IWU News Advisory
Contact Taylar Kuzniar 309/556-3181
February 4, 2005
Event: University Chapel Hour and Special Events and Services presents: “Claiming
my African-American Links to Judaism”
Date: Feb. 16 (Wednesday)
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Evelyn Chapel, 1301 N. Park St., Bloomington
Admission: Free and open to the public
Background: In observance of Black History Month, Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr. will
speak about his African-American links to Judaism.
Funnye is a rabbi and spiritual leader at Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew
Congregation in Chicago. He received his ordination from the Israelite Board of Rabbis
in New York City and has been involved in widespread lecturing, consulting and community
service within the realm of Judaism. He has also been a member of several boards of
directors with such organizations as the Chicago Board of Rabbis, the Jewish Council
on Urban Affairs, and the American Jewish Congress.
Judaism, along with Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i World Faith, is an Abramic
religion, a faith that recognizes Abraham as a patriarch. According to the American-Israeli
Cooperative Enterprise, there are approximately 13 million people currently following
Judaism, concentrated mainly in North America and Israel.
The links between African-Americans and the Jewish people lie mainly within two branches
of the Judaism faith. These branches, the Sephardic and the Mizrachim, represent the
Jews from Spain and Portugal and from Northern Africa and the Middle East, respectively.
Although their descendents are less common in America than descendents of Ashkenazic
Jews from France, Germany, and Eastern Europe, Sephardic Jews originally comprised
the majority of the Jewish population in America.
Contact: For additional information, contact the Illinois Wesleyan Chaplain's office
at (309) 556-3005.