Israel welcomes 2,000th Bnei Menashe oleh from India
This has been my peoples' dream for thousands of years," says 18-year-old Mirna Singsit upon her arrival.
Israel welcomed its 2,000th member of the Bnei Menashe community on Thursday, when a flight carrying 53 of the tribe members from the state of Manipur in Northeast India touched down at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport.
The Bnei Menashe claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, sent into exile for more than 27 centuries. The community continued to practice Judaism by observing the Sabbath and keeping kosher.
The community today numbers around 7,000 and resides in India's north-eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram. There are 1,725 Bnei Menashe currently in Israel. Most of the Bnei Menashe community reside in Acre and Migdal Haemek in the north of Israel.
"I'm so very happy right now," said an 18-year-old Mirna Singsit, who was presented with a certificate acknowledging her as the 2,000th Bnei Menashe Oleh. "Not only has this been my dream since I was born, but it has been my peoples' dream for thousands of years."
Singsit came to Israel with her parents and three brothers but left behind a grandparent, four uncles and two aunts. She hopes to continue her education in Israel studying for her Bachelors degree in political science. But she hopes to live in Jerusalem, "the Holiest place on earth," she said.
After a five year hiatus, the Bnei Menashe aliya program was restarted after a unanimous decision by the Israeli cabinet last October.
The aliya program was frozen in 2007 by the Olmert government after members of the cabinet, in particular interior minister Meir Sheetrit, opposed it.
Over the past month, immigrants came on five flights facilitated by Shavei Israel, a non-profit organization with the aim of strengthening ties with Jewish descendents around the world.
"This is an emotional day for all of us," said Shavei Israel chairman Michael Freund. "But we will not rest until all the remaining Bnei Menashe still in India are able to make aliya as well."
Daniel Ziri contributed to this report.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Reuniting Brothers and Sisters after 2700 Years
When I read this, I literally had tears in my eyes. After 27 Centuries (2700 years), another Jewish tribe has been discovered and this new discovered tribe has been re-united with other Israeli tribes. The tribe is tribe of Menasheh. One of the saddest parts of Israelites history is disappearance of other ten tribes. This makes us all feel that we are not lost and we still have brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. This is like reuniting brothers and sisters who haven’t seen each other for 2700 years. It is incredible that after 2700 years that we still have reuniting days like today. Here is the article from JersualmPost.com