The Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs has issued a decision calling on the Israeli government to bring the remaining 7,232 Bnei Menashe community members in northeast India to Israel.
Committee Chairman and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Danny Danon, said at the Committee hearing, “Until today about 1,700 members of the Bnei Menashe community have made Aliyah to Israel from India. It is the Israeli government’s duty and responsibility to bring the rest of them home as soon as possible.”
Michael Freund, Founder and Chairman of the Shavei Israel organization, who was invited to testify before the committee as the leading proponent for the Bnei Menashe, said, “Thousands of miles to the east, in the farthest reaches of northeastern India, there is an entire community that is anxiously awaiting the day when they will be allowed to rejoin the Jewish people.”
“Despite being cut off for more than 2,700 years, the Bnei Menashe never forgot who they are or where they came from, and they never gave up on the dream of returning to Israel,” Freund told the committee. After explaining the background behind the Bnei Menashe’s struggle for recognition, he urged the government to take action.
“In the past decade, Shavei Israel has brought 1,700 Bnei Menashe to Israel, but there are still 7,232 members of the community in India who wish to make Aliyah,” Freund said. “I call upon the Government of Israel to bring the remaining 7,232 Bnei Menashe home to Israel as soon as possible.”