DNA is a physical characteristic, like nose size,' said Skorecki in an interview in The Jerusalem Report. 'But we wouldn't dare go around saying we're going to determine who is Jewish by the length of their nose. Similarly we're not going to determine who is Jewish by the sequence of their DNA.'... And so for me, the positives of Y-chromosome analysis far outweigh the possible negatives. We are an ancient group of clans descended from 13 polygamous men, and our genetic history is part of the redefinition of humanity... 'Blonde genes occur in Middle Eastern groups as well,' he [Ostrer] explains. 'There is no evidence that white skin and blue eyes originated in northern Europe. That is a Nordic myth. Semitic people had the whole range.'... Researchers have only begun to study the mitochondria of Jewish women... Mitochondria will likely reveal different data: Women were more likely than men to relocate and convert due to marriage... My father and brother are descendants of the clan known as Haplotype Four, the second largest group of Ashkenazim, and common among Middle Eastern and southern European populations. My son is descended from a clan that is part of Haplotype One, which has a Y-chromosome pattern common in central and western Asian populations... 'These clans were formed a long time ago,' says Ostrer. 'They all ended up in the Middle East and landed in Ur where Abraham lived. He convinced some of them to adopt [the God of Israel] and when they did, they brought their Y chromosomes with them. Their next-door neighbors waited for Allah. They brought their chromosomes with them, too.'"The assertion of Ostrer that Yiddish comes from Alsace and Rhineland has been debunked by solid research showing that Yiddish derives from Bavaria. Yiddish is clearly a form of High German, too, and not Low German. Epstein's article demonstrates a lack of linguistic knowledge.

Christopher Hitchens. "The Part-Jewish Question: Double the Pleasure or Twice the Pain? Of 'Semi-Semites' and Those Who Fear Them." Forward (January 26, 2001). Excerpts:

"Recent advances in DNA testing have either simplified or complicated the claims of holy books and founding texts. A riveting recent essay in Commentary described the results of a match-up between the genetic database of the Kohanim - those whose Jewish ancestry is supposedly the strongest and best-attested - and that of a "lost tribe" in Namibia that has long claimed Jewish descent. The fit was amazingly close. So it is with other groups in the Asian diaspora, many of whose folk stories had been thought to be merely legendary. It also turns out that there is a close DNA affinity between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs... How long before we can codify Khazar DNA and find out if Koestler was right or if the Ashkenazim have any genetic claim to Gaza? (The learned author of the Commentary article, eventually concluded that enough was enough already, and that better uses could be found for the research money than the infinite theoretical expansion of the prolific seed of Abraham.)"

"Wandering Jews -- and Their Genes."

"Finally, published in last June's Proceedings of the National Academy of Science were the results of a study conducted by an international team of scientists led by Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona and Batsheva Bonné-Tamir of Tel Aviv University... Based on genetic samples from 1,371 males... its main conclusions are: 1. With the exception of Ethiopian Jews, all Jewish samples show a high genetic correlation... 3. In descending order after these Middle Easterners, Ashkenazi Jews correlate best with Greeks and Turks; then with Italians; then with Spaniards; then with Germans; then with Austrians; and least of all with Russians... And on the other hand again: whereas the traditional explanation of East European Jewish origins was that most Ashkenazi Jews reached Poland and Russia from... the Rhineland; Rhineland from northern France... this version has come under increasing challenge in recent years on both demographic and linguistic grounds. Most Jews, the challengers maintain, must have arrived in Eastern Europe not from the west and southwest but from the south and east - that is, via northern Italy and the Balkans; Asia Minor and the Greek Byzantine empire; the Volga kingdom of the Khazars...; or a combination of all three. Now comes the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science report, which appears to bear out the newer version of events. Ashkenazi Jews, it informs us, have a more significant admixture of Italian, Greek, and Turkish genes than of Spanish, German, or even Austrian ones. Of course, things are not so simple. Even without questioning the study's highly technical procedures, different interpretations could be put on them. It could be argued, for example, that the resemblance of Jewish to Greek and Italian Y chromosomes is traceable to proselytization in the Mediterranean world during the period of the Roman Empire...(or because, as it's believed, many Italians descend from Jewish slaves that were brought to Italy, while many local Romans stayed in their deployment areas. Many Greeks, especially the ancient Spartans, are believed to have Israelite ancestry.) What must also be remembered is that Y chromosomes tell us only about males. But we know that in most societies, women are more likely to convert to their husband's religion than vice-versa... If true, this might also explain a number of differences between the Hammer/Bonné-Tamir study and earlier research on the geographical distribution of specific Jewish diseases, blood types, enzymes, and mitochondrial DNA... a predominance of female converts might provide the answer. It might also explain opposed findings on Jews from Yemen, who in earlier tests matched poorly with other Jews. This particular result was understood to support the theory that Yemenite Jewry originated in the widespread conversion of non-Jews under the Himyarite kings of southern Arabia in the first centuries of the Common Era. But now the Hammer/Bonné-Tamir report shows that the Y chromosomes of Yemenite Jews have typically Jewish haplotypes. The contradiction could be resolved by positing that Jewish men... reached Yemen... married local women..."

"Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish Populations Share a Common Pool of Y-chromosome Biallelic Haplotypes".

This study alleges that Jews around the world, both Sephardic and Ashkenazic, are more closely related to one another than to non-Jews tested in the study, and that converts and intermarriages played little role in Jewish population history. But the study does not test peoples who are at all related to the Khazars, so the genetic distance between European Jews and Khazars was left untested, and the focus is on paternal rather than on maternal lines.According to Mark Jobling, "Jews are the genetic brothers of Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrians".

Some revealing comments from the study's geneticists: Dina Kraft's May 9, 2000 article in the Associated Press quotes Hebrew University geneticist Howard Cedar who "said even though Y chromosomes are considered the best tool for tracing genetic heritage, researchers still don't know what the history is behind the variations. As a result, it is difficult to draw conclusions about genetic affinity.."

"'Our work definitely refutes a lot of that discussion of alternate origins for Jewish populations,' Hammer says. 'It shows that we really are a single ethnic group coming from the Middle East. Even if you look like another European with blue eyes and light skin, your genes are telling that you're from the Middle East.'.... Hammer says one reason he began the research was his curiosity about his own Jewish roots."

Ivan Oransky. "Tracing Mideast Roots Back to Isaac and Ishmael: Study of Y Chromosome Suggests a Common Ancestry for Jews and Arabs."

"The study also found the degree of intermarriage by the Askenazi Jewish population over the past 2000 years to be remarkably small. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by University of Arizona geneticist Michael Hammer and colleagues from Italy, Israel, England and America, refutes some earlier studies which suggested that modern Jews were mainly descendants of converts -- paticularly the Turkish Khazars -- with high rates of intermarriage.... The director of the human genetics program at the New York University School of Medicine and a co-author of the paper, Harry Ostrer, told The Forward that... the story provides a useful allegory for the roots of Jews and Arabs. `We're the children of a discrete number of founders who lived in the Middle East, where these Y chromosomes originated and became concentrated.', Dr. Ostrer said.... Dr. [Arno] Motulsky, who was not involved with the study, said that the results suggest that genes from non-Jewish males have not entered the Jewish population to any great extent.... The study could raise important questions about who is a Jew. For example, the results suggest that Ethiopian Jews, thought to be long separated from other Jewish groups, may be more closely related to North African non-Jews than to other Jews. Follow-up studies are already being planned. Dr. Ostrer is hoping to collect genetic information from 1000 Askenazi Jews to study migrational patterns across Europe. Dr. Hammer said he will study the DNA for mitrochondria... This will shed light onto the rate than which women intermarried into Jewish communities, since these genes are strictly passed by the mother."

"Genetic Link Established Between Jews and Arabs".

"Jews and Arabs are genetic brothers".

"The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that Jewish men shared a common set of genetic signatures with non-Jews from the Middle East, including Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. These signatures were significantly different from non-Jewish men outside of the Middle East. This means Jews and Arabs have more in common with each other, genetically speaking, than they do with any of the wider communities in which they might live. Dr Mark Jobling of Leicester University, UK, one of the authors of the new study, told the BBC: 'The kind of DNA we have used to analyse this question is the human Y chromosome. This represents only 2% of our genetic material and it is passed down from father to son... The fact that we don't see it [signals of genetic mixture between Jews and non-Jews] suggests that after the Diaspora these populations really have managed to maintain their Jewish heritage."

"Y Chromosome Bears Witness to Story of the Jewish Diaspora."

"The analysis provides genetic witness that these communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries.... The results accord with Jewish history and tradition and refute theories like those holding that Jewish communities consist mostly of converts from other faiths, or that they are descended from the Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that adopted Judaism.... But present-day Ethiopian Jews lack some of the other lineages found in Jewish communities, and overall are more like non-Jewish Ethiopians than other Jewish populations, at least in terms of their Y chromosome lineage pattern.... Roman Jews have a pattern quite similar to that of Ashkenazis, the Jewish community of Eastern Europe. Dr. Hammer said the finding accorded with the hypothesis that Roman Jews were the ancestors of the Ashkenazis. Despite the Ashkenazi Jews' long residence in Europe, their Y signature has remained distinct from that of non-Jewish Europeans."

"Jews, Arabs share ancestral link, study says." "The Genetics of Modern Assyrians and their Relationship to Other People of the Middle East."

"Based on earlier studies using classical genetic methods7, Cavalli-Sforza et al. came to the conclusion 'that Jews have maintained considerable genetic similarity among themselves and with people from the Middle East, with whom they have common origins.' Evidence for the latter concept was very convincingly made and extended by an international team of scientists [Hammer et al.] in a very recent research article8, widely reported in the press, in which the genetics of different Middle Eastern populations were studied using a completely different method than the classical methods that form the great majority of papers in the Cavalli-Sforza et al book. The research involved direct DNA analysis of the Y chromosome, which is found only in males and is passed down from father to son. Seven different Jewish groups from communities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East were compared to various non-Jewish populations from those areas. The results showed, first of all, that 'Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level.' Furthermore, the genetic characteristics of Jews were shown to be distinctly different from (non-Jewish) Europeans, suggesting that very little admixture occurred between Jews and Europeans, even after about 80 generations of Jews in Europe.... In fact, the Palestinians and Syrians were so close to the Jews in genetic characteristics that they 'mapped within the central cluster of Jewish populations.'"
Doron Behar's study, 2010

"The genome-wide structure of the Jewish people." Among the tested populations were Ashkenazic Jews from eastern Europe, Sephardic Jews from Bulgaria and Turkey, Bukharan Jews of Central Asia, Jews of India, Ethiopian Jews, and Yemenite Jews. They were compared to peoples such as Italians from Tuscany and Sardinia, Russians, Chuvashes, Lithuanians, Adygeis, Lezgins, Georgians, Armenians, Basques, French, Romanians, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians, Turks, Cypriots, and several others.

Contemporary Jews comprise an aggregate of ethno-religious communities whose worldwide members identify with each other through various shared religious, historical and cultural traditions. Historical evidence suggests common origins in the Middle East, followed by migrations leading to the establishment of communities of Jews in Europe, Africa and Asia, in what is termed the Jewish Diaspora. This complex demographic history imposes special challenges in attempting to address the genetic structure of the Jewish people. Although many genetic studies have shed light on Jewish origins and on diseases prevalent among Jewish communities, including studies focusing on uniparentally and biparentally inherited markers, genome-wide patterns of variation across the vast geographic span of Jewish Diaspora communities and their respective neighbours have yet to be addressed. Here we use high-density bead arrays to genotype individuals from 14 Jewish Diaspora communities and compare these patterns of genome-wide diversity with those from 69 Old World non-Jewish populations, of which 25 have not previously been reported. These samples were carefully chosen to provide comprehensive comparisons between Jewish and non-Jewish populations in the Diaspora, as well as with non-Jewish populations from the Middle East and north Africa. Principal component and structure-like analyses identify previously unrecognized genetic substructure within the Middle East. Most Jewish samples form a remarkably tight subcluster that overlies Druze and Cypriot samples but not samples from other Levantine populations or paired Diaspora host populations. In contrast, Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) and Indian Jews (Bene Israel and Cochini) cluster with neighbouring autochthonous populations in Ethiopia and western India, respectively, despite a clear paternal link between the Bene Israel and the Levant. These results cast light on the variegated genetic architecture of the Middle East, and trace the origins of most Jewish Diaspora communities to the Levant.

"Study confirms Jewish Middle East origins."

"'We found evidence that Jewish communities originated in the Near East,' said molecular scientist Doron Behar of the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel, who led an investigation gathering experts in eight countries. 'Our genetic findings are concordant with historical records.'"

"...the study showed that all of the Jewish communities share some common genetic features, and for the most part, the Jewish groups are more similar to each other than to the non-Jews in the same regions. 'These two studies are the first pair of genome-wide studies of SNP variations in collections of multiple Jewish populations,' says Noah Rosenberg, a population geneticist at the University of Michigan who was not involved in either study. ... Because of their large panel of populations, the researchers were able to dive more deeply than ever before into fine scale relationships between different populations. The closest genetic clustering, both among Jewish and non-Jewish groups, is seen in the eastern Mediterranean area known as the Levant, including Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and surrounding regions, the study finds."

"Ashkenazi Jews are roughly between European and Middle Eastern populations, as one would expect if they were in some sense an admixture between the groups. ... This paper seems to confirm the east-west division evident in the earlier paper [by Ostrer et al.], whereby Ashkenazi & Sephardic groups form a natural cluster, as do the Mizrahi Jews of Iraq and Iran. ... The Yemeni Jews... seem to shake out as just another Middle Eastern population. They're a subset of the Saudis in both plots. ... From this figure it looks as if the Moroccan Jews are fundamentally distinctive in some way from the non-Jewish population of Morocco. ... What likely occurred in India was that generations of admixture between Jews and non-Jews resulted in the elision of differences between the two groups, despite the persistence of a cultural distinction. ... Non-Jews could, and did, move into the Indian Jewish community, while this was taboo in the Islamic or Christian world."
Doron Behar's study, 2008

1142 mtDNA samples were gathered from Jews of non-Ashkenazi origin (including Georgian Jews, Indian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Tunisian Jews, Bulgarian Jews, and others) plus 253 samples from Near Eastern non-Jews. These data were compared with data from 583 Ashkenazi Jews.

The history of the Jewish Diaspora dates back to the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests in the Levant, followed by complex demographic and migratory trajectories over the ensuing millennia which pose a serious challenge to unraveling population genetic patterns. Here we ask whether phylogenetic analysis, based on highly resolved mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogenies can discern among maternal ancestries of the Diaspora. Accordingly, 1,142 samples from 14 different non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities were analyzed. A list of complete mtDNA sequences was established for all variants present at high frequency in the communities studied, along with high-resolution genotyping of all samples. Unlike the previously reported pattern observed among Ashkenazi Jews, the numerically major portion of the non-Ashkenazi Jews, currently estimated at 5 million people and comprised of the Moroccan, Iraqi, Iranian and Iberian Exile Jewish communities showed no evidence for a narrow founder effect, which did however characterize the smaller and more remote Belmonte, Indian and the two Caucasus communities. The Indian and Ethiopian Jewish sample sets suggested local female introgression, while mtDNAs in all other communities studied belong to a well-characterized West Eurasian pool of maternal lineages. Absence of sub-Saharan African mtDNA lineages among the North African Jewish communities suggests negligible or low level of admixture with females of the host populations among whom the African haplogroup (Hg) L0-L3 sub-clades variants are common. In contrast, the North African and Iberian Exile Jewish communities show influence of putative Iberian admixture as documented by mtDNA Hg HV0 variants. These findings highlight striking differences in the demographic history of the widespread Jewish Diaspora.

"It is now possible to address the question of the matrilineal origin of these [non-Ashkenazi] communities using phylogenetic resolution at maximum depth, and also to extend phylogeographic comparisons with a much wider range of reference populations.

... The Jewish community of the Caucasus also known as Mountain Jews is believed to have been established during the 8th century C.E. in the region corresponding to Dagestan and the current state of Azerbaijan as a result of a movement of Jews from Iran. Indeed, this community shows a striking maternal founding event, with 58.6% of their total mtDNA genetic variation tracing back to only one woman carrying an mtDNA lineage within Hg J2b. ... The Georgian Jewish community, considered to have been established in the 6th century C.E., similarly shows a founding event with 58.1% of its total mtDNA variation tracing back to one woman. ... Multiple theories exist regarding the establishment of the Ethiopian Beta Israel community... The four most frequent lineages belonged to Hgs R0a1b, L3h1a2a1, L5a1a and M1a1c (Table 2) all frequent in the region suggesting East Africa and not the Levant as their likely geographic origin. The Indian Jewish community of Mumbai (known as B'nei Israel) oral history claim to have descended from Jews who reached the shores of India in the 2nd century C.E. MtDNA analysis for this community shows a strong maternal founding event, with 41.2% of its total mtDNA genetic variation tracing back to one woman and 67.6% tracking back to four women (Table 2). The Indian Jewish community of Cochin myth claims the community to have emanated in the times of King Solomon and has had no documented contact with the B'nei Israel of Mumbai. This community also shows a strong maternal founding event, with 44.4% of its total mtDNA genetic variation tracing back to two women (Table 2). In both Indian Jewish communities, their mtDNA gene pool is dominated by Hg M sub-branches specific for the subcontinent, and therefore appears to be of clearly local origin. It is important to note that in agreement with an oral tradition of the two independent founding events for the respective communities, the prevailing sub-branches among B'nei Israel Hg M samples belong to Hgs M39a1 and M30c1a1, while the Cochin Hg M sub-branches belong to Hgs M5a1 and M50 (Table 2). ... The Libyan and Tunisian Jewish communities share, as their two most frequent mtDNA variants, lineages in Hgs X2e1a1a and H30 (Table S4). It is important to note that the Hg H30 is split by the coding region information into 2 sub-lineages, one restricted to Libyan Jews and one primarily to Tunisian Jews. ... The Yemenite Jewish community is thought to have been established in the second century CE. Here we found that 42.0% of the mtDNA variation in this community can be attributed to 5 women carrying mtDNAs that belong to sub-branches of Hgs R0a1c, R2a, HV1b, L3x1a and U1a2. While these Hgs, except L3x1a, can be considered as a part of the general West Asian mtDNA genetic pool, they have higher frequencies in East Africa and Yemen [10]. ... The Libyan and Tunisian Jewish communities shared among them an X2e1a1a lineage as the most frequent. We examined the two Libyan-Tunisian Jewish lineage-specific coding region mutations 9380 and 13789... Position 13789 appears uninformative, while 9380 was shared among Hg X samples from the Near East and Africa, but not from Europe, suggesting Near Eastern/ North African origin of the particular founder lineage. ... The Iranian Jewish mtDNA is particularly rich in Hg H (30.5%, see Tables S1 and Table S3)-the variant of maternal lineages that constitutes on average more than 40% of the mtDNA variation in Europe. Hg H is also well represented in the Iraqi Jewish community with an overall frequency of 11.8% (Tables S1 and Table S3). Meanwhile, Hg H frequency in Ashkenazi Jews of recent European ancestry is 20.4% [4]. This raises an interesting question regarding the possible source of Hg H lineages among the various Jewish communities. Recent progress in the understanding of mtDNA variation in East and West Europe [16]-[18], as well as in the Near East [12] fits with the inference that at least three quarters of Iranian and Iraqi Jewish Hg H genomes belong to sub-Hgs H6, H13 and H14, characteristic of the Near Eastern-Central Asian variants of Hg H. In view of the historical records claiming the establishment of the North African Jewish communities from the Near Eastern Jewish communities, it is noteworthy that the communities do not share their respective major founding lineages.

... African-specific Hgs-variants of largely sub-Saharan Hg L(xM,N)-as well as more northern and eastern Hgs M1 and U6, do occur within the gene pools of some, though not all non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities (Table S3). ...they were found in Ethiopian and Yemenite Jews (Tables S1 and Table S3), perhaps reflecting the mtDNA population structure of the host countries. In contrast, it is intriguing to find that the North African Jews (Moroccan, Tunisian, Libyan) possess only a very small fraction of Hg L(xM,N) lineages (2.2%) and, even more unexpectadly, seem to lack typically North African Hg M1 and U6 mtDNAs (Tables S1 and Table S3). In striking contrast, sub-Saharan L lineages are prevalent in North African Arab and Berber populations at frequencies around 20-25% (25.5% in Moroccans, 24.9% in Tunisians, 30.2% in Libyans; our unpublished data), yielding a difference exceeding an order of magnitude. Curiously, the Ashkenazi mtDNA pool of recent European descent includes Hg L(xM,N) at a frequency comparable to that among North African Jewry [4], [5]. Hence, the lack of U6 and M1 chromosomes among the North African Jews and the low frequency of Hg L(xM,N) lineages, renders the possibilty of significant admixture between the local Arab and Berber populations with Jews unlikely, consistent with social restrictions imposed by religious restrictions. ... The second [case study] example highlighted the Georgian Jewish HV1a1a1 haplotype (Table 4, Figure 2b) and showed that it existed only in Georgian Jews. While it is clear that the ancestry of this lineage can be traced to the broad geographic swathe encompassing the Near and Middle East as well as the Caucasus region, even the level of resolution generated from the complete mtDNA analysis could not provide greater phylogeographic specificity, since equidistant ancestral lineages could be found in each of the three geographic locations. The third case study addresses the shared Libyan-Tunisian X2e1a1a haplotype. Again, it became clear that the ancestry of this lineage can be similarly attributed to the broad geographic region encompassing the Near and Middle East and the Caucasus region (Table 5, Figure 2c), but unlike the Georgian case study, the particular haplotype was shared with non-Jewish Tunisians, encompassing 0.8% to the overall Tunisian mtDNA pool. In addition, no HVS-I variation was observed in non-Jewish Tunisians, while such variation was clearly observed in Jews, suggesting the possibility of gene flow into the host population from Jews."

Martin Richards's study, 2013

Marta D. Costa, Joana B. Pereira, Maria Pala, Verónica Fernandes, Anna Olivieri, Alessandro Achilli, Ugo A. Perego, Sergei Rychkov, Oksana Naumova, Jiři Hatina, Scott R. Woodward, Ken Khong Eng, Vincent Macaulay, Martin Carr, Pedro Soares, Luísa Pereira, and Martin B. Richards. "A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages." Nature Communications 4 (October 8, 2013): article number 2543. The researchers sequenced 74 mitochondrial genomes and looked at the mitochondrial genomes of over 3,500 individuals of various ethnic groups from Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. The specific Ashkenazi mtDNA origin frequencies are stated to be 81% European, 8.3% Near Eastern, 1.1% Asian (not including Western Asia), and 9.9% Unassigned. The Supplementary Figures document's written analysis says there's "very little case to be made for any assimilation into Ashkenazi communities" from peoples of the North Caucasus and Chuvashia. Figure 10 details the frequencies they found for European-specific mtDNA lineages in Ashkenazim: 20.5% H, 4.1% HV0, 1.3% I, 6.3% J, 31.8% K, 0.7% M1, 9.2% N1b, 3% T, 0.2% U, 2% U5, and 1.6% W. They didn't find haplogroups K, N1b, H, or J among Samaritans but did find they have "several [haplogroups] that are in fact closely related to minor Ashkenazi lineages of putative Near Eastern origin (U6a, R0a)." Excerpts from the Abstract:

"[...] Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. [...]"

Excerpts from the body of the article: "If we allow for the possibility that K1a9 and N1b2 might have a Near Eastern source, then we can estimate the overall fraction of European maternal ancestry at ~65%. Given the strength of the case for even these founders having a European source, however, our best estimate is to assign ~81% of Ashkenazi lineages to a European source, ~8% to the Near East and ~1% further to the east in Asia, with ~10% remaining ambiguous [...]. Thus at least two-thirds and most likely more than four-fifths of Ashkenazi maternal lineages have a European ancestry."

Martin Richards. "New information is discovered about the ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews." Press release released October 8, 2013. Excerpts:

"[...] Y-chromosome studies have shown that the male line of [Ashkenazi] descent does indeed seem to trace back to the Middle East. But the female line, which can be illuminated by studies of mitochondrial DNA has until now proved more difficult to interpret. [...] We have settled this issue by looking at large numbers of whole mitochondrial genomes - sequencing the full 16,568 bases of the molecule - in many people from across Europe, the Caucasus and the Middle East. We have found that, in the vast majority of cases, Ashkenazi lineages are most closely related to southern and western European lineages - and that these lineages have been present in Europe for many thousands of years. This means that, even though Jewish men may indeed have migrated into Europe from Palestine around 2000 years ago, they brought few or no wives with them. They seem to have married with European women, firstly along the Mediterranean, especially in Italy, and later (but probably to a lesser extent) in western and central Europe. This suggests that, in the early years of the Diaspora, Judaism took in many converts from amongst the European population, but they were mainly recruited from amongst women. [...]"

Nicholas Wade. "Genes Suggest European Women at Root of Ashkenazi Family Tree." The New York Times (October 9, 2013). Excerpts:

"A new genetic analysis [...] establishes that the women who founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Europe were not from the Near East, as previously supposed, and reinforces the idea that many Jewish communities outside Israel were founded by single men who married and converted local women. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, is based on a genetic analysis of maternal lineages. A team led by Martin B. Richards of the University of Huddersfield in England took a fresh look at Ashkenazi lineages by decoding the entire mitochondrial genomes of people from Europe and the Near East. [...] With the entire mitochondrial genome in hand, Dr. Richards could draw up family trees with a much finer resolution than before. His trees show that the four major Ashkenazi [maternal-line] lineages in fact form clusters within descent lines that were established in Europe some 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The same is true of most of the minor lineages. [...] Overall, at least 80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain, the researchers estimate. Dr. Richards estimates that the four major lineages became incorporated into the Ashkenazi community at least 2,000 years ago. A large Jewish community flourished in Rome at this time and included many converts. This community could have been the source of both the Ashkenazim of Europe and the Sephardim of Spain and Portugal, given that the two groups have considerable genetic commonality, Dr. Richards said."

Jon Entine. "Ashkenazi Jewish Women Descended Mostly from Italian Converts, New Study Asserts." Genetic Literacy Project (October 8, 2013). Excerpts:

"[...] Professor Martin Richards, who heads the University of Huddersfield's Archaeogenetics Research Group (and who participated in the 2002 study), and colleagues sequenced 74 mitochondrial genomes and analyzed more than 3,500 mitochondrial genomes - far more data than the 2006 survey, which reviewed only a short length of the mitochondrial DNA, containing just 1,000 or so of its 16,600 DNA units, in all their subjects. [...] According to Nicholas Wade of the New York Times, Doron Behar, one of the key authors of the 2006 analysis, said he disagreed with the conclusions, but has provided no detailed critique as yet. Wade also talked to David Goldstein, who said he believed the estimate that 80 percent of Ashkenazi Jewry originated in Europe was too high considering the unpredictability of mitochondrial DNA data. [...]"

Kate Yandell. "Genetic Roots of the Ashkenazi Jews." The Scientist Magazine (October 8, 2013). Excerpts:

"[...] 'While it is clear that Ashkenazi maternal ancestry includes both Levantine [Near Eastern] and European origins--the assignment of several of the major Ashkenazi lineages to pre-historic European origin in the current study is incorrect in our view,' physician-geneticists Doron Behar and Karl Skorecki [...] wrote in an e-mail to The Scientist. They argue that the mitochondrial DNA data used in the new study did not represent the full spectrum of mitochondrial diversity. [...] David Goldstein, [...] said that the questions of whether there was a Khazar contribution to the Ashkenazi Jews' lineage, or exactly what percentage of mitochondrial variants emanate from Europe, cannot be answered with certainty using present genetic and geographical data. Even if a set of variants are present in a specific region today, that doesn't mean that the region always had that set of variants. Some variants could have been lost due to drift, or perhaps migration altered the balance of variants present in the population. [...]"

Eva Fernández, Alejandro Pérez-Pérez, Cristina Gamba, Eva Prats, Pedro Cuesta, Josep Anfruns, Miquel Molist, Eduardo Arroyo-Pardo, and Daniel Turbón. "Ancient DNA Analysis of 8000 B.C. Near Eastern Farmers Supports an Early Neolithic Pioneer Maritime Colonization of Mainland Europe through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands." PLoS Genetics 10:6 (June 5, 2014): e1004401. Some ancient skeletons from the "Pre-Pottery Neolithic B" ("PPNB") sites at Tell Halula and Tell Ramad in what's now Syria had the "K" mtDNA haplogroup. This PPNB population genetically clusters with the modern-day Ashkenazi Jews, Csángó people, and the population of Cyprus, who all have high frequencies of "K". (Modern Syrians are in a different cluster.) The evidence weighs against Costa et al.'s interpretation that the "K" haplogroups that Ashkenazim possess reflect European ancestors rather than Middle Eastern ones. Fernández et al. wrote:

"Another interesting case are the Ashkenazi Jews, who display a frequency of haplogroup K similar to the PPNB sample together with low non-significant pairwise Fst values, which taken together suggests an ancient Near Eastern origin. This observation clearly contradicts the results of a recent study, where a detailed phylogeographical analysis of mtDNA lineages has suggested a predominantly European origin for the Ashkenazi communities [Costa et al.] [...] Moreover, in the light of the evidence presented here of a loss of lineages in the Near East since Neolithic times, the absence of Ashkenazi mtDNA founder clades in the Near East should not be taken as a definitive argument for its absence in the past."
Miscellaneous studies

"Admixture Estimation in a Founder Population."

"[...] For the analysis of the AJ, we included surrogate Middle Eastern, Italian, French, Russian, and Caucasus subgroups to represent the ancestral populations. [...] For the AJ, we estimated mean ancestral proportions of 0.380, 0.305, 0.113, 0.041 and 0.148 for Middle Eastern, Italian, French, Russian and Caucasus ancestry, respectively. [...] We also noted considerably less variation in the individual admixture proportions for the AJ (s.d. = .02 to .05) compared to the AA [African American] (s.d. = .15), consistent with an older age of admixture for the former. [...]"

Shai Carmi, Ethan Kochav, Ken Y. Hui, Xinmin Liu, James Xue, Fillan Grady, Saurav Guha, Kinnari Upadhyay, Semanti Mukherjee, B. Monica Bowen, Joseph Vijai, Ariel Darvasi, Kenneth Offit, Laurie J. Ozelius, Inga Peter, Judy H. Cho, Harry Ostrer, Gil Atzmon, Lorraine N. Clark, Todd Lencz, and Itsik Pe'er. "The Ashkenazi Jewish Genome." A paper presented at the annual meeting of The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in October 22-26, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The researchers sequenced 128 complete genomes from Ashkenazi Jews. From their results they estimate that about 55 percent plus or minus 2 percentage points of Ashkenazi ancestry derives from European peoples.

Shai Carmi, Ken Y. Hui, Ethan Kochav, Xinmin Liu, James Xue, Fillan Grady, Saurav Guha, Kinnari Upadhyay, Dan Ben-Avraham, Semanti Mukherjee, B. Monica Bowen, Tinu Thomas, Joseph Vijai, Marc Cruts, Guy Froyen, Diether Lambrechts, Stéphane Plaisance, Christine Van Broeckhoven, Philip Van Damme, Herwig Van Marck, Nir Barzilai, Ariel Darvasi, Kenneth Offit, Susan Bressman, Laurie J. Ozelius, Inga Peter, Judy H. Cho, Harry Ostrer, Gil Atzmon, Lorraine N. Clark, Todd Lencz, and Itsik Pe'er. "Sequencing an Ashkenazi reference panel supports population-targeted personal genomics and illuminates Jewish and European origins." Nature Communications 5 (September 9, 2014): article number 4835. The complete genomes of 128 Ashkenazi Jewish individuals were examined. Based on their analysis, the authors estimate that Ashkenazi Jews are about 46-50% of European origin, sharing ancestry with Western Europeans like the Flemish, who were also sampled in this study. The authors state that the other contributing population to Ashkenazic genetics are Middle Easterners. Their model suggests the present Ashkenazic population was founded after a bottleneck that occurred 25 to 32 generations ago, that is about "600-800 years" ago. The Ashkenazim have higher heterozygosity than non-Jewish Europeans yet descend from "a recent bottleneck of merely ~350 individuals." Page 63 of their"Supplementary Information" under "Reasons for increased heterozygosity" asserts "Additionally, AJ genomes were shown to have ~3% West-African ancestry." This is highly questionable as the authors cite not their own data to support this claim, but rather the methodologically-flawed study "The history of African gene flow into Southern Europeans, Levantines, and Jews" by Moorjani et al. that appeared inPLoS Genetics 7 in 2011. Most other admixture tests have shown zero or at most 0.1% Sub-Saharan West African/Negroid) ancestry in Ashkenazi individuals, and only tiny amounts of East African as well. Neither the Supplementary Information provided by Carmi et al. nor their main article discuss the evidence for small amounts of East Asian and Slavic ancestry in Eastern Ashkenazi Jews. Excerpt from the Abstract:

[...] Modelling of ancient histories for AJ and European populations using their joint allele frequency spectrum determines AJ to be an even admixture of European and likely Middle Eastern origins. [...]

Karen Kaplan. "DNA ties Ashkenazi Jews to group of just 330 people from Middle Ages." Los Angeles Times (September 9, 2014). Excerpts:

"[...] An international team of scientists sequenced the complete genomes of 128 healthy Ashkenazi Jews and compared each of those sequences with the others, as well as with with the DNA of 26 Flemish people from Belgium. [...] Despite their close ties with Europe, no more than half of their DNA comes from ancient Europeans, the researchers found. Only 46% to 50% of the DNA in the 128 samples originated with the group of people who were also the ancestors of the Flemish people in the study. Those ancient people split off from the ancestors of today's Middle Easterners more than 20,000 years ago, with a founding group of about 3,500 to 3,900 people, according to the study. The rest of the Ashkenazi genome comes from the Middle East, the researchers reported. [...]"

Jesse Emspak. "Oy Vey! European Jews Are All 30th Cousins, Study Finds." LiveScience (September 9, 2014). Excerpts:

"[...] The findings bolster the mainstream view that the ancestors of European Jews were people from the Levant and local Europeans. An earlier, 19th-century theory posited that the core of the Ashkenazi Jewish population is descended from Khazars, from the Russian steppes, but the genetic evidence makes that even less likely, said study researcher Itsik Pe'er, [...] '[Among Ashkenazi Jews] everyone is a 30th cousin,' Pe'er said. 'They have a stretch of the genome that is identical.' [...]"

"Discerning the Ancestry of European Americans in Genetic Association Studies." Public Library of Science Genetics (PLoS Genetics) (January 2008). Sampled Southern Italians (Sicilians as well as those on the mainland), and other Europeans.

"Important work has already shown that northwest and southeast Europeans can be distinguished using as few as 800-1,200 ancestry-informative markers mined from datasets of 6,000-10,000 markers. Here we mine much larger datasets (more markers and more samples) to identify a panel of 300 highly ancestry-informative markers which accurately distinguish not just northwest and southeast European, but also Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. [...] Our results are consistent with a previous study in which Ashkenazi Jewish and southeast European samples occupied similar positions on the northwest-southeast axis, although there was insufficient data in that study to separate these two populations[7]. A historical interpretation of this finding is that both Ashkenazi Jewish and southeast European ancestries are derived from migrations/expansions from the Middle East and subsequent admixture with existing European populations [12,13]."

"The current study extends the analysis of European population genetic structure to include additional southern European groups and Arab populations. Even within Italy, the relative position of northern Italians compared with subjects from Tuscany is consistent with the general geographic correspondence of PCA results. Interestingly, the majority of Italian Americans (NYCP four grandparents defined) appear to derive from southern Italy and overlap with subjects of Greek heritage. Both of these observations are consistent with previous historical information. Possible exceptions to this observation of geographic correspondence include the Ashkenazi Jewish population. While the Ashkenazi are clearly of southern origin based on both PCA and STRUCTURE studies, in our analyses of diverse European populations, this group appears to have a unique genotypic pattern that may not reflect geographic origins."

"Analysis and Application of European Genetic Substructure Using 300 K SNP Information."

"European population genetic substructure was examined in a diverse set of >1,000 individuals of European descent, each genotyped with >300 K SNPs. Both STRUCTURE and principal component analyses (PCA) showed the largest division/principal component (PC) differentiated northern from southern European ancestry. A second PC further separated Italian, Spanish, and Greek individuals from those of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry as well as distinguishing among northern European populations. In separate analyses of northern European participants other substructure relationships were discerned showing a west to east gradient."

Michael F. Seldin, Russell Shigeta, Pablo Villoslada, Carlo Selmi, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Gabriel Silva, John W. Belmont, Lars Klareskog, and Peter K. Gregersen. "European Population Substructure: Clustering of Northern and Southern Populations." Public Library of Science Genetics (PLoS Genetics) 2(9) (September 2006). Abstract:

Using a genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel, we observed population structure in a diverse group of Europeans and European Americans. Under a variety of conditions and tests, there is a consistent and reproducible distinction between "northern" and "southern" European population groups: most individual participants with southern European ancestry (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Greek) have >85% membership in the "southern" population; and most northern, western, eastern, and central Europeans have >90% in the "northern" population group.Ashkenazi Jewish as well as Sephardic Jewish origin also showed >85% membership in the "southern" population, consistent with a later Mediterranean origin of these ethnic groups.

"One Big, Happy Family: Litvaks and Galitzianers, Lay Down Your Arms; Science Finds Unity in the Jewish Gene Pool."

"... A year ago, Michael Seldin, a geneticist at the University of California Davis School of Medicine, and his research team made a remarkable discovery: Studying how Europeans grouped genetically, they found that Ashkenazic Jews formed their own distinct subgroup. Northern and Southern Europeans fell into two clearly separable genetic cohorts, and although the Ashkenazic Jews had more in common with the Southern Europeans, they formed a recognizable, relatively homogenous group of their own. ... Through a series of collaborations with labs around the world, Seldin and his lab began exploring something called 'ancestry informative markers,' specific areas of a person's genetic code that reveal which part of the globe most of his ancestors came from. The study on those of European ancestry, which looked at both Europeans and European Americans, was also an international collaboration. In September 2006, it was published in the Public Library of Science Genetics journal. Since then, Seldin said, he has pursued a second study of an even larger sample of the genetic code, and his original findings for Ashkenazic Jews have only been confirmed. Seldin's work is emblematic of a rapidly expanding phenomenon within genetics: research of the genetic roots of diseases that end up revealing something about the history of a particular population."

"We also included Palestinian (n = 46), Druze (n = 42) and Bedouin (n = 45) samples as groups that might be similar to ancestral Jewish 'source' populations [10]. We found that the Middle Eastern populations clustered separately from the European and European-American populations, as expected, and the subjects with four Jewish grandparents clustered close to (but separate from) the Adygei and lay between the Middle Eastern and the European and European-American populations (Figure 3). This is an important finding for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Jewish subjects remain in a separate cluster when mixed with both European and Middle Eastern populations... Secondly, the Jewish cluster lies approximately midway between the European and the Middle Eastern clusters, implying that the Ashkenazi Jews may contain mixed ancestry from these two regions. This is consistent with the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA genetic evidence that has been interpreted by some to suggest a stronger paternal genetic heritage of Jewish populations from the Middle East and stronger maternal genetic heritage from the host populations of the Diaspora [10]. Finally, the proximity of the Jewish cluster to the Adygei is of interest, but the small sample size of the Adygei and sparse availability of Central Asian populations makes interpretation of this proximity difficult."

"Genome-Wide Diversity in the Levant Reveals Recent Structuring by Culture." Participants in this study about the Levant region of West Asia included Sephardi Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Palestinians, Lebanese Christians, Lebanese Druze, Lebanese Muslims, Syrians, Jordanians, Bedouins, Cypriots, Armenians, Saudis, Yemenis, Iranians, and multiple European, East/South/Central Asian, and African populations. Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardi Jews were found to be closely related to each other and more closely related to Lebanese than Palestinians are. Excerpts:
"[...] The population tree (Figure 3A) splits Levantine populations in two branches: one leading to Europeans and Central Asians that includes Lebanese, Armenians, Cypriots, Druze and Jews, as well as Turks, Iranians and Caucasian populations; and a second branch composed of Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, as well as North Africans, Ethiopians, Saudis, and Bedouins. [...] The tree shows a correlation between religion and the population structures in the Levant: all Jews (Sephardi and Ashkenazi) cluster in one branch; Druze from Mount Lebanon and Druze from Mount Carmel are depicted on a private branch; and Lebanese Christians form a private branch with the Christian populations of Armenia and Cyprus placing the Lebanese Muslims as an outer group. The predominantly Muslim populations of Syrians, Palestinians and Jordanians cluster on branches with other Muslim populations as distant as Morocco and Yemen. [...] [Also,] an MDS (Figure 2) and a normalized principle component analysis (PCA) (Figure S2) plots [...] were built. [...] The plots reveal a Levantine structure not reported previously: Lebanese Christians and all Druze cluster together, and Lebanese Muslims are extended towards Syrians, Palestinians, and Jordanians, which are close to Saudis and Bedouins. Ashkenazi Jews are drawn towards the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, reflecting historical admixture events with Europeans, while Sephardi Jews cluster tightly with the Levantine groups. These results are consistent with previous studies reporting higher European genome-wide admixture in Ashkenazi Jews compared with other Jews [...]"
Doron M. Behar, Ene Metspalu, Toomas Kivisild, Alessandro Achilli, Yarin Hadid, Shay Tzur, Luisa Pereira, Antonio Amorim, Lluís Quintana-Murci, Kari Majamaa, Corinna Herrnstadt, Neil Howell, Oleg Balanovsky, Ildus A. Kutuev, Andrey Pshenichnov, David Gurwitz, Batsheva Bonne-Tamir, Antonio Torroni, Richard Villems, and Karl Skorecki. "The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event." American Journal of Human Genetics 78 (2006): 487-497. Abstract:
"Both the extent and location of the maternal ancestral deme from which the Ashkenazi Jewry arose remain obscure. Here, using complete sequences of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), we show that close to one-half of Ashkenazi Jews, estimated at 8,000,000 people, can be traced back to only 4 women carrying distinct mtDNAs that are virtually absent in other populations, with the important exception of low frequencies among non-Ashkenazi Jews. We conclude that four founding mtDNAs, likely of Near Eastern ancestry, underwent major expansion(s) in Europe within the past millennium."
"...four Jewish "founding mothers" who lived in Europe 1,000 years ago have been credited with being the ancestors of nearly half of all Ashkenazi Jews... ...40 percent of Ashkenazi Jews currently alive - are descended from these matriarchs, who were among a small group, probably after migrating from the Middle East, according to the Israeli researchers, who also provide evidence of shared maternal ancestry between Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi (Sephardi and Oriental) Jews. The studies that led to these findings were performed by Dr. Doron Behar as part of his doctoral thesis, and were done under the supervision of Prof. Karl Skorecki of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. ... Researchers from universities in Italy, Estonia, Portugal, France, the US and Russia contributed to the important study, which was published on-line by the prestigious American Journal of Human Genetics on Thursday and will appear in print in the March. ... The researchers' conclusions are based on detailed comparative analysis of DNA sequence variation in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) region of the human genome. ... Non-Ashkenazi Jews also carry low frequencies of these distinct mtDNA types, thus providing evidence of shared maternal ancestry of Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews. This is consistent with previous findings based on studies of the Y-chromosome, pointing to a similar pattern of shared paternal ancestry of global Jewish populations, originating in the Middle East. The researchers concluded that the four founding mtDNA - likely of Middle Eastern origin - underwent a major overall expansion in Europe during the last millennium."
"Until now, it had been widely assumed by geneticists that the Ashkenazi communities of Northern and Central Europe were founded by men who came from the Middle East, perhaps as traders, and by the women from each local population whom they took as wives and converted to Judaism. But the new study, published online this week in The American Journal of Human Genetics, suggests that the men and their wives migrated to Europe together. The researchers, Doron Behar and Karl Skorecki of the Technion and Ramban Medical Center in Haifa, and colleagues elsewhere, report that just four women, who may have lived 2,000 to 3,000 years ago, are the ancestors of 40 percent of Ashkenazis alive today. The Technion team's analysis was based on mitochondrial DNA... inherited only through the female line. ... Looking at other populations, the Technion team found that some people in Egypt, Arabia and the Levant also carried the set of mutations that defines one of the four women. They argue that all four probably lived originally in the Middle East. ... David Goldstein, now of Duke University, reported in 2002 that the mitochondrial DNA of women in Jewish communities around the world did not seem to be Middle Eastern, and indeed each community had its own genetic pattern. But in some cases the mitochondrial DNA was closely related to that of the host community. Dr. Goldstein and his colleagues suggested that the genesis of each Jewish community, including the Ashkenazis, was that Jewish men had arrived from the Middle East, taken wives from the host population and converted them to Judaism, after which there was no further intermarriage with non-Jews. The Technion team suggests a different origin for the Ashkenazi community: if the women too are Middle Eastern in origin, they would presumably have accompanied their husbands. ... Dr. Hammer said the new study "moves us forward in trying to understand Jewish population history." His own recent research, he said, suggests that the Ashkenazi population expanded through a series of bottlenecks - events that squeeze a population down to small numbers... But Dr. Goldstein said the new report did not alter his previous conclusion. The mitochondrial DNA's of a small, isolated population tend to change rapidly as some lineages fall extinct and others become more common, a process known as genetic drift. In his view, the Technion team has confirmed that genetic drift has played a major role in shaping Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA. But the linkage with Middle Eastern populations is not statistically significant, he said. Because of genetic drift, Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA's have developed their own pattern, which makes it very hard to tell their source. This differs from the patrilineal case, Dr. Goldstein said, where there is no question of a Middle Eastern origin."
"Four Jewish mothers who lived 1,000 years ago in Europe are the ancestors of 40 percent of all Ashkenazi Jews alive Friday, an international team of researchers reported Friday. The genetic study of DNA paints a vivid picture of human evolution and survival, and correlates with the well-established written and oral histories of Jewish migrations, said Dr. Doron Behar of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who worked on the study. ... For their study, Behar and geneticist Karl Skorecki, with collaborators in Finland, France, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Russia and the United States sampled DNA from 11,452 people from 67 populations. ... "I think there was some kind of genetic pool that was in the Near East," Behar said in a telephone interview. "Among this genetic pool there were four maternal lineages, four real women, that carried the exact specific mitochondrial DNA markers that we can find in mitochondrial DNA today." They, or their direct descendants, moved into Europe. "Then at a certain period, most probably in the 13th century, simply by demographic matters, they started to expand dramatically," Behar said. "Maybe it was because of Jewish tradition, the structure of the family that might have been characterized by a high number of children." But these four families gave rise to much of the population of European Jews - which exploded from 30,000 people in the 13th century to "something like 9 million just prior to World War II," Behar said. ... Behar said as they sampled people from Ashkenazi communities around the world, the same mitochondrial genetic markers kept popping up. They did not find the markers in most of the non-Jewish people they sampled, and only a very few were shared with Jews of other origin."
"The Ashkenazis moved from the Mid-East to Italy and then to Eastern Europe, where their population exploded in the 13th Century, the scientists say. ... The four women are thought to have lived in the Middle East about 1,000 years ago but they may not have lived anywhere near [an]other, according to the study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. However, they bequeathed genetic signatures to their descendents, which do not appear in non-Jews and are rare in Jews not of Ashkenazi origin."
"Early studies of mitochondrial DNA reported that Jewish women, unlike Jewish men, did not correlate well with one another globally. ...Jewish males with antecedents in such widely separated places as Yemen, Georgia, and Bukhara in Central Asia are far more likely to share similar Y-chromosome DNA with one another than with Yemenite, Georgian, or Bukharan non-Jews. Jewish females from the same backgrounds, on the other hand, yield opposite results: their mitochondrial DNA has markedly less resemblance to that of Jewish women from elsewhere than it does to that of non-Jewish women in the countries their families hailed from. ... In the absence of rabbis to perform conversions, they [Jewish immigrants to new lands] married local women who, while consenting to live as Jews, were not halakhically Jewish. ... In a class by itself is the mitochondrial DNA of Ashkenazi women. It does not correlate closely with the DNA of non-Jewish women in Western, Central, or Eastern Europe and it has a large Middle Eastern component. ...the Y chromosomes of Ashkenazi Jews have more in common with those of Italians and Greeks than with those of West Europeans. ... An 11.5-percent incidence of R-M117 among Ashkenazi Jews in general is easily explainable: the mutation could have entered the Jewish gene pool slowly, in small increments in every generation, during the thousand years of Ashkenazi Jewry's existence. ... But the 52-percent rate among Levites is something else. Here we are dealing not with a gradual, long-term process (for no imaginable process could have produced such results), but with a one-time event of some sort. ... Both of our studies, therefore, raise the possibility that the original R-M117 Levites were Khazarian Jews who migrated westward upon the fall of the Khazar kingdom. ... Analyzing the data, the American-Israeli-British study concludes that the number of R-M117 Levites absorbed by Ashkenazi Jewry ranged from one to fifty individuals. ... Nor do we know the percentage of Khazars possessing M117, which is found in 12 or 13 percent of Russian and Ukrainian males today. If these were also its proportions among the Khazars, there would have been seven non-M117 Khazars joining or founding Ashkenazi Jewry for every Khazar who had the mutation. In sum, even if the R-M117 Levites are traceable to Khazaria, the total flow of Khazarians into the East European Jewish population could have been anywhere from a single person to many thousands. If it was the latter, the Khazar input was significant, as David Goldstein suspects it was; if the former, it was trivial, as Jon Entine believes. ... I myself have long suspected, starting far before I knew anything of historical genetics or Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe, that I have Khazar blood in me. One of my father's sisters had distinctly slanty eyes. In one of her daughters, these are even more pronounced. The daughter's daughter has features that could come straight from the steppes of Asia."
"... We have learned that Jewish populations from around the world -- with a few exceptions -- have a remarkable degree of genetic connectedness with each other and with the Near East. ... But many unknowns about Jewish history remain, leaving geneticists with an interest in Jewish origins with plenty of sleuthing work to do. ... A recent study looking at hundreds of thousands of variable sites in the genome revealed a clear genetic signature for Jewish ancestry among randomly selected university students in America. When this Jewish signature was compared with the genetic makeup of other populations, it became clear that Ashkenazic Jews have a genetic makeup more similar to Near Eastern populations than do other Northern European populations. Yet despite sharing an origin point in the Near East, individual Jews today tend to look markedly different from one another in terms of their physical appearance, depending upon which part of the world their ancestors resided in during recent centuries. Clearly, this diversity of physical appearance is the result of a degree of intermingling with the populations among which Jews have lived. But we don't know precisely when or how this intermingling took place. Did large numbers of gentiles join the Jewish population through mass conversion in the ancient world? Was there a steady trickle of intermarriage? Was there some combination of these? ... One hint we do have is that research shows -- in multiple Jewish groups from Ashkenazic Jews to Georgian Jews -- more genetic continuity with Near Eastern populations on the paternal side (indicated by the Y chromosome) than on the maternal side (indicated by mitochondrial DNA). ... And findings by genetic researchers of significant Near Eastern ancestry among Ashkenazic Jews put to rest the notion that this population originated with or is predominantly descended from the Khazars. Be that as it may, there is one odd and tantalizing feature of Ashkenazic Jewish Y chromosomes that may lead us back to Khazaria. ... There is no Y chromosome link that unites Ashkenazic and Sephardic Levites. Among the Ashkenazic Levites, however, there is a particularly common Y chromosome type that is not often found in other Jewish groups. But it is found among people who now live where the Khazars once did. ... One way to answer this question might be to try to develop a fuller picture of the genetics of the Turkic-speaking peoples, particularly modern-day speakers of Chuvash, a Turkic language related to that spoken by the Khazars. Then we could compare their genes to the Ashkenazic genes we suspect may be of Khazar origin."
An observer who read the study indicates that the study shows that approximately 60 percent of European Jewish maternal roots come from European sources, with the other 40 percent from Middle Eastern or Asian roots.
"The Caucasus as an asymmetric semipermeable barrier to ancient human migrations." Molecular Biology and Evolution For future print publication. First published online on September 13, 2011. Among many other peoples of the Caucasus, 10 Mountain Jews were sampled to evaluate their haplogroups. These Mountain Jews' Y-DNA haplogroups were as follows: 3 belonged to haplogroup J1e*, 4 to J2a*, 1 to J2a2*, and 2 to L2. These haplogroups suggest overwhelmingly Near Eastern ancestry for the Mountain Jews' paternal lineages (represented by the J haplogroups) and a smaller South Asian element (represented by the L haplogroup).

"Y Chromosome Haplotypes Among Members of the Caucasus Jewish Communities."
"...buccal swab genomic DNA samples were collected from 51 unrelated males from the Mountain Jewish community and from 55 unrelated males from the Georgian Jewish community... Corresponding haplotype frequencies in other Jewish communities and among neighboring non-Jewish populations were derived from the literature. Based on a variety of genetic distance and admixture measures we found that majority of Kavkazi Jewish haplotypes were shared with other Jewish communities and were consistent with a Mediterranean origin. This result strengthens previous reports, which indicated a shared ancestral pool of genetic haplotypes for most contemporary Jewish communities. In the case of the Georgian Jewish samples, both Mediterranean and European haplotypes were found. This could indicate either a Mediterranean origin with a European genetic contribution or a European source with a Mediterranean contribution. Generally, Georgian Jews were found to be closer to European populations than to Mediterranean populations. Despite their geographic proximity, there was a significant genetic distance between the Mountain and Georgian Jewish communities, at least based on Y-haplotype analysis..."
Stefania Bertoncini, Kazima Bulayeva, Gianmarco Ferri, Luca Pagani, Laura Caciagli, Luca Taglioli, Igor Semyonov, Oleg Bulayev, Giorgio Paoli, and Sergio Tofanelli. "The Dual Origin of Tati-Speakers from Dagestan as Written in the Genealogy of Uniparental Variants." American Journal of Human Biology 24:4 (July/August 2012): pages 391-399. First published online on January 24, 2012. They genetically tested the Y-DNA and mtDNA of two Tat-speaking peoples who live in Daghestan in southern Russia: the Mountain Jews (also called Juhurim) and Muslim Tats. The two communities speak different dialects of the Tat language. The genetics of the Jewish and Muslim Tat speakers were found to be quite different, with the authors saying that they "do not reflect a common ancestry." The Mountain Jews were shown to be "a group with tight matrilineal genetic legacy who separated early from other Jewish communities." In the section "Analysis of paternal lineages", the authors indicate that the dominant Y-DNA haplogroup in Mountain Jews is G-M201 (3M285, P15, and M287), representing 36.8% of their total paternal lineages. The Mountain Jews' branch of G doesn't match the G sublineages of "two major Caucasian linguistic domains" nor does their branch cluster with the G STR Y-DNA haplotypes of Ashkenazim that were reported in Behar et al. 2004 and Hammer et al. 2009. The researchers were surprised that the Mountain Jews' kinds of G "can be separated into at least two divergent clades falling many mutational steps away from any G haplotype ever published before [...] One of these clades is defined by a very peculiar incomplete allele, DYS448*17.4, most likely the results of a deletion external to the repeat units." They also make this observation: "In the MJ [Mountain Jews], the highest level of haplotype sharing (lowest DHS values at the nine-locus level of analysis) was observed with autochthonous groups from Dagestan (Tabasarans, Kubachians, and Laks) and the Jews from Afghanistan". The Y-DNA haplogroup that Mountain Jews share with Tabasarans, called J1*-M267, isn't the same haplogroup that's shared between Muslim Tats and Tabarasans; the two lineages are not even close.
"Jewish communities in Europe and the Middle East share many genes inherited from the ancestral Jewish population that lived in the Middle East some 3,000 years ago, even though each community also carries genes from other sources... Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East, the two surveys find. The two communities seem very similar to each other genetically... One explanation is that they come from the same Jewish source population in Europe. The Atzmon-Ostrer team found that the genomic signature of Ashkenazim and Sephardim was very similar to that of Italian Jews, suggesting that an ancient population in northern Italy of Jews intermarried with Italians could have been the common origin. The Ashkenazim first appear in Northern Europe around A.D. 800, but historians suspect that they arrived there from Italy. ... The genetics confirms a trend noticed by historians: that there was more contact between Ashkenazim and Sephardim than suspected, with Italy as the linchpin of interchange, said Aron Rodrigue, a Stanford University historian. A common surname among Italian Jews is Morpurgo, meaning someone from Marburg in Germany. Also, Dr. Rodrigue said, one of the most common names among the Sephardim who settled in the Ottoman Empire is Eskenazi, indicating that many Ashkenazim had joined the Sephardic community there. The two genetic surveys indicate 'that there may be common origins shared by the two groups, but also that there were extensive contacts and settlements,' Dr. Rodrigue said."
"'The debate is over,' said Dr. Edward R. Burns, one of the lead authors of the study. 'The Jewish people are one people with a common genetic thread that evolved in the second or third century BC.' The study, 'Abraham's Children in the Genome Era,' compared the genetic analyses of 237 Jews, including Sephardic (Middle Eastern) and Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews - as well as an analysis of 418 non-Jews worldwide, and found that the Jews were more closely related to each other than to their fellow countrymen. Past studies have reached similar conclusions, but they looked at smaller populations and considered only blood groups, mitochondrial DNA (a type of DNA passed down by mothers) or Y chromosomes (passed down by fathers). ... The study - and a second genetic study published Friday in the journal Nature - scientifically undermines arguments made by those who challenge Jews' historical relationship to Israel... 'It seems that most Jewish populations, and therefore most Jewish individuals, are closer to each other [at the genetic level], and closer to the Middle Eastern populations, than to their traditional host population in the Diaspora,' Israeli geneticist Doron Behar, author of the Nature study, told the BBC. ... That the new data also seemed to follow the Jews' historical and Biblical narrative was particularly exciting to Burns, who is Jewish. 'I, along with my co-authors, went to these different populations, Iraqis, Iranians, etc. We talked to these people, and they had a certain hopefulness that the genetic analysis would establish for them a type of universal Jewish pride,' he said. 'My own personal feeling is that (among Jews) differences in culture and geography become meaningless because we're all sisters and brothers.' ... 'My sister-in-law is Filipino. She practices Judaism - which is more than I do - but I can't call her a fellow Jew in that same sense,' said Sandy Malek, president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles... 'There is a peoplehood for Jewish people that is separate from the religion.' While the new research says much about Jews, it doesn't have any bearing on Judaism, said David Wolpe, the rabbi, who explained that he is 'not moved' by the effort to scientifically link and define Jews. 'Spiritually this is a pleasant and welcome reinforcement of what I already knew, but the bottom line is Torah trumps genome,' said David Wolpe, the rabbi. The analysis by Burns and his colleagues provides the first detailed genetic map of the major Jewish groups, information that can be used as a kind of dictionary to study the genetic origins of commonly acquired diseases such as cancer and heart disease. This information can benefit not only Jews, but the population as a whole, as researchers use the data better understand possible genetic components of diseases, researchers said. The study could also yield valuable information for a host of conditions already thought to have a genetic component, from near-sightedness to breast cancer - just don't call any of those diseases 'Jewish.' Even the host of ailments that are considered 'Jewish genetic diseases,' including Tay-Sachs Disease and Bloom's Disease, occur in the general population, said Paul Wolpe, the bioethicist, who is also on the board of the Victor Centers for Jewish Genetic Diseases."
"Is Being Jewish All in the Genes?"
"The studies of the past several years have provided fascinating insights into Jewish history, but they've hardly closed the book on the question of modern Jews' ancestry. Right now, two separate research groups are taking a more in-depth look at the origins and migration patterns of Eastern European Jews. Michael Hammer and Harry Ostrer are leading one study; Dr. Vivian Moses and Dr. Neil || Bradman are conducting the other at the Center for Genetic Anthropology at University College-London. Vivian Moses suggests that the results of his study might diverge somewhat from what Hammer and his colleagues presented last June. 'I think perhaps we are using more DNA markers than they did,' he says, 'and therefore the results might not be exactly the same. We already have some preliminary indications of a link between [Eastern European Jews and] Slavs.'"

"[...] We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian Hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe major difference among Caucasus populations explained by early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. [...]"
An excerpt from the body of the article:
"Central and Eastern European Jews differ mostly in their Middle Eastern (30% and 25%, respectively) and Eastern European ancestries (3% and 12%, respectively), probably due to late admixture. [...] The close genetic distance between Central European Jews and Southern European populations can be attributed to a late admixture."
"The Origin of Palestinians and Their Generic Relatedness With Other Mediterranean Populations."
"The genetic profile of Palestinians has, for the first time, been studied by using human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene variability and haplotypes. The comparison with other Mediterranean populations by using neighbor-joining dendrograms and correspondence analyses reveal that Palestinians are genetically very close to Jews and other Middle East populations, including Turks (Anatolians), Lebanese, Egyptians, Armenians and Iranians. Archaeologic and genetic data support that both Jews and Palestinians came from the ancient Canaanites, who extensively mixed with Egyptians, Mesopotamian and Anatolian peoples in ancient times..."
"Both Jews and Palestinians share a very similar HLA genetic pool (Table 3, Figures 4, 5 and 6) that support a common ancient Canaanite origin.... Jews, Cretans, Egyptians, Iranians, Turks and Armenians are probably the closest relatives to Palestinians..." (p. 897)
Harry Ostrer. "A genetic profile of contemporary Jewish populations." Nature Reviews Genetics 2(11) (November 2001): 891-898. Excerpt:
"Studies of Y-chromosal markers have provided an opportunity to assess gene flow into Jewish populations from non-Jewish males. Contemporary Jews and Middle Eastern Arabs have 13 common Y-chromosomal haplotypes that are shared both within and across groups, indicating that the original Jews might have arisen from local peoples [Canaanites, Sumerians, etc.] and are not the offspring of a single patriarch [Abraham]. The most common Y-chromosomal haplotypes are thought to be of Middle Eastern and North African origin, and the less common haplotypes of Asian origin, indicating that gene flow had a role in the formation of the Jewish people."
Carole Oddoux, Encarnacion Guillen-Navarro, C. M. Clayton, H. Nelson, H. Peretz, U. Seligsohn, L. Luzzatto, M. Nardi, M. Karpatkin, C. DiTivoli, E. DiCave, Felicia Axelrod, and Harry Ostrer. "Genetic Evidence for a Common Origin among Roman Jews and Ashkenazi Jews." American Journal of Human Genetics 61:4 (1997): A207. Abstract excerpts:
"The present Ashkenazi Jewish population is believed to be derived from an initial group of 10,000 founders who moved to Eastern Europe 1000 years ago, possibly from Rome. In order to test the hypothesis that these two populations originated from a common founder population we collected samples from a group of 107 Roman Jews representing 176 unique chromosomes and analyzed them for specific mutations known to be prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews.... The FXI type III mutation has previously been observed exclusively among Ashkenazi Jewish populations suggesting a common origin for the Roman and the Ashkenazi Jews and dating the mutation to between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago."
"Genetic Road May Lead to Rome: Scientists Discover Ties Between Ashkenazim and Roman Jews." Forward (August 29, 1997): v. C1, p. 22.
Steve Sailer. "Q&A: Tracing Jewish history through genes." (UPI, May 15, 2003). Published in that day's edition of The Washington Times. Excerpts:
"From a historical perspective, however, this current era of Jews marrying gentiles is not unique, according to author Jon Entine. While other peoples have come and gone over the millennia, the world Jewish community has survived both through eras of horrific persecution and eras of high rates of intermarriage. ... Entine said: 'Biblical literalists have long contended that Jews are a 'race apart,' citing Deuteronomic Law: 'You shall not intermarry with them (non-Jews).' As a result, some Jewish populations, such as the Ashkenazi from Eastern Europe, are among the more genetically distinct in the world... Under the Roman Empire, the Jewish community in Italy was quite sizable for a time, with lots of flow in and out. During the early Christian period in the Roman Empire, Jewish males who had left the Mideast often took on Gentile wives. Their offspring probably became the core of Ashkenazi Jewry. However, some time around the fall of Rome is when the taboos on intermarriage (imposed by both Jews and Gentiles) became stringent. The real end to Ashkenazi Jewish out-marrying did not come until the Middle Ages as the economic and social position of Jews worsened considerably. This historical trend is reflected in the genetic data, which suggests that the genetic core of modern Ashkenazi Jewry was not formed until this period. The core consisted mostly of Jewish men with Middle Eastern roots marrying a high percentage of local Gentile women, then forming Jewish communities.'"
"In his new book, 'Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,' Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. [...] Ostrer bolsters his analysis with volumes of genetic data, [...] threads of Jewish ancestry link the sizable Jewish communities of North America and Europe to Yemenite and other Middle Eastern Jews who have relocated to Israel, as well as to the black Lemba of southern Africa and to India's Cochin Jews. But, in a twist, the links include neither the Bene Israel of India nor Ethiopian Jews. Genetic tests show that both groups are converts, contradicting their founding myths. [...] About 80% of [the lineages of] Jewish males and 50% of Jewish females trace their ancestry back to the Middle East. The rest entered the 'Jewish gene pool' through conversion or intermarriage. [...]"
One Y-specific DNA polymorphism (p49/Taq I) was studied in 54 Lebanese and 69 Palestinian males, and compared with the results found in 693 Jews from three communities (Oriental, Sephardic, and Ashkenazic). Lebanese, Palestinian, and Sephardic Jews seem to be similar in their Y-haplotype patterns, both with regard to the haplotype distributions and the ancestral haplotype VIII frequencies. The haplotype distribution in Oriental Jews is characterized by a significantly higher frequency of haplotype VIII. These results confirm similarities in the Y-haplotype frequencies in Lebanese, Palestinian, and Sephardic Jewish men, three Near-Eastern populations sharing a common geographic origin.
"DNA samples from Falasha Jews and Ethiopians were studied with the Y-chromosome-specific DNA probe p49a to screen for TaqI restriction polymorphisms and haplotypes. Two haplotypes (V and XI) are the most widespread in Falashas and Ethiopians, representing about 70% of the total number of haplotypes in Ethiopia. Because the Jewish haplotypes VII and VIII are not represented in the Falasha population, we conclude that the Falasha people descended from ancient inhabitants of Ethiopia who converted to Judaism."
A. Amar, O. J. Kwon, U. Motro, C. S. Witt, Batsheva Bonne-Tamir, R. Gabison, and C. Brautbar. "Molecular analysis of HLA class II polymorphisms among different ethnic groups in Israel." Human Immunology 60(8) (August 1999): 723-730. This study failed to study Slavic populations, yet the study apparently showed that Israeli Arabs are closer to Sephardic Jews than either group is to Ashkenazi Jews. Excerpts:
"Genetic studies classify the Israeli Jewish population into two major groups: Ashkenazi from Central and Eastern Europe and Sephardic or non Ashkenazi, from the Mediterranean and North Africa... Ethiopian Jews were found to be closer to the Blacks than to any of the Israeli Jewish groups. We have shown that Jews share common features, a fact that points to a common ancestry. A certain degree of admixture with their pre-immigration neighbors exists despite the cultural and religious constraints against intermarriage."
J. Martinez-Laso, E. Gazit, E. Gomez-Casado, P. Morales, N. Martinez-Quiles, M. Alvarez, J. M. Martin-Villa, V. Fernandez, and A. Arnaiz-Villena. "HLA DR and DQ polymorphism in Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews: comparison with other Mediterraneans." Tissue Antigens 47(1) (January 1996): 63-71. Excerpts:
"HLA-DR and DQ alleles have been detected by DNA typing in Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews from Israel. Allele frequencies, characteristic DR/DQ linkage disequilibria, population distances and their corresponding dendrogram by using the Neighbor-Joining method were used to study relatedness between Jewish and other Mediterranean and non Mediterranean populations. Closest relatedness is observed between Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews, and, in decreasing order, also with Algerians, Spaniards (including Spanish-Basques), French and Italians. Also, particular characteristic Central European alleles are observed in Ashkenazi Jews and Mediterranean/African alleles in non-Ashkenazi Jews. This is consistent with historical data, Jews being an ancient Mediterranean population, who have had a certain degree of admixture with their 2000-3000 years old neighbors in spite of cultural and religious traditions which have preserved identity outside Israel."
"...the Jews... in Poland... employed local Slavic slaves who aided them in developing their enterprises. The Jews were mostly single men, from Jewish centers in western and southern Europe... As by Jewish law, after seven years they were required to free their slaves, often, the owner, when his female slave continued working with him after her release, proposed that she remain with him as his wife, and undertake the management of the household as an equal partner, all on condition that she convert to Judaism. This could also explain the Slavic cast which often manifests itself on the faces of Jews from this region."
"Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European samples differentiate along the second axis of the multivariate analysis. The Sephardim Jews, the Ashkenazim Jews, the Turks, and the Lebanese samples are genetically located at the intersection of these two linguistic groups, the Ashkenazim samples being somewhat closer to Indo-Europeans.... Although the overall pattern of population differentiation globally appears to be very similar for male- and female-transmitted markers (fig. 3), some populations clearly show different affinities for their maternal and paternal genetic components, as already noticed for Ethiopian Jews, Arab tribal groups in the Sinai Peninsula, Finns, and Basques (as discussed above)."
"Who Are the Jews?"
Diamond argues that Ashkenazic Jews are connected to "their ancient Arab and Egyptian neighbors." (p. 18). Yet he admits: "Although the Jews have been scattered for only a few thousand years, their faces often reflect their scattered homelands". While he is willing to consider Indian Jews, Yemenite Jews, and Ethiopian Jews descendants of converts and mixed marriages (p. 18), he seems to think Ashkenazic Jews are more purely Israelite than other Jewish groups. "G6PD deficiency" genetics is common to Ashkenazim, Russians, and Germans. "In their fingerprints, Rhesus blood group frequencies, haptoglobins, and several enzyme markers, Ashkenazic Jews resemble Sephardic and Yemenite Jews and differ from Eastern European Gentiles. Furthermore, in these respects Jews resemble many Gentile peoples of the eastern Mediterranean, such as Samaritans, Armenians, Egyptian Cops, and Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian Arabs".

"India's children of Israel find their roots".

"More than 2,000 years after they first claimed to have set foot in India, the mystery of the world's most obscure Jewish community - the Marathi-speaking Bene Israel - may finally have been solved with genetic carbon-dating revealing they carry the unusual Moses gene that would make them, literally, the original children of Israel. Four years of DNA tests on the 4,000-strong Bene Israel, now mainly based in Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Ahmedabad, indicates they are probable descendants of a small group of hereditary Israelite priests or Cohanim, according to new results exclusively made available to the Sunday Times of India.... [Tudor] Parfitt, who initiated and led the research, says this is the first concrete proof that 'exiles from Palestine made it as far as India and managed to maintain Judaism in the sea of Hinduism and Islam'... Aharon Daniel expressed doubt about the new findings. 'Many scientists have claimed to have found Israeli or Cohenim genes in tribes in black Africa and other communities around the world and many here were sceptical about this,' he told STOI.... By studying certain genetic markers on the DNA chain, found only in male descendants of Aaron, Moses' elder brother, who founded the line of Jewish priests, the Bene Israel could well claim to be the purest of the  pure."
"The news that recent DNA tests have linked India's Bene Israel Jewish community to the patriarch Moses has delighted the small Jewish community in Thane. For hundreds of  years, the Bene Israel (meaning Children of Israel), now largely concentrated in and around Thane had fought Western prejudice that denied them their claim as descendants of one of Israel's 12 lost tribes. Now the Jews of Thane, home to 2,000 or 40 per cent of India's Jewry, can hold their head high among the rest of the Jewish community. '...Now science has proved that we are descendants of the Cohanim or hereditary priests. This will improve our status in the Jewish community,' says Ezra Moses, honorary secretary and trustee of Thane's Shaar Hashamaim or Gate of Heaven synagogue.... '...Now the DNA tests have confirmed our claims,' says Rachel Gadkar, a retired schoolteacher who recently published a book in Marathi called 'Bharatiya Bene Israel', that traces the origins of her community.... The current finding that the Bene Israel carry Moses's genes is the result of a research project that started seven years ago.... Sixty-six-year old Phinas Bamnolkar, the hazan or cantor at the Thane synagogue says, 'It was always our claim that we are descendants of Moses. Our claim has now been scientifically proved.'"
"Extensive DNA testing has found the Bene Israelis, clustered in and around the western city of Bombay, are direct descendants of a hereditary Israelite priesthood that can be traced back 3,000 years to Moses' brother, Aaron."
"It has been known for over a decade that a majority of men who self report as members of the Jewish priesthood (Cohanim) carry a characteristic Y chromosome haplotype termed the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). The CMH has since been used to trace putative Jewish ancestral origins of various populations. However, the limited number of binary and STR Y chromosome markers used previously did not provide the phylogenetic resolution needed to infer the number of independent paternal lineages that are encompassed within the Cohanim or their coalescence times. Accordingly, we have genotyped 75 binary markers and 12 Y-STRs in a sample of 215 Cohanim from diverse Jewish communities, 1,575 Jewish men from across the range of the Jewish Diaspora, and 2,099 non-Jewish men from the Near East, Europe, Central Asia, and India. While Cohanim from diverse backgrounds carry a total of 21 Y chromosome haplogroups, 5 haplogroups account for 79.5% of Cohanim Y chromosomes. The most frequent Cohanim lineage (46.1%) is marked by the recently reported P58 T–>C mutation, which is prevalent in the Near East. Based on genotypes at 12 Y-STRs, we identify an extended CMH on the J-P58* background that predominates in both Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Cohanim and is remarkably absent in non-Jews. The estimated divergence time of this lineage based on 17 STRs is 3,190 ± 1,090 years. Notably, the second most frequent Cohanim lineage (J-M410*, 14.4%) contains an extended modal haplotype that is also limited to Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Cohanim and is estimated to be 4.2 ± 1.3 ky old. These results support the hypothesis of a common origin of the CMH in the Near East well before the dispersion of the Jewish people into separate communities, and indicate that the majority of contemporary Jewish priests descend from a limited number of paternal lineages."
"But the most remarkable application of Y-chromosome markers is to Jewish populations in the Middle East and beyond... Aaron thus became the first Jewish priest, or cohen, a tradition that has since been handed down from father to son. [Michael] Hammer, Karl Skorecki, David Goldstein, and colleagues studied Y markers from three hundred Jews, including more than one hundred cohanim, and found that half of the Jewish priests shared the same genetic signature, compared to less than 5 percent in the lay Jewish population.... The results of the DNA studies [of the Lemba people of South Africa] were stunning: a significant portion of the Lemba Y chromosomes exhibit the characteristic genetic signature found in the cohanim, including more than 50 percent of the Buba, one of the 12 Lemba clans. These markers have also turned up in the Bene Israel, the oldest Jewish community in India..." (excerpts from pages 182-183)
"On the Internet, Carvin located Family Tree DNA, a small Houston firm created to answer such questions. He mailed in a sample of his DNA, gathered by swabbing the inside of his cheek, and waited. In late October, he got a call from Bennett Greenspan, president of Family Tree DNA. Not only did his Y chromosome have the cohanim markers-small genetic variations-but other markers matched with those of another man in the database, making it likely that they share a forefather within the past 250 years... Since then, other researchers have used the cohanim markers to ascertain that the Lemba, a Bantu-speaking people in Southern Africa who have traditionally claimed Jewish ancestry, do indeed have Semitic roots. And last June, Hammer published results showing that although Palestinian and Jewish men may be political foes, they are also brethren, so closely related as to be genetically indistinguishable."
The branch of the Y-DNA haplogroup R1a found in Ashkenazic populations, particularly Ashkenazic  Levites, doesn't come from an East European or Central Asian Turkic source, as previously suggested, but from an Iranian source population that intermixed with Israelite Jews in the Middle East in ancient times. While some Ukrainians, Karachays, and other peoples of Europe and the Caucasus have varieties of R1a, they are different varieties than the Ashkenazic one. An exception was one Nogay of the Caucasus who has the R1a-M582, but his STR haplotype "lies outside of the Levite cluster" according to the authors. The evidence goes against the hypothesis that a prominent Turkic Khazar family that converted to Judaism artificially adopted the status of Levites in Khazaria and then moved to Kievan Rus. Excerpts from the article:
"[...] R1a-M582 was identified in various populations, with the highest frequency occurring within Iranians collected from the southeastern Kerman population who self-identified as Persians, northwestern Iranian Azeri and in Cilician Anatolian Kurds, at 2.86%, 2.50% and 2.83%, respectively (Table 1). [...] In summary, we have circumscribed the geography of marker M582 within the broad distribution zone of R1a-M198* lineages. We have shown it to be a minor haplogroup that is primarily shared among Iranian Kerman, Iranian Azeri, Kurds, Ashkenazi Jews and non-Ashkenazi Jews, and that it is virtually absent in the Caucasus region, Europe, South Asia, and southern Siberia."
"...[T]he Levites, another paternally inherited Jewish caste, display evidence for multiple recent origins, with Ashkenazi Levites having a high frequency of a distinctive, non-Near Eastern haplogroup. Here, we show that the Ashkenazi Levite microsatellite haplotypes within this haplogroup are extremely tightly clustered, with an inferred common ancestor within the past 2,000 years. Comparisons with other Jewish and non-Jewish groups suggest that a founding event, probably involving one or very few European men occurring at a time close to the initial formation and settlement of the Ashkenazi community, is the most likely explanation for the presence of this distinctive haplogroup found today in >50% of Ashkenazi Levites."
"If a European origin for the Ashkenazi Levite haplogroup R1a1 component is accepted as a reasonable possibility, it is of interest to speculate further on the possible timing, location, and mechanism of this event. Because the modal haplotype of haplogroup R1a1 found in the Ashkenazi Levites is found at reasonably high frequency throughout the eastern European region, it is not possible to use genetic information to pinpoint the exact origin of any putative founder from the currently available data sets. ... One attractive source would be the Khazarian Kingdom, whose ruling class is though tto have converted to Judaism in the 8th or 9th century (Dunlop 1967). ... It extended from northern Georgia in the south to Bulgar on the Volga River in the north and from the Aral Sea in the east to the Dnieper River in the west -- an area that falls within a region in which haplogroup R1a1 NRYs are found at high frequency".
Approximately 38 percent of Ashkenazi Levites share a particular haplotype that is also found among about 11 percent of Sorbs and about 8.5 percent of Belarusians. (Sorbs and Belarusians are both Slavic peoples.) In The Ashkenazic Jews (1993), Paul Wexler had proposed that Ashkenazi Jews are related to Sorbs, but this was unable to be substantiated using non-genetic data. The DNA affinity with Sorbs may be significant but may not be the only explanation. 
The study emphasizes that Ashkenazi non-Levite Jews in general do not have a major Khazar or European origin in their Y-DNA.
"The Y chromosomes of Ashkenazic and Sephardic levites show no particular similarity. ... There is, however, a strong genetic signature common to 52% of Ashkenazic levites. It is a set of genetic variations belonging to a branch of the world Y chromosome tree known as R1a1. To judge by the amount of variation on these levite R1a1 chromosomes, the original ancestor seems to have entered the Jewish community about 1,000 years ago, roughly the time when Jewish settlement in northwest Europe began, in other words at the founding of the Ashkenazic community (scholars admite that many of the peoples of the area have Israelite ancestry without necessarily attributing it to Khazar ancestry). The geneticists who discovered the R1a1 signature among the levites, a team that included Skorecki, Hammer and Goldstein, note that outside the Jewish community the R1a1 chromosome is relatively common in the region north of Georgia, in the Caucasus, that was once occupied by the Khazar kingdom (this confirms what was said in the previous brackets).  
"A team of geneticists studying the ancestry of Jewish communities has found an unusual genetic signature that occurs in more than half the Levites of Ashkenazi descent. ... The genetic signature occurs on the male or Y chromosome and comes from a few men, or perhaps a single ancestor, who lived about 1,000 years ago... The new report, published in the current issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, was prepared by population geneticists in Israel, the United States and England... They say that 52 percent of Levites of Ashkenazi origin have a particular genetic signature that originated in Central Asia (where part of the lost ten tribes were dwelling), although it is also found less frequently in the Middle East. The ancestor who introduced it into the Ashkenazi Levites could perhaps have been from the Khazars (who were Turkish speaking Israelites, not Turks), a Turkic tribe whose king converted to Judaism in the eighth or ninth century, the researchers suggest. Their reasoning is that the signature, a set of DNA variations known as R1a1, is common in the region north of Georgia that was once occupied by the Khazar kingdom. The present descendants of the Khazars have not been identified. ... If the patrilineal descent of the two priestly castes had indeed been followed  as tradition describes, then... all Levites [should be descended] from Levi, the third son of the patriarch Jacob. ... But the picture among the Levites was less clear, suggesting that they had a mixed ancestry. Dr. Hammer and Dr. Skorecki returned to the puzzle for their new report, based on data gathered from nearly 1,000 men of Ashkenazi and Sephardi origin and neighboring non-Jewish populations. ... The paternal ancestry of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Levites is different, unlike the Cohanim from the two branches..."
"...Levite haplotype distributions were compared with distributions in Israelite Jews and candidate source populations (north Germans and two groups of Slavonic language speakers). The Ashkenazic Levites were most similar to the Sorbians, the most westerly Slavonic speaking group... Comparisons of the Ashkenazic Levite dataset with the other groups studied suggest that Y chromosome haplotypes, present at high frequency in Ashkenazic Levites, are most likely to have an east European or west Asian origin and not to have originated in the Middle East."
The haplotype Z93 is found among peoples of Central Asia, South Asia, and Southwest Asia including Persians, Arabs, Indians, and Tatars (these are some of the areas where the Israelites have dwelled leaving their genes & many local people claim rightfully this origin).

Dr. Levon Yepiskoposyan (Yerevan, Armenia), Head of the Institute of Man and President of the Armenian Anthropological Society:
"Indeed there are some evidences of genetic relation between Armenians and Jews. Jewish population could preserve 'genetic signature' of their ancient ancestors in male Y chromosome - in genetically isolated communities of Cohanim. It is so called 'Cohanim modal haplotype' - CMH. We found the presence of CMH in modern Armenians as well. This is a strong evidence of ancient genetic contacts between Armenians and Hebrews" (both are regarded as being the offspring of Israelites).
"Among Jews, there are common genetic markers, including some found in about half the Jewish men named Cohen. But this isn't exactly a Jewish gene: The same marker is also found in Arabs" (of course there's a Jewish gene, but many arabs have it because many Jews living in Arab lands were forced to accept Islam mingling with the Arab popualation).

"Gene From Mideast Ancestor May Link 4 Disparate Peoples" 

"...there lived a person who bequeathed a particular gene to many present-day descendants... They include Jews, Arabs, [Anatolian] Turks and Armenians. The gene, a variant of a gene that controls fever, has come to light because it causes an unusual disease called familial Mediterranean fever in individuals who inherit a copy from both parents. For example, the variant form of the gene found in North African Jews, Iraqi Jews and Armenians is the same, carrying both the same mutation and a pattern of 11 other genetic changes, all harmless... A second variant form of the gene, according to the American team, is shared by Iraqi Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, the Moslem Druze sect and Armenians

Studies showed that the associated HLA haplotype in Jewish pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patients is HLA-B38, DRB1*0402, and DQB1*0302; or HLA-B35, DRB1*0402, and DQB1*0302. Similar associations with class II genes were found in Spanish non-Jewish PV patients. As Jews lived in Spain for hundreds of years and many converted to Christianity, the presence of the same HLA haplotype in the Jewish and Spanish PV suggests that they may share the same founder (among Portuguese & Spanish there are many people Crypto-Jewish roots) ... The distance between the two PV cohorts is relatively short, but the distance between the Jewish patients and the Jewish controls is greater compared to the distance between Spanish patients and Spanish controls. In both PV populations, the same microsatellite haplotypes in addition to a common class II haplotype were found, suggesting that both patient populations originated from the same genetic stock and, therefore, share the same ancestral disease gene."

"Non-Jews hit by 'Jewish' diseases fall through the cracks of genetic screening." The Forward (August 12, 2013). Notes that besides Ashkenazi Jews, other ethnic groups that are at an elevated risk for Tay-Sachs include "French-Canadians, Irish and Cajuns" (Cajuns have Jewish origins & the other two are regarded as Israelites).N. Mobini, E.J. Yunis, C.A. Alper, J.J. Yunis, J.C. Delgado, D.E. Yunis, A. Firooz, Y. Dowlati, K. Bahar, P.K. Gregersen, A.R. Ahmed. "Identical MHC markers in non-Jewish Iranian and Ashkenazi Jewish patients with pemphigus vulgaris: possible common central Asian ancestral origin." Human Immunology 57:1 (September 15, 1997): 62-67. Abstract:
"Previous studies showed that almost all Ashkenazi Jewish patients with pemphigus vulgaris carried the extended haplotype [HLA-B38, SC21, DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302] or [HLA-B35, SC31, DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302] or class II fragments of them. Non-Jewish patients carried [HLA-B55, SB45, DRB1*1401, DQB1*0503] or its class II fragments. In the present study of 20 Iranian patients with pemphigus vulgaris, 17 were found to carry DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302 haplotypes, also found among normal Iranian haplotypes and the same as that of the Jews. These findings suggest that the pemphigus MHC susceptibility gene among Iranians derived from the same ancestor as that in the Ashkenazim. The ancient Jews were under Persian domination from 500 B.C. until 300 B.C. and in the 8th century A.D., a Tataric people living in the kingdom of Khazar on the Western shore of the Caspian Sea and the Northern shore of the Black Sea, near Persia, converted to Judaism, providing possible opportunities for gene mixing in two populations that are distinct and separate today."
"Canavan disease affects all ethnic groups but is especially prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews and Saudi Arabians" (there are some Crypto-Jews in saudi Arabia)
"[...] hereditary inclusion body myopathy, a rare, recessive genetic disease that causes late-onset muscle degeneration. The carrier rate in the Persian Jewish community is 1 in 15 -- more common than Tay-Sachs is for Ashkenazi Jews. Cases of HIBM have also been documented among non-Jews, including Japanese, Caucasian Americans, Asian Indians and Kurdish Iranians. [...]


"Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations from Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation."
"Based on the close relationship of the Samaritan haplogroup J six-microsatellite haplotypes with the Cohen modal haplotype, we speculate that the Samaritan M304 Y-chromosome lineages present a subgroup of the original Jewish Cohanim priesthood that did not go into exile when the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 BC, but married Assyrian and female exiles relocated from other conquered lands, which was a typical Assyrian policy to obliterate national identities. This is in line with biblical texts that emphasize a common heritage of Jews and Samaritans, but also record the negative attitude of Jews towards the Samaritans because of their association with people that were not Jewish. Such a scenario could explain why Samaritan Y-chromosome lineages cluster tightly with Jewish Y-lineages (Fig. 2A), while their mitochrondrial lineages are closest to Iraqi Jewish and Palestinian mtDNA sequences (Fig. 2B)."
It should also be noted that some Palestinian Arabs who live in the city of Nablus and nearby villages paternally descend from Samaritans who converted to Islam. Their family names include Buwarda, Kasem, Muslimani, Shakshir, Yaish, among others.


"The genetic legacy of religious diversity and intolerance: paternal lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula."
"[...] The Iberian Peninsula provides a suitable region for examination of the demographic impact of such recent events, because its complex recent history has involved the long-term residence of two very different populations with distinct geographical origins and their own particular cultural and religious characteristics-North African Muslims and Sephardic Jews. To address this issue, we analyzed Y chromosome haplotypes, which provide the necessary phylogeographic resolution, in 1140 males from the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. Admixture analysis based on binary and Y-STR haplotypes indicates a high mean proportion of ancestry from North African (10.6%) and Sephardic Jewish (19.8%) sources. Despite alternative possible sources for lineages ascribed a Sephardic Jewish origin, these proportions attest to a high level of religious conversion (whether voluntary or enforced), driven by historical episodes of social and religious intolerance, that ultimately led to the integration of descendants. [...]"
"About 20 percent of the current population of the Iberian Peninsula has Sephardic Jewish ancestry, and 11 percent bear Moorish DNA signatures, a team of geneticists reports. The genetic signatures reflect the forced conversions to Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries after Christian armies wrested Spain back from Muslim control. ... The genetic study, based on an analysis of Y chromosomes, was conducted by a team of biologists led by Mark Jobling of the University of Leicester in England and Francesc Calafell of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. The biologists developed a Y chromosome signature for Sephardic men by studying Sephardic Jewish communities in places where Jews migrated after being expelled from Spain in the years from 1492 to 1496. They also characterized the Y chromosomes of the Arab and Berber army that invaded Spain in 711 A.D. from data on people now living in Morocco and Western Sahara. ... The genetic study, reported online Thursday in the American Journal of Human Genetics, indicates there was a high level of conversion among Jews (as it was suspected before these studies) ... The issue is one that has confronted Calafell, an author of the study. His own Y chromosome is probably of Sephardic ancestry - the test is not definitive for individuals - and his surname is from a town in Catalonia; Jews undergoing conversion often took surnames from place names."
"El doctor Calafell matiza que [...] los marcadores genéticos usados para distinguir a la población con ancestros sefardíes pueden producir distorsiones. En realidad, la pista genética usada en este caso también es compartida por pueblos de Oriente Medio desde Turquía hasta Líbano, con lo que en realidad, ese 20% de españoles que el estudio señala como descendientes de sefardíes podrían haber heredado ese rasgo de movimiento más antiguos, como el de los fenicios (considerados Israelitas en gran medida) o, incluso, primeros pobladores neolíticos hace miles de años (también considerados, los íberos, Hebreos)" (Translation: "Dr. Calafell clarifies that [...] the genetic markers used to distinguish the population with Sephardic ancestry may produce distortions. In reality, the genetic marker used in this case is also a component of peoples of the Middle East from Turkey to Lebanon, with the reality being that the 20% of Spaniards who are identified as having Sephardic ancestry in the study could have inherited that same marker from older migrations like those of the Phoenicians, or even the first Neolithic settlers thousands of years ago.")
"'The genetic makeup of Sephardic Jews is probably common to other Middle Eastern populations, such as the Phoenicians, that also settled the Iberian Peninsula,' Calafell says. 'In our study, that would have all fallen under the Jewish label. The 20% of Spaniards that are identified as having Sephardim ancestry in the study could have inherited that same marker from older movements like the Phoenicians, or even the first Neolithic settlers thousands of years ago.'"

Latinos, including those with traditions of Spanish Jewish ancestry

"[...] Here, we analyzed DNA collected from two well-established communities in Colorado (33 unrelated individuals) and Ecuador (20 unrelated individuals) with a measurable prevalence of the BRCA1 c.185delAG and the GHR c.E180 mutations, respectively, using Affymetrix Genome-wide Human SNP 6.0 arrays to identify their ancestry. These mutations are thought to have been brought to these communities by Sephardic Jewish progenitors. Principal component analysis and clustering methods were  employed to determine the genome-wide patterns of continental ancestry within both populations using single nucleotide polymorphisms, complemented by determination of Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes. When examining the presumed European component of these two communities, we demonstrate enrichment for Sephardic Jewish ancestry not only for these mutations, but also for other segments as well. Although comparison of both groups to a reference Hispanic/Latino population of Mexicans demonstrated proximity and similarity to other modern day communities derived from a European and Native American two-way admixture, identity-by-descent and Y-chromosome mapping demonstrated signatures of Sephardim in both communities. [...]"
"In 1995, Demetrio Valdez, his wife, Olive, and some of their neighbors in Conejos County, Colo., started a kosher food co-op. ... Since childhood he had heard rumors that his family had Jewish ancestors dating back to colonial New Spain when, as historical records show, a good number of Converso Jews -- Jews and their descendants forcibly converted during the Spanish Inquisition -- came to the New World. Many of the Conversos who had made the trek over had become Catholics in name only. ... Now a new study in the Journal of Human Genetics has turned up fresh scientific evidence that the Spanish Americans of the Southwest must have had some Jewish forbears. A group of researchers in the United States and Ecuador analyzed DNA from two communities who trace back to Spanish colonial times: one in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, which includes Conejos County, and one in the Loja Province of southern Ecuador. The study found 'observable Sephardic ancestry' in both communities and calculated Jewish ancestry among the Lojanos at about 5 to 10 percent and among the Spanish Americans, also called Hispanos, at about 1 to 5 percent. 'This study provides firmer evidence for what people have been conjecturing for up to 20 years now,' said the study's director, Dr. Harry Ostrer..."
"DNA Clears the Fog Over Latino Links to Judaism in New Mexico."
"He [Father William Sanchez launched a DNA project to test his relatives, along with some of the parishioners at Albuquerque's St. Edwin's Church, where he works. As word got out, others in the community began contacting him. So Sanchez expanded the effort to include Latinos throughout the state. Of the 78 people tested, 30 are positive for the marker of the Cohanim, whose genetic line remains strong because they rarely married non-Jews throughout a history spanning up to 4,000 years. Fewer than 1% of non-Jews possessed this marker. That fact - along with the traditions in many of these families - makes it likely that they are Jewish, he said. ... It also explained practices that had baffled  many folks here for years: the special knives used to butcher sheep in line with Jewish kosher tradition, the refusal to work on Saturdays to honor the Sabbath, the menorahs that had been hidden away. In some families, isolated rituals are all that remain of a once-vibrant religious tradition diluted by time and fears of persecution. ... 'We believe a fairly high percentage of first families [arriving] in New Mexico were nominally Catholic, but their secret religion was Judaism,' he [Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA] said. "We are finding between 10% and 15% of men living in New Mexico or south Texas or northern Mexico have a Y chromosome that tracks back to the Middle East.' They are not all Cohanim, and there's a slight chance some could be of African Muslim descent. But Greenspan said the DNA of the men is typical of Jews from the eastern Mediterranean."
"Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, Danny Villarreal had heard the stories from his grandparents. His ancestors, it was whispered, had come to Mexico from Spain under something of a cloud. Apparently, they were not purebred Castilian Spaniards, but members of a persecuted minority -- namely, Jews who had converted to Catholicism on pain of death at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. ... FTDNA sent the test off to a genetics lab at the University of Arizona, and a few weeks later Villarreal got his results back.
"When she was growing up in a small town in southern Colorado, an area where her ancestors settled centuries ago when it was on the fringes of the northern frontier of New Spain, Bernadette Gonzalez always thought some of the stories about her family were unusual, if not bizarre. Her grandmother, for instance, refused to travel on Saturday and would use a specific porcelain basin to drain blood out of meat before she cooked it. In one tale that particularly puzzled Ms. Gonzalez, 52, her grandfather called for a Jewish doctor to circumcise him... Ms. Gonzalez started researching her family history and concluded that her ancestors were Marranos, or Sephardic Jews, who had fled the Inquisition in Spain and in Mexico more than four centuries ago. Though raised in the Roman Catholic faith, Ms. Gonzalez felt a need to reconnect to her Jewish roots, so she converted to Judaism three years ago. ... These conversions are the latest chapter in the story of the crypto-Jews, or hidden Jews, of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, who are thought to be descended from the Sephardic Jews who began fleeing Spain more than 500 years ago. The story is being bolstered by recent historical research and advances in DNA testing that are said to reveal a prominent role played by crypto-Jews and their descendants in Spain's colonization of the Southwest. ... Family Tree DNA, a Houston company that offers a Cohanim test to its male clients, gets about one inquiry a day from Hispanics interested in exploring the possibility of Jewish ancestry, said Bennett Greenspan, its founder and chief executive. Mr. Greenspan said about one in 10 of the Hispanic men tested by his company showed Semitic ancestry strongly suggesting a Jewish background. (Another divergent possibility is that the test might suggest North African Muslim ancestry.)"

Mexican-American Indians

"[...] Weitzel's discovery of the BRCA1 mutation in these Hispanics led him to suspect that there was a genetic connection between them and European Jews, [...] The mutation was also found in a group of Mexican Indians who had immigrated from Mexico to the United States over the past 200 years and settled in western Colorado. [...] all had a common ancestor: A Jew who immigrated from Europe to South America up to 600 years ago, [...] the mutation found in the Colorado Indians was found to be identical to that of Ashkenazi Jews, [...]"

Portuguese who descend from Jews who converted to Christianity

"It is part of a national trend: The turning toward Judaism of thousands of Portuguese who believe they are descended from Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity hundreds of years ago. ... Many became crypto-Jews, practicing secretly. ... Recent genetic studies show that some 30 percent of Portugal's population has Jewish blood."

Italians who descend from Jews who converted to Christianity

"Who am I and where do I come from? [...] my ethnic background: 'Italian,' or more specifically, 'Calabrese and Sicilian.' [...] It turns out, forgotten Jewish ancestry among Southern Italian isn't so far-fetched. [...] 'Serrastretta was founded by Jews escaping persecution, because of its remote, mountain location,' she [Rabbi Barbara Aiello] said, intimating that there are still many Jews in the area and elsewhere in the Italian south, [...] Most southern Italian Jewish converts to Christianity eventually lost their faith, but many have passed down traditions, the meaning of which has been lost over time. 'I've met many southern Italians [...] who have what they consider quirky family traditions that are actually Jewish traditions,' says Aiello. She recites a long list of activities: lighting candles on Fridays (marking the Sabbath); throwing out an egg if there's a spot of blood in it, avoiding pork and shellfish, or meat mixed with dairy products (to keep kosher); and hanging a red string over a baby's crib, or tying it to their wrist (a kabbalah ritual). [...] My autosomal DNA revealed a wide variety of origins, including Iberian, Germanic, North African, Arabian, Central Asian, and of all things, Melanesian. It explains why some of my family members look Middle Eastern, while others could pass for northern European, and others have the almond-shaped eyes usually only found in Asia. Although there were no strong indicators of Jewish ancestry here either, the hodgepodge that is my genetic profile actually had more in common with Ashkenazi Jews than Italians! [...] it also explained how another Italian-American cousin of his [Enrico Mascaro's] could have a genetic illness that usually only afflicts Jews."


On the one hand, no connection was found on the male side of the genetic chain (the Y chromosome) between the genetic profile of the Kuki and the Jewish profile, or the profile of Middle Eastern peoples in general. However, on the female side of the profile (what scientists call mitochondrial DNA) there is a certain resemblance to the genetic profile of Middle Eastern peoples and to that of the Jews of Uzbekistan (who also have a tradition of belonging to the 10 tribes) - a closeness that distinguishes the Kuki from the members of other tribes that live nearby. ... 
"To add another element to the 'Jewish' connection of the Kuki, [Hillel] Halkin is helping with plans to carry out genetic testing. This is slated to be performed in the near future by a group headed by Prof. Karl Skorecki of the Technion, who for several years now has specialized in research into Jewish genetics. The team will compare genetic findings from the Kuki with those of the Jews and thus attempt to examine common genetic roots. However, Halkin stresses in advance that 'even if a genetic match is not found, this would not refute my belief in this connection. The textual findings are simply too strong.'"
 The CMH tool in action: The Southern and Central Italians

The interesting story of the Southern and Central Italians is very strait forward. The majority are ancient Hebrews, captured and brought to Italy during Roman times. They are actually the ancient Hebrew tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and part of Levi.

The interesting part of the story is how the became the majority, and how they are literally "welcomed to go home" (by Northern Italians) even to this day!

What actually happened in Italy (as the Roman Empire declined and fell) is hinted at by the famous English author, Thomas Robert Malthus. His book: "An Essay on the Principle of Population, A View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness" contains the following chapter about the Romans.

In summary: The land of Italy fell into the hands of the Roman upper class, whose wealth consisted of their large estates (and their imported captured servants). The burden of the defence of the Roman Empire, however, fell upon the plebian classes (poor free farmers and small landowners).

Thus, by the time of the fall of the Roman Empire - that is: when the Roman armies were killed off and crushed - all that remained in Italy, essentially, were the Roman upper class, their immense numbers of servants [note: like the "sand of the seashore" - an immense multitude!], and the victorious, invading armies!

The complex history of the land of Italy, is well recorded. (Here is a place to start for interested readers.) The interesting part is that the old "jealous tensions" (resulting from the Hebrew Tribes' success as the Roman Empire fell around them) continue to this day! This is reflected, for example, in the history of the separatist Lego Nord (the Northern League) and its founder, Umberto Bossi.

Should the ancient Hebrews in Italy "crawl away" at the voicing of such words (when they constitute the largest single voting block in Italy)? I say:The Italian Hebrews in political power in Italy!


"Tests have shown that the Lemba possess the 'Kohen gene,' extremely rare among non-Jews, in a proportion similar to that of Jews... [T]here are now efforts - from the Lemba and from Jewish outreach groups - to expose them to Judaism... As much as they needed someone like Parfitt to study them, they may also need someone to champion their integration. That person may be Rufina Bernadetti Silva Mausenbaum, a descendant of Portuguese Crypto-Jews who made her way back to the Jewish fold. Living in Johannesburg, she is a representative of Kulanu, an America-based Jewish outreach organization..."
"For years the outside world dismissed the Lemba's claims as sheer fantasy. That changed in 1999, when geneticists from the United States, Great Britain and Israel discovered some backing for the claims. The researchers found that Lemba men carried a DNA signature on their Y chromosome that is believed unique to the relatively small number of Jews known as the Cohanim, who trace their ancestry to the priests of the ancient Jewish Temple and, ultimately, to Aaron, brother of Moses. ... After the discovery, Kulanu and other Jewish organizations ventured to Lemba villages to understand the Lemba's history and practices and introduce the Lemba to mainstream Jewish beliefs and practices. Some Lemba began learning Hebrew and visited Israel; some renounced Christian beliefs. Others recast their traditional Lemba ceremonies as counterparts to traditional Jewish holidays... Still, the community as a whole appears to be at a crossroads. Some Lemba consider themselves Jewish while continuing to embrace Christian services and African rituals. ...
"There is one [non-Jewish] group, however, for whom DNA analysis has provided a direct link to the Jews of biblical times. These are the Lemba, a southern African tribe who inhabit present-day South Africa and Zimbabwe. ... The Lemba believe they are descended from an ancient group of Jews who were led out of Israel by a prophet named Buba."
The Famous Hebrew Ten Lost Tribes have been found!

(among Iraqi Kurds, Hungarians, and Armenians) 

The question is then (about these Ten Lost Tribes): If their new land was so good that they couldn't leave when offered the chance (at the time of Ezra), and were still there five centuries later (at the time of Josephus Flavius), then why should they not still be there today (yet 20 more centuries in our time)?

"The region is roughly the same as that inhabited today by the Kurds." 

Therefore, we have just learned that the country of the famous Ten Lost Tribes (that is: Media) is roughly the same territory that is occupied today by the Kurds (that is: "Kurdistan")!

As the following maps and article show, this territory (that used to be called "Media") is not an independent country today. Instead, it is included as parts of the present nations of: Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Armenia, and others. 

An article about the Kurdish people tells of a people that have had a "heavy hand" of punishment over them (as is prophesied to be the case with the tribes of the Hebrews while in exile)!

* The Cohen modal haplotype is the most common haplotype among Southern and Central Italians*1, Hungarians*2, and Iraqi Kurds*3,  and is also found among many Armenians*4 and South African Lembas*

One final note about this. Apparently, the Iraqi Kurds are the only ones (among the Kurds) to have been tested for the CMH so far. It is a representative sample that shows that the CMH is the most common genetic haplotype found among them. Thus, the CMH positive males among the Kurds are members of the famous Ten ("Lost") Tribes! 

Section IV.a. continues this presentation, and demonstrates that the famous Hebrew Ten Lost Tribes are also found among the Hungarians and Armenians.

The Tribe of Levi Today 

'I would like to add a bit of information that I discovered while living in Moscow. After my mission to the Helsinki East mission (1989 to 1991) I moved back to Moscow and ran an import company. I continued to help in the missionary efforts and met a sister missionary serving in Moscow from Kyrgizistan. She had been baptized and had received her blessing. She related to me that she was from the tribe of Levi. She said that the blessing brought back the memories she had of her grandfather that used to say their family was decendant from priests and even her last name, not a common Kyrgiz name, had the connotation of ministering or officiating in holy things.'

 I am Jewish and am a Levite. At least that's what our family was told at our synagogue growing up. The Kohains were different than the Levites (they had first rank, we had second everybody else was left over.)'

 I had 3 children, and the 2 oldest received their patriarchal blessings, and they are from the tribe of Levi, and their family name is Lévis!

' There are many traditions of 'lost tribe' groups that have preserved traditions of the Levitical Priesthood, like the Chiang-Min in China.

Did the ancient Khazars have a temple? In theKuzari, the most famous historical document on the

Khazars, Yehudah ha-Levi states: 'Their chronicles also tell of their prosperity, how they beat their foes, conquered their lands, secured great treasures, how their army swelled to hundreds of thousands, how they loved their faith, and fostered such love for the Holy House that they erected a tabernacle in the shape of that built by Moses. They also honored and cherished the Israelites who lived among them.' It's clear that Levitical roles, including service in the Tabernacle, were important among the Khazars.

The Kievan Letter, which appears to date back to the early tenth century when the Khazars ruled Kyiv (Kiev), lists several Levite and Kohen signers along with the names of other Khazar Jews. It's a pity that the Jewish section of Polol in Kyiv, which dated back to Khazarian times, was burned down in 1124 -- over a century before the Mongol invasion.

Clans of the Levites & the Cohen genes

Lewis, Luis, Louis... could be other forms of Levi. Lewis is considered to be in fact, so the other too would be as well.

The Kohathites were one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times. The Bible claims that the Kohathites were all descended from the eponymous Kohath, a son of Levi, although some biblical scholars regard this as a postdictional metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the clan to others in the Israelite confederation; according to some Jewish scholars, Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u meaning priest, rather than having been the name of a tribe.

Although the Aaronids are described as part of the Kohathites, the text strongly differentiates between the Aaronids and the other Kohathites.

The Bible ascribes a specific religious function to the Kohathites, namely care of the vessels and objects within the sanctuary - the Ark of the Covenant, Menorah, Table of Shewbread, etc. This differentiation of religious activity between the Kohathites and other Levites, even the Aaronids, is found only in the Priestly Code, and not in passages that textual scholars attribute to other authors.

According to the Book of Joshua, rather than possessing a continuous territory, the Kohathites possessed several cities scattered throughout the geographic region in the Kingdom of Israel south of the Jezreel Valley, and in the region north of the Galilee, the latter being an extremely large distance apart from the former: in the territory of Ephraim: Shechem, Gezer, Kibzaim, and Beth-horon in the territory of Manasseh: Taanach, Gat Rimon in the territory of Dan: Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Aijalon, and Gath-rimmon

The narrative in Joshua argues that the territory was taken by the Levites right after Joshua's conquest of Canaan, but this cannot be correct, as it is contradicted not only by archaeological evidence, but also by narratives in the Book of Judges, Books of Samuel, and Books of Kings; Gezer, for example, is portrayed in the narrative of the Book of Kings as only coming into the possession of the Levites during the reign of Solomon, and archaeological excavation of the site has shown that shortly prior to the Babylonian captivity it was still the site of a large temple to the Canaanite deity Astarte. The conclusion of most biblical scholars is thus that the whole system of Levite cities, in the Torah and deuteronomic history, is an attempt to explain the fact that important early sanctuaries existed at these locations, and thus were places where members of the priesthood naturally came to reside in large numbers; scholars believe that the priesthood was originally open to any tribe, but gradually became seen as a distinct tribe to themselves - the Levites.

The Gershonites were one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times. The Bible claims that the Gershonites were all descended from the eponymous Gershon, a son of Levi, although biblical scholars regard this as a postdictional metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the clan to others in the Israelite confederation; according to biblical scholars, Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u meaning priest, rather than having been the name of a tribe.

The Bible ascribes a specific religious function to the Gershonites, namely care of the curtains, hangings, and ropes, of the sanctuary. This differentiation of religious activity between the Gershonites and other Levites, in particular the Aaronids, is found only in the Priestly Code, and not in passages that textual scholars attribute to other authors.

                                                         Cohanim DNA migration

According to the Book of Joshua, rather than possessing a continuous territory, the Gershonites possessed several cities scattered throughout the geographic regions of Galilee and Bashan: in the territory of Manasseh: Golan, and Beeshterah, in the territory of Issachar: Kishon, Dabareh, Jarmuth, and En-gannim, in the territory of Asher: Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob, in the territory of Naphtali: Kedesh, Hammoth-dor, and Kartan.

The Merarites were one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times. The Bible claims that the Merarites were all descended from the eponymous Merari, a son of Levi, although some biblical scholars regard this as a postdictional metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the clan to others in the Israelite confederation; according to the Jewish encyclopedia Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u meaning priest, rather than having been the name of a tribe.

The Bible ascribes a specific religious function to the Merarites, namely care of the framework - posts, crossbars, courtyard, tent pegs, etc. - of the sanctuary. This differentiation of religious activity between the Merarites and other Levites, in particular the Aaronids, is found only in the Priestly Code, and not in passages that textual scholars attribute to other authors.

According to the Book of Joshua, rather than possessing a continuous territory, the Merarites possessed several cities scattered throughout the geographic region of Gilead, as well as in the south of the Galilee, the latter being quite unrealistically distant from the former: in the territory of Reuben: Bezer, Jahazah, Kedemoth, and Mephaath in the territory of Gad: Ramoth (in Gilead), Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer in the territory of Zebulun: Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, and Nahalal.

Here's a list of some Cohen priestly last names: Cohen, Kahan, Mazer, Kaplan, Katz, Cowan, Coyne, HaKohen, CohenPereira, CohenRodrigues, CohenMachado, Shapiro, Ben Ezra, Levy, Pereira Cunha, Garfinkel, Kagan, Kogen, Kovacs, Kohn, Kohen, Kunha. (We should include the Lemba clan named Buba, which is the priestly clan).

                                                  The J2 Kohanim haplotype tree

The narrative in Joshua argues that the territory was taken by the Levites right after Joshua's conquest of Canaan, but this cannot be correct, as it is contradicted not only by archaeological evidence, but also by narratives in the Book of Judges, Books of Samuel, and Books of Kings. The conclusion of most biblical scholars is thus that the whole system of Levite cities, in the Torah and deuteronomic history, is an attempt to explain the fact that important early sanctuaries existed at these locations, and thus were places where members of the priesthood naturally came to reside in large numbers; scholars believe that the priesthood was originally open to any tribe, but gradually became seen as a distinct tribe to themselves - the Levites

Merari, Merarites

(bitter, unhappy ), third son of Levi and head of the third great division of the Levites, the Merarites. (Genesis 46:8 Genesis 46:11 ) At the time of the exodus and the numbering in the wilderness, the Merarites consisted of two families, the Mahlites and the Mushites, Mahli and Mushi being either the two sons of the son and grandson of Merari. ( 1 Chronicles 6:19 1 Chronicles 6:47 ) Their chief at that time was Zuriel. Their charge was the cords of the tabernacle and the court, and all the tools connected with setting them up. In the division of the land by Joshua, the merarites had twelve cities assigned to them, out of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun. ( Joshua 21:7 ; 34-40 ; 1 Chronicles 6:63 ; 77-81 ) In the days of Hezekiah the Merarites were still flourishing. ( 2 Chronicles 29:12 2 Chronicles 29:15 )

A research demonstrates that 46.1% of Kohanim carry Y chromosomes belonging to a single paternal lineage (J-P58) that likely originated in the Near East well before the dispersal of Jewish groups in the Diaspora. Support for a Near Eastern origin of this lineage comes from its high frequency in our sample of Bedouins, Yemenis (67%), and Jordanians (55%) and its precipitous drop in frequency as one moves away from Saudi Arabia and the Near East. Moreover, there is a striking contrast between the relatively high frequency of J-58 in Jewish populations (»20%) and Kohanim (»46%) and its vanishingly low frequency in our sample of non- Jewish populations that hosted Jewish diaspora communities outside of the Near East.

News of 6/6 matches in the Lemba of Southern Africa were seen as confirming a possible Jewish lineage; possible links were discussed between the Jews and the Kurds; & some suggested that 4/4 matches in non-Jewish Italians might be a genetic inheritance from Jewish slaves, deported by Emperor Titus in large numbers after the fall of the Temple in AD 70, some of whom were put to work building the Colisseum in Rome.

Despite two thousand years since the destruction of the Second Temple, and the spread of the Jewish population into the Diaspora, the deadly Crusades, Kohanim families managed to survive the persecutions and kept their lineages intact, imprinted in their Y Chromosomes as a unique and common signature. This signature, distinctly reflecting the Kohanim ancestral haplotype, visibly identifies today and recognizes these 21 Jewish priest families, directly related to one common Kohanim ancestor who by some estimates lived 2400 ± 300 years ago. This is because both Askenazi and Sephardic Kohanim for thousands of years preserved their genealogical lineages since the Temple period. As a result this is exactly what the haplotype tree shows. Families with haplotypes sit on the tree next to each other on flat branches live (or lived) in close territories and more likely share a recent common ancestor, as the tree shows. The Kohanim Tree places the correspondent families in the branches based on respective mutations. DNA results confirmed, by positioning the families in their respective places of origin, that the geographical location is correctly connected in genetics according to the Jewish tradition and records found in each one of these 21 different Kohanim families. It formed two branches, Askenazi and Sephardic. The Sephardic Kohanim is the older lineage compared to Ashkenazi, though both of them are derived from the same common ancestor. The Shapiro family from Morocco presented the oldest signature among all, passing from the Sephardi branch in Spain, Portugal, and Netherlands and from there moving to Northern East Europe to Central and reaching Southern East Europe. As the history and records tells, correctly confirmed by DNA, Kohanim fled the Romans after the destruction of the Temple and went to Morocco, Spain/Portugal, to England, France, and Germany. In the 14th century many fled to Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia.

Y-chromosomal Levi

A similar investigation was made with men who consider themselves Levites. Whereas the priestly Kohanim are considered by those who believe in the historicity of Aaron to be descendants of Aaron, who in turn was a descendant of Levi, son of Jacob, the Levites (a lower rank of the Temple) are considered descendants of Levi through other lineages. Levites should also therefore share common Y-chromosomal DNA. The E1b1b1 haplogroup (formerly known as E3b1) has been observed in all Jewish groups worldwide. It is considered to be the second most prevalent haplogroup among the Jewish population outside of the J haplogroups. According to one non-peer reviewed paper it has also been observed in moderate numbers among individuals from Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Samaritan communities having traditions of descending from the tribe of Levi, suggesting that the E1b1b1 men claiming to be Levites may have existed in Israel before the Diaspora of 70 CE.

Samaritan Kohanim

The Samaritan community in the Middle East survives as a distinct religious and cultural sect and constitutes one of the oldest and smallest ethnic minorities in the world, numbering just less than 700 members. As a religious sect, reportedly, the Samaritans broke away from the mainstream Judaism around the fifth century BCE but according to Samaritan accounts it was the southern tribes that left the original worship set forth by Joshua. The Samaritans have maintained their religion and history to this day. Samaritans claim to descend from the Biblical Israelite tribes of Ephraim, Menashe and Levi.

Since the Samaritans maintain extensive and detailed genealogical records for the past 13–15 generations (approximately 400 years) and further back, it is possible to construct accurate pedigrees and specific maternal and paternal lineages. Y-Chromosome studies have shown that the majority of Samaritans belong to haplogroups J1 and J2, while the Samaritan Kohanim belong to haplogroup E1b1b1a (formerly known as E3b1a). However, the last member of the Samaritan High-Priestly family, which claimed descent from Eleazar, the son of Aaron, died in 1623 or 1624. There was a time in later periods like the 17-18th centuries that Samaritan sages by mistake wrote to European scholars that their priests are from Uziel b. Kehat. But Samaritan sources, chronicles and lists of lineage connecting the Samaritan Priests of the last 387 years since 1624 [The year that the Priestly Family from Phinhas was ceased] to Itamar b. Aaron the nephew of Moses, meaning that they are all from Aaronic origin. All Samaritan Priests of the present are linked to the father of the family that lived in the 14th century 'Abed Ela b. Shalma that was the House of 'Abtaa from Itamar, son of Aaron. Since that date the priest has called himself "Ha-Kohen Ha-Lewi", which means the Priest-Levite, instead of "Ha-Kohen Ha-Gadol", a title which referred to the High-Priest as in previous times.

                           Samaritans marking Passover on Mount Gerizim, West Bank

The biblical tradition of the Cohen family living among the Samaritans is found in 2 Kings 17:27–28, where it indicates that only one Israelite Cohen was sent back from exile from Assyria by the King of Assyria to teach those living in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria). This suggests why some Samaritans may claim association of haplogroup E3b1a with the biblical Kohanim. In the same period only 27,290 (Annals of Sargon)of the ten Northern Tribes were exiled to Assyria, the Assyrians relocated those non-Israelites to the region around Samaria, explaining why those claiming to be Leviim or Kohanim were actually Syrians, who appointed other non-Israelites as priests ("Kohanim") from their own people.

Thus far, no claims of ancestry of coming from the Levite tribe for male haplogroups outside of the "J" series can be scientifically substantiated because the mutation of haplogroups is so slow that no one coming from the family of Levi could have another haplogroup.


Until the sixteenth century, and possibly later, Samaritan colonies existed in Damascus, Gaza, Cairo (see Egypt), and elsewhere. They are mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela, Obadiah di Bertinoro, and other travelers. ln l538 the high priest Phinehas b. Eleazar migrated from Damascus to Nablus, which may mean that the Damascus settlement had been reduced almost to extinction. The only remains of the race at present (1905) are a community of about 150 persons living at Nablus. They are of course under the Turkish governor of the town; but ecclesiastical jurisdiction is exercised over them by the Levite priest assisted by a subordinate priest ("shammash"), who is generally the successor to the higher office. At the present time the priest is Jacob b. Aaron, and the second priest is his cousin Isaac b. Amram.

Other Populations with Cohenic Genes

Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations

Among the European populations, the Adygei population, from the Caucasus region, shows some similarity in cluster membership coefficients to the Jewish populations, especially to the Ashkenazi population

The European populations that cluster closest to the pooled Jewish populations are the Tuscan, Italian, Sardinian, and Adygei population.

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