Thousands of Nigerian Muslims celebrate Jewish boy's bar mitzvah

Yosef Yitzhak Uzan, son of Chabad emissaries in Nigeria, celebrated his bar mitzvah with nearly 2,000 local Muslims in an event that included prayers, Torah readings, and community projects; Rabbi Israel Uzan shared that his son donated his bar mitzvah gift money to provide clean water for locals

Bar mitzvah in Nigeria

Yosef Yitzhak Uzan, the son of Chabad emissaries in Nigeria – Rabbi Israel Uzan and his wife Chaya, recently celebrated his bar mitzvah, marking his 13th birthday and acceptance of religious responsibility. The event turned into a shared celebration with nearly 2,000 local neighbors, all of whom are Muslims. The bar mitzvah drew a diverse crowd, extending beyond the Jewish community and Nigeria to include individuals from adjacent African nations. The local residents expressed a desire to participate in the joyous occasion, and the Ozan family welcomed them with open arms.
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The celebratory event began with prayers and Torah readings, calling for peace in Israel and the safe return of the hostages held in Gaza. Michael Friedman, the Israeli ambassador to Nigeria, delivered a message of hope and unity. The celebration continued with a traditional Hasidic festival, and included the initiation of local projects such as the construction of water wells and the fortification of educational institutions.
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חגיגת הבר מצווה בניגריה
חגיגת הבר מצווה בניגריה
The celebration
The bar mitzvah boy and his parents were warmly welcomed by the local crowd, who celebrated with traditional dances and ceremonies.
"My son, the bar mitzvah groom, decided that he would donate the money he received for his bar mitzvah celebration to the development of clean water for local residents in one of the neighborhoods near us. In recent months, professionals have been drilling wells until spring water came out of the ground. It was a touching gesture that greatly pleased the residents."
"This celebration has left all the celebrants with a longing for more. There was also a touching unity of all the Jews of the country and great joy also for the locals, who joined us in the celebration," the rabbi added.
The event took place in the wake of the kidnapping of children in Nigeria by the Boko Haram terror organization. "We prayed for their peace during the event," and that aid packages would soon be sent to the families of the kidnapped in Nigeria on behalf of the Jewish community, according to the rabbi.
Rabbis from neighboring countries also attended the event. "This bar mitzvah will leave an important and deep imprint of unity and hope among the nations," the rabbi concluded.
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