More Bnei Menashe Arrive Home

Fifty members of the Bnei Menashe of northeastern India, a tribe claiming descent from the "lost tribe" of Menashe, have arrived in Israel today (Tuesday).

Tags:
,

Fifty members of the Bnei Menashe of northeastern India, a tribe claiming descent from the "lost tribe" of Menashe, have arrived in Israel today (Tuesday). They join 700 Bnei Menashe already in the country, most of whom live in in Kiryat Arba, Gush Katif, and Beit El. There are approximately another 5,000 Bnei Menashe still living in India and observing a fully Jewish lifestyle.

The Bnei Menashe's return to the fold and to the land of Israel has been facilitated by Amishav, an organization dedicated to assisting "lost Jews" who wish to return to the Jewish people. Today's arrivals represent the first graduates of the Amishav Hebrew Center of Aizawl, India. They will continue to study Hebrew and Judaism in the town of Shavei Shomron, and will eventually undergo formal conversion by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

The Bnei Menashe have entered Israel on tourist visas, as part of an arrangement with the Ministry of the Interior. After the 50 members complete their conversion course, they will be granted the status of olim (new citizens).

As part of their ongoing work with the Bnei Menashe, Amishav released the first Hebrew-Mizo dictionary last year. Mizo is one of the main languages spoken by the Bnei Menashe. Michael Freund, Director of Amishav said at the time, "We hope it will facilitate the study of Hebrew by the Bnei Menashe and ease their absorption in Israel."


top