50 Indian Jews from ‘lost tribe’ move to Israel

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Bnei Menashe Jews celebrating Purim in Israel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Bnei Menashe Jews celebrating Purim in Israel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) A group of around 50 Bnei Menashe Jews from India immigrated to Israel on Tuesday, Israel Hayom reported. The new Israelis, said to descend from one of the 10 “lost tribes,” were greeted at Ben-Gurion International Airport by Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.

The group’s move to Israel was facilitated by the Shavei Israel organization. The Bnei Menashe, who are from northeastern India, say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the 8th century BCE.

In 2005, then-Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar recognized the Bnei Menashe as a lost tribe, and about 1,700 moved to Israel before the Israeli government stopped giving them visas. The government later reversed that policy, allowing Bnei Menashe immigration to resume. In 2014, around 500 Bnei Menashe Jews have moved to Israel.

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