Press Esc to close
Sunday 26 June 2016
News updated at 9:55 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27.5°C
Min : 19.4°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

Israel allows 899 Indian Jews to immigrate

Jerusalem, Oct 20, 2013 (PTI):
A newly arrived Jewish immigrant from India cries upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. Reuters

Israel has allowed 899 Indian Jews from Manipur and Mizoram, the members of the "lost" Bnei Menashe tribe, to immigrate to the Jewish state.

The cabinet last week decided to allow the immigration of the Indian Bnei Menashe community to Israel in multiple groups with the first batch expected by the end of the year.

Bnei Menashe (literally sons of Menashe), a group of indigenous people from north-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram, trace their roots in one of the ten "lost tribes" of Jews exiled by the Assyrian regime over 2,700 years ago.

Hundreds of Bnei Menashe are already living in Israel, having made aliyah (immigration) with the help of an NGO, Shavei Israel, dedicated to bringing "lost Jews" around the world to Israel.

Michael Freund, the founder and chairman of the Shavei Israel organization that lobbied for their aliya, said he wishes to see the entire community come to Israel soon.

"Our goal is to bring all the remaining members of the Bnei Menashe community here to Israel as quickly as possible," he was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post today.

Freund said the cabinet's decision will allow 200 Bnei Menashe people to be brought to Israel by the end of the year, 400 in 2014 and another 300 in 2015.

All of the immigrants will be housed in a private absorption center run by Shavei Israel and will then be settled around the country.

Their immigration to Israel was facilitated by the ruling of the former chief Sephardic Rabbi in 2005 who declared them descendants of Israel amid intense debate over their Jewish ancestry.

Some 274 members of the northeastern Indian Jews arrived in Israel earlier this year.

However, in 2004 Israel's then Interior Minister Avraham Poraz had put a freeze on the immigration of the group raising questions on their Jewishness.

The Chief Rabbinate does not consider the Bnei Menashe to be Jewish according to Halacha (Jewish norms), but the members of the community consider themselves to be of Jewish ancestry and are committed Zionists and observant Jews whose goal is to return to the land of their ancestors, Freund said.

He said Bnei Menashe are unable to convert in India and have come to Israel in small groups at irregular intervals to convert here.

Some 2,000 members of the Bnei Menashe have arrived in Israel since the 1980s and around 7,000 members of the group still live in India.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture to congratulate Athlete Dutee chand

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture to congratulate Athlete Dutee chand

Cricketer Virat Kohli sings the national anthem during the opening ceremony of the Pro Kabaddi...

Cricketer Virat Kohli sings the national anthem during the opening ceremony of the Pro Kabaddi...

Security forces inspecting the CRPF bus which was attacked by militants on Srinagar-Jammu National..

Security forces inspecting the CRPF bus which was attacked by militants on Srinagar-Jammu National..

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at a roza iftar party in Lucknow...

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at a roza iftar party in Lucknow...

Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez during the launch of Aeropostale store in Mumbai...

Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez during the launch of Aeropostale store in Mumbai...

Two planes perform a dramatic fly past, during a display of the Red Arrows Display Team...

Two planes perform a dramatic fly past, during a display of the Red Arrows Display Team...

Local train on water logged railway track in Thane on Saturday. Local train services...

Local train on water logged railway track in Thane on Saturday. Local train services...

The launch of New Audi R8 V10 Plus in Hyderabad on Saturday...

The launch of New Audi R8 V10 Plus in Hyderabad on Saturday...

Siberian tigers play in the pool of their enclosure to cool themselves in the zoo...

Siberian tigers play in the pool of their enclosure to cool themselves in the zoo...

BJP activists holding a protest in front of Ram Remple in Bhubaneswar on Friday...

BJP activists holding a protest in front of Ram Remple in Bhubaneswar on Friday...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523