Who Are the Indian Jews?
By Lavina Melwani
India has been a home and haven for generations of Jews whose ancestors fled from persecution centuries ago. At its peak there were about 37,000 Jews living in India. When Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were murdered in the terror attack in Mumbai last year, this horror story became the public face of Judaism in India. The truth is that, apart from this random attack by foreign terrorists, India has been an oasis of calm and freedom for Jews--giving them citizenship and complete freedom to practice their faith, build many synagogues, and celebrate their traditional festivals with an added Indian zest.
Who are India's Jews? They consist of four groups...
Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international magazines. She is launching her blog/zine Lassi with Lavina next month.
Photos courtesy of The Indian-Jewish Congregation of USA.