Hundreds of Indian Jews flew into Ben-Gurion Airport to make aliyah this week, as Israeli ministers promised to help the rest of the Bnei Menashe community emigrate shortly.
Following a special government edict, 252 new olim from northeast India made Israel their new home on Tuesday in an operation supported by Israel’s Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tameno-Shete.
The initiative also had the support of Israel’s chief rabbi, interior minister and foreign minister, who said the Bnei Menashe had “preserved the Jewish tradition across generations”.
Tameno-Shete said: “The Bnei Menashe are close to my heart. Upon assuming the position of minister, I made expediting their aliyah a top priority.
“I will continue acting on their behalf and expedite the aliyah of the remaining members of the community in India. We are blessed to see their arrival during the festival of Chanukah. this is a tremendous light for us all.”
The relocation was coordinated over many months between the ministry and the Shavei Israel organisation, whose founder Michael Freund was delighted.
“The aliyah of the lost tribe of Bnei Menashe after 2,700 years of exile is itself a modern-day Chanukah miracle,” he said.
“The story of this unique community that maintained its connection to the Jewish people and the land of Israel down through the generations is powerful and inspiring. I hope to see all the remaining Bnei Menashe make aliyah soon.”
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