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History of the Jews in Africa
Various historical records attest to their presence at one time in the Ghana , Mali , and Songhai empires, then called the Bilad as-Sudan from the Arabic meaning Land of the Blacks. Jews from Spain , Portugal , and Morocco in later years also formed communities off the coast of Senegal and on the Islands of Cape Verde. These communities continued to exist for hundreds of years but have since disappeared due to changing social conditions, persecution, migration, and assimilation. According to most accounts, the earliest Jewish settlements in Africa were in places such as Egypt , Tunisia , and Morocco. Jews had settled along the Upper Nile at Elephantine in Egypt. These communities were augmented by subsequent arrivals of Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, when 30, Jewish slaves were settled throughout Carthage by the Roman emperor Titus.
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In the seventh century, many Spanish Jews fled persecution under the Visigoths to North Africa, where they made their homes in the Byzantine -dominated cities along the Mediterranean coast. Others arrived after the expulsion from Iberia. There is a much-diminished but still vibrant community on the island of Djerba in Tunisia. Since and the war to establish Israel, which aroused hostility in Muslim lands, most other North African Jews emigrated to Israel. Of the seventh century immigrants, some moved inland and proselytized among the Berber tribes.