India’s Bene Israel Jews

Six years ago I met and fell in love with a Hindu man from India and now am married to him. My family, like the majority of Soviet Jews, had to give up their religion and tradition, because practicing religion was against the ideology of the Soviet regime. No longer were the Jewish ways of life transferred to successive generations. The language and culture of the Russian majority prevailed in Jewish households. We spoke Russian, read Russian literature, listened to Russian music and even considered ourselves possessing the well-known “Russian soul. It was my mother who introduced me to my future husband. Introductions by elders are practically unheard of in my culture, but, I discovered, are common practice in Ravi’s tradition. Before our first date, I started recounting what I knew about India and Indian people.

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It might seem strange to invoke an Alice Walker essay in connection with the new Netflix reality series, Indian Matchmaking , but, here we go. The essay is revolutionary for that coinage. Walker explicitly draws a connection between skin color and marriage. Walker tells us two smaller, adjoining stories, about herself and a friend in their single days. In the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking , the importance of skin color arrives quickly in talk of matrimony, as do other facets of packaged appearance, the sorts that indicate a notion of a stratified universe: This level of education matches with this one, this shade of skin with this, this height with this, these family values with these, this caste with this, this region with this, and so on.

In the series, she takes on clients in India and America, young desi men and women who seem, for all their desire to get properly paired off, equally conflicted about the whole endeavor.

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The top 10 online dating sites and apps in Toronto. Online dating sites and apps in Toronto give those of us looking for love a chance to see what’s out there beyond the other places you meet people in the city. These websites aren’t always Toronto-specific, but they’re popular amongst local singles. There are well over 4, people between 18 and 35 registered on the site in the Toronto area, including those looking for same sex partnerships.

OKCupid, in many Toronto circles, is known as the site to tap if you’re looking for someone to accompany you to Trinity Bellwoods Park, followed by brunch at the Drake and lots of conversation. Over 1,, daters visit this free dating website every day, but don’t worry, you can narrow your search down to any city or town in the GTA. Once you find a match, this site even suggests things to do in the city that correspond with your common interests. Shaadi is an Indian dating site or matrimonial service provider.

Just in case there was any further doubt as to its intention, your search consists of looking for a life partner, not simply an online match, and there’s wedding information right on the site. The Jewish dating site gives singles the opportunity to find matches based on a variety of characteristics. It also works for same sex matches.

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By Shalailah Medhora. Vyasar left and Rashi right are two young Americans of Indian descent who were seeking love on Indian Matchmaking. It’s like manual Tinder, and your parents have to swipe right, too. That’s how a young Indian guest on Netflix’s reality TV dating series, Indian Matchmaking, describes the process of seeing a matchmaker. Have you ever used a matchmaking service, or been tempted to?

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The Bene Israel have always been the largest of the three Jewish communities in India. The other two are Cochin and Baghdadi. In , for example, the total Bene Israel population of India was estimated at 8,, far more than the combined numbers of Baghdadi and Cochin Jews. For generations they lived as a distinct endogamous group in rural villages, some of them in remote areas, throughout the Kolaba District of Maharashtra State. Traditionally, the Bene Israel worked in sesame-oil pressing; they also farmed their land, peddled produce, and worked as skilled carpenters.

Because the Bene Israel families were scattered among many villages, community life in Kolaba District was extremely limited, and group prayer and Jewish rituals took place in the home. Initially, the Bene Israel had no Torah scrolls, prayer books, or synagogues, nor were they familiar with rabbinic Judaism or the details of halachah. They were guided by three Bene Israel religious leaders called kazis , who traveled from village to village in order to officiate at all rites of passage.

Other theories have these ancestors tarrying in Persia or Yemen before ending up, shipwrecked, on the Konkan coast. By the midth century, Bombay had developed into a metropolis with a bustling port city, attracting thousands of Indians from the countryside, including hundreds of Bene Israel. Although most of the community remained in the villages, many Bene Israel were tempted by the opportunities in Bombay for employment and education.

The relative proportion of enlistment, of decorations for bravery, and of promotion to the highest ranks possible for Native Forces was extremely high among the Bene Israel, given the size of their total population.

Explained: Why ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects are more vulnerable to Covid

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Aug 22 2 Elul Torah Portion. Yvette Alt Miller. Here are five little-known facts about the role Jews have played in India through the ages. These early Jewish settlers were likely descended from Jewish traders who came from Yemen in the s and were welcomed by the local prince. To this day, the Jewish community keeps a set of thousand-year-old engraved copper plates record the welcome extended by the local prince to one Joseph Raban, a Jew who settled in the area.

As the area developed trade ties with the rest of the world, the Jewish community in Cochin reached out to their fellow Jews abroad, requesting Jewish books and connections. The Cochin Synagogue:.

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Jump to navigation. Only one in every 2,47, Indians is of Jewish origin. The community, which makes up only about 0. In April , Najma Heptulla, Union minister for minority affairs, finally announced that the government was considering granting official minority status to the 5,member community.

The history of Jews in Pakistan — home to over million people — dates back to the 19th century. Most Pakistani Jews belong to India’s Bene.

This is the story of how a Jewish couple added to and became part of our changing America. But more important, this story is about what I learned when my wife, Robina, and I were introduced via our son to a religion, culture and traditions that we thought were so different from ours. On October 17, , I married my high-school sweetheart. Nine years later, after two miscarriages and years of fertility treatments, our son, Jared, was born.

We then looked into adoption to complete our family. While on a business trip, Robina called to tell me we had 24 hours to make a decision about adopting a little girl. A month later, we received a birth certificate for Judith. After completing a mountain of paperwork, we were on our way to Paraguay, South America, to bring home our little Latina daughter, Elana Judith. Like any Jewish mother, Robina wanted our son to marry a nice Jewish girl. She was shocked and disappointed, and it showed in her expression during lunch.

That evening we discussed the situation and decided to stay neutral and take a wait-and-see approach, not wanting to drive our son away. Their relationship grew. Jaina, for her part, ate latkes and matzo brie and came to our house for Passover and Hanukkah, and attended High Holiday services at our synagogue.

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Florida International University Modesto A. Perhaps for as long as two millennia, there have been Jewish communities throughout much of South Asia. The fabled community at Kochi is very old, dating at least from the early medieval period if not ancient times, having enjoyed centuries of harmonious relationships with neighboring Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain and Zoroastrian called Parsi in India neighbors. A community of legendary origin living as oil pressers and merchants along the Konkan Coast located south of Mumbai emerged in the Jewish world about years ago.

Known at the Bene Israel, once they moved to Mumbai, they became modern, urbane Jews and formed the largest Indian Jewish community. One Jewish community, known locally as “Baghdadis,” was more or less co-terminus with the British raj and prospered in Indian port cities, especially Mumbai, Kolkata, and Yangon formerly Rangoon in Myanmar formerly Burma.

There is no specific date or reason mentioned as to why they arrived in India, but Hebrew scholars date it to up to around the early Middle Ages. Cochin is a.

After all, both men are Sikhs. And among the nine other members of their San Francisco-based team, there are exactly zero Jews on staff. Since Dhaliwal, 27, and Toor, 33, founded the app in , they claim it has made more than 5 million matches — leading to about one marriage every day. But why start with a dating app for the Jewish community? It has some 15, active users from its beta mode run. The Shalom app was developed by the team behind a similar app for the South Asian community.

While many dating apps used by millennials allow for filtering for categories such as location, height and age, potential users are left with a largely random pool of potential matches on which to swipe right if they are interested or left if they are not.

How a tiny Jewish Israeli community is trying to revive its fast fading distinct identity

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