The forgotten story of Zambia’s Jewish settlers

CNN is featuring an article about the forgotten story of Zambia’s Jewish settlers, who apparently arrived in Zambia as early as 1904.

Although Zambia’s Jewish population was always small — around 1,000 at its peak — its members included significant figures in Zambia’s economical and political life. Among the most influential was Simon Zukas, who played a key role in Zambia’s struggle for independence from Britain in the 1950s, and went on to be a government minister after independence.


Hugh MacMillan is a University of Oxford historian and author of “Zion in Africa: The Jews of Zambia.” He says of the early Jewish settlers: “The Jews arriving in Northern Rhodesia were both economic migrants and refugees, escaping from a kind of religious and political persecution in the Russian Empire, and also economic migrants looking for a place where they could make a better living.”

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