Cultural centre, a new bond

July 06, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:39 am IST - Jerusalem

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the setting up of an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel as part of efforts to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

Mr. Modi, while appreciating the contribution of the Jewish community in India and the Jews of Indian origin in Israel in bringing the two societies closer, announced the opening of the Cultural Centre, according to a joint statement issued after the talks between the two leaders.

“This was warmly welcomed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who expressed his deep respect for Indian culture and recalled Israel’s strong support and sponsorship of PM Modi’s initiative to promote the practice of yoga by designating June 21 as International Yoga Day,” it said.

Just days before Mr. Modi’s landmark visit, Noah Massil, the founder-president of Central Organisation of Indian Jews in Israel, had said that such an announcement would “fulfil a long-time dream of the Indian community here”. “We have been trying hard to establish an Indian cultural centre in Israel like the one in Cairo [Egypt],” he had said.

“There are about 47 synagogues of the Indian Jewish community and they all can also pitch in with financial support if such a proposal comes up and the government allocates land for an Indian cultural centre,” Mr. Massil said.

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