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Agreement made with Shavei Israel for remaining 6,500 community members to make Aliyah

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To ensure a smooth arrival into Israeli society, immigrants from the Bnei Menashe tribe attend the absorption centre at Kfar Hasidim.

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Minister of Aliya and Absorption Penina Tamanu-Shata announced the Netanyahu government is moving ahead with plans to bring 722 members of the Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India to Israel after the High Holidays. The minister made the announcement in a meeting held last week with Shavei Israel’s Chairman and Founder Michael Freund, and Shavei Israel’s Coordinator for Bnei Menashe Tzvi Khaute.

Tamanu-Shata said, “I intend to work to the best of my ability to assist the Bnei Menashe through their immigration and absorption process”, and that the expenses fall within the current budget proposal.  Shavei Israel would cover the costs of airfare and transportation for the mission. The non-profit organization has made the dream of Aliyah (immigration to Israel) possible for over 4,000 Bnei Menashe thus far and plans to help the remaining 6,500 Bnei Menashe to the Jewish homeland – which the government is now in agreement with.

The Bnei Menashe (sons of Manasseh), claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago. Their ancestors wandered through Central Asia and the Far East for centuries, before settling in what is now northeastern India, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh. Throughout their exile, the Bnei Menashe continued to practice Judaism as their ancestors did, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals and following the laws of family purity.

The meeting was also attended by a Border Police guard from the Bnei Menashe community who emigrated from India to Israel three years ago. Her relatives are included among the 722 immigrants waiting to make Aliya.

Since women in Israel typically complete their obligatory military service by the age of 20, the IDF initially refused to recruit 1st Pvt. Ayala Tova Hangshing. Now 23, she insisted on serving the country in a combat role and the army finally relented. She currently serves among the IDF guard at Maarat Hamachpelah, the Cave of the Patriarchs in the heart of the old city of Hebron. The Cave of the Patriarchs is one of the oldest religious sites in Judaism and is reputed to be the burial place of Abraham, son Yitzak and grandson Jacob. Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, are also thought to be buried there.

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At the meeting, the minister agreed to prepare a plan to bring the remaining 6,500 members of the Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India to Israel over the next five years. Shavei Israel operates a special absorption center in the Kfar Hasidim Youth Village where new immigrants learn Hebrew and complete their formal conversion under Jewish law prior to obtaining Israeli citizenship.

“I was delighted to meet with Israel’s Minister of Aliya and Absorption Penina Tamano-Shata to discuss the Bnei Menashe Aliya from India. I was impressed by her sincerity and determination to bring the Bnei Menashe back to the land of their ancestors, the Land of Israel.” said Freund, who founded the organization in 2002 to reach out to “lost” and “hidden” Jews around the world. “We look forward to working with her and we hope that she will succeed in the sacred Zionist task of bringing our people home.”

While working for the previous Netanyahu administration, he received a letter from Bnei Menashe about their longing to return to Jerusalem, and thus began his own journey to become their champion.  Since its inception, from the Amazon to the Orient, their program helps descendants of Jews reconnect with the people and State of Israel. “We open the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity”, explains the Shavei Israel website.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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