Freund says he has received numerous letters and emails from Nigerians trying to connect to Israel. But with a rising number of groups around the world attempting to link their ancestry to the ancient Israelites, he is aware that some of those claims are "wishful thinking." He hopes that the future will yield strong genetic evidence to help the search for the lost tribes.
"As DNA technology improves there will be a growing stock of scientific evidence which can perhaps buttress the claims of an Israeli ancestry," he says.
A 2012 documentary called "Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria" featured the country's Jewish community.
The film featured Rabbi Howard Gorin. He retired from the congressional rabbinate in 2012 after 32 years as the spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation in the U.S. state of Maryland. Gorin has played a significant role in the rise of Judaism in Nigeria since his first trip to the country in 2004.
"I embrace them and support them as brothers and sisters," he says. He ships books on Judaism to synagogues in Nigeria.
More support comes from groups like Kulanu, a New York-based non-profit group. Kulanu assists emerging Jewish communities around the world, like the one in Nigeria. But most of the Igbo who practice Judaism were not born to a Jewish mother and have not converted according to halakhah, Jewish law, so many Orthodox Jews would not recognize them.
Even among Igbo people, the claim to be Jews elicits strong criticism. One critic, Catherine Acholonu, attributes Jewish identification among the Igbo as a result of Christianity brought by missionaries, since most Igbo people are Christians.
"Everybody is excited to say they belong to the people of the Bible because the Bible is reigning -- it's in," says Acholonu, a prominent researcher on Igbo history and culture.
In her award-winning book "They Lived Before Adam" Acholonu proposes that Igbo civilization is older than that of the Israelites.
She feels that Igbo people are whitewashing their history and diminishing the value of their own culture by attempting to link their heritage to the Jews.
Peter Agbai, who says he is a "proud Igbo man," strongly disagrees.
He started practicing Judaism in 1991 after leaving the Methodist church. He says that the more he followed the commandments in the Torah, the more he realized that he was doing what his parents had always done as followers of traditional Igbo culture and spirituality.
"I have seen that the traditions of our people are similar to those in the Bible," says the 66-year-old, making references to aspects like ritual bathing and polygamy.
Agbai is one of the founders of the Ghihon synagogue. He plays an important role as a spiritual leader in Abuja's community of Igbo Jews. He attended Abor's bar mitzvah last year, an experience that Abor says made him feel like a man, and feel closer to the Jewish culture.
He wants to go deeper into Orthodox Judaism and take a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
"I want to live in Israel," Abor says. He hopes that there, he will get a better understanding of his forefathers.