In the capital of one of the world’s most religiously-diverse countries, a Rabbi who has never been ordained bends ancient customs, ensuring New Delhi’s ten Jewish families a place to worship.
Unlike traditional synagogues, there is no separation of men and women as Jewish-born worshipers, converts and followers of other faiths chant Psalms in perfect Hebrew, with doors thrown open to all. The service leader never asks attendees what religion they follow, and envisions his daughter becoming India’s first female rabbi.
“Being a small community, we cannot be so rigid, so orthodox,” says Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, honorary secretary of the synagogue whose unpaid job of thirty years has overlooked religious convention to keep this tiny group together.
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