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This article was first published 2 years ago  » News » Mizo Jews Go Home... To Israel

Mizo Jews Go Home... To Israel

By Rediff News Bureau
October 18, 2021 17:06 IST
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Please click on the images for a better look at Jews from Mizoram at Ben Gurion airport in Lod, Israel.

IMAGE: The newly arrived Jews are the latest immigrants from Mizoram and claim to be descendants of an ancient Jewish tribe.
All photographs: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters


IMAGE: Calling themselves 'Bnei Menashe', they claim descent from the tribe of Manaseh, one of 10 tribes exiled from the land of Israel by the Assyrians over 2,700 years ago.


IMAGE: Happy to be in the Holy Land, the new immigrants wave Israeli flags at the airport which is named after Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion.


IMAGE: When groups of Bnei Menashe Jews arrived in Israel in 2006, they were settled in the northern Carmiel region.
'The area has several similarities with their place in India and it will be easier for them to adjust,' Shalem Rei, a worker with the Israel Jewish Agency accompanying the new immigrants, had said then.


IMAGE: Then Israeli interior minister Avraham Poraz had put a freeze on the immigration of Bnei Menashe in 2003 due to the question of their Jewishness.
In 2005, then Chief Shephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar declared them descendants of Israel removing hurdles from their immigration.


IMAGE: The Mizo Jews kiss the ground after disembarking the aircraft at Ben Gurion airport.


IMAGE: Following Rabbi Shlomo Amar's decision, 218 members of the Bnei Menashe community underwent a ritual, which is normally done with those who had a break from Judaism, in Mizoram, formally bringing them back to the Jewish faith.
The 2021 batch of Jews from Mizoram arrived in the Jewish homeland after they cleared COVID-19 protocols.


IMAGE: 'We are returning to the land of our forefathers. It is not that we had any problems in India, but being a Jew this is our homeland. I have been waiting for it for quite long,' Shimon Israel, who immigrated with his wife and two children in 2006, had then told PTI's Harinder Mishra in Tel Aviv.

Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/



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