July 21, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 21, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Bnei Menashe Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut and the Renewal of Their Aliyah to Israel

Churachandpur, India–Over 1200 members from the Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut and the resumption of their aliyah to Israel tonight with a festive celebration in the town of Churachandpur in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur.

The gathering, sponsored and organized by the Shavei Israel organization, was the largest in the Bnei Menashe community’s history. Just last October, the Israeli government lifted a five-year ban on the aliyah of Bnei Menashe in a unanimous decision. Since then, over 270 Bnei Menashe have been brought on aliyah by Shavei Israel.

“This Yom Haatzmaut is particularly poignant for the Bnei Menashe,” Shavei Israel Founder and Chairman Michael Freund said. “With the resumption of the aliyah from India, the community’s dream of returning to the land of their ancestors is finally coming to fruition. In the coming months, with G-d’s help, we aim to bring another 900 Bnei Menashe back home to Zion,” Freund added.

“There has never been such a joyous event like this before in our community. We are celebrating in spirit with our Bnei Menashe brothers and sisters who have already made aliyah to Israel in hopes that we will be joining them very soon,” said Yochanon Phaltual, a Bnei Menashe member who organized the event. “To celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut with the realistic hope of making aliyah soon fills my heart with joy. I was especially moved when we all stood up and sang “Hatikvah.” That was a very special moment for me, and I really hope that we can all sing it together next year in Jerusalem.”

The Bnei Menashe (Hebrew for “sons of Manasseh”) are descended from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago. They live primarily in India’s northeastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram. Their ancestors wandered through Central Asia and the Far East for centuries, before settling in what is now northeastern India, along the border with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Throughout their exile, the Bnei Menashe nonetheless continued to practice Judaism just as their ancestors did, including observing Shabbos, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals and following Taharat Hamishpacha.

Shavei Israel is a non-profit organization that strengthens ties between the State of Israel and the descendants of Jews around the world. The organization is currently active in nine countries and provides assistance to a variety of different communities, such as the Bnei Menashe of India, the Bnai Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America, the Subbotnik Jews of Russia, the Jewish community of Kaifeng in China, the “Hidden Jews” of Poland from the Holocaust era and others. For more information visit: www.shavei.org

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles