Black Jew from Royal Swaziland

Black Jew from Royal Swaziland

Rabbi Natan Gamedze is the only black Rabbi South Africa has ever produced.

In the mid – 1980’s, when South Africa was at the height of its racially repressive legislation, a committed black man from a Swazi Royal lineage decided to cross the colour barrier and become a Jew. This two-part documentary traces Rabbi Gamedze’s remarkable life story. It examines his committed Christian childhood in Swaziland, where his father was a senior politician and close adviser to the late King Sobhuza II. It documents his accidental but powerful contact with the Hebrew language at Johannesburg’s Wits University, and the influence of Jewish students who invited him into their homes during apartheid era South Africa; it chronicles his receipt of a scholarship to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and how his love of Israel and the Jewish people culminated in his decision to convert and complete his rabbinic studies.

The story opens with Nathi Gamedze’s emotional return to his family in South Africa and Swaziland, after an absence of 16 years in Israel. It concludes with a portrait of his present life as a respected rabbi, teacher, husband and father, living in the holy city of Tsfat in Northern Galilee.

  • Duration: 48 minutes
  • Episodes: 2
  • Language/s: English
Category: .

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