Dalit group pins hopes on Modi’s Israel visit

The Bene Yacob Synagogue at Kothareddypalem near Chebrolu in Andhra Pradesh.  

The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel has rekindled hopes of a small Dalit community which claims that it is one of the lost Jewish tribes, the Ephraim clan.

Head of the Bene Yacob Synagogue at Kothareddypalem near Chebrolu, 17 km from Guntur, Shadok Yacobi told The Hindu that he had sent an email to the Prime Minister to pursue a long-pending request to Israel to absorb them in their country.

Over the last 30 years, about 30 families who worked as farm labourers, have been celebrating Jewish festivals in the fervent hope that they will be absorbed back in the Promised Land some day.

The community has attracted the attention of several scholars from across the world. Their hopes soared after Shadok’s brother, Shemuel Yakobi, whose son has been living in Israel for the last 25 years, was granted citizenship. “We will continue to practise our faith here even if the Israeli government does not recognise us and we have also appealed to the Andhra Pradesh government to give us minority status,’’ said Mr. Shadok Yacobi.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 5:29:08 AM |

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