Bnei Menashe in Israel: ‘It’s a Dream’

Fifty-three Jews who claim to be the descendants of a lost biblical Jewish tribe immigrated to Israel on Monday from their village in northeastern India, celebrating their arrival in a special operation after a five-year struggle to get in.

The Bnei Menashe say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the eighth century B.C.

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar recognized them as a lost tribe in 2005, and about 1,700 moved to Israel over the next two years before the government stopped giving them visas.

Israel recently reversed that policy, agreeing to let the remaining 7,200 Bnei Menashe immigrate.

After a conversion and citizenship acquiring process at the Givat Haviva absorption center, the new immigrants will unite with the 1,700 community members already living in Israel.


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