Israel Independence Day booklet published for first time in Polish

This year, Jews in Poland have an added reason to celebrate Israel Independence Day: the first ever booklet in Polish on Yom Ha’atzmaut has been published by Shavei Israel. The booklet was a real team effort. The idea came from Shavei Israel’s emissary to Krakow, Rabbi Avi Baumol, who noted that, while the Polish Jewish community enthusiastically marks the founding of the state of Israel, it has never had any guide to the customs and prayers of the day written in Polish. Rabbi Baumol wrote and prepared the texts; Olga, a young Polish woman who visited Israel in 2014 on a Shavei Israel-sponsored seminar, translated it; and Shavei Israel staff members Tzivia Kusminksy and Esther Surikova created the graphics. Read More...

Meet Emunah and Eden: Shavei Israel’s new “Fellows” in Mynmar (Burma)

Group in Myanmar (Burma)The distance between the village of Kaleymo in Myanmar (Burma) and the northeastern Indian border town of Moreh is a mere 70 miles. But here, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the trip takes no less than a full day. That didn’t stop Emunah Hanvung and Eden Suantak, two Bnei Menashe young women from Myanmar, from joining Shavei Israel’s most recent seminar for Bnei Menashe “Fellows” in India. Here is their story. Read More...

Kivunim students visit Steri Palace in Sicily

Kivunim students at Steri PalaceKivunim is a gap year program that brings pre-college American Jews to Jewish communities around the world to learn about their roots. The latest Kivunim cohort found themselves recently in Palermo where they met with Shavei Israel’s emissary to the Bnei Anousim in Sicily and southern Italy, Rabbi Pinhas Punturello. Together, they visited the infamous Steri Palace. Read More...

Bnei Anousim women bring Seder Amenim to Colombia

The A “Seder Amenim” is an ancient tradition where Jewish women come together for a festive meal in order to recite in unison five “Amen’s” following the blessings for the five main food categories. Women from the Bnei Menashe community in India have been observing the “Seder Amenim” (literally, the order of Amen’s) for many years; now the tradition has come to Colombia. Read More...

Chinese Jews celebrate Passover in Kaifeng

Reading from the Haggadah in China 2015Our coordinator for the Jewish community of Kaifeng Eran Barzilay sent us some great pictures from Passover celebrations in China this year. The Jewish world marks the holiday pretty much the same way everywhere - with matzo, eggs and reading from the Haggadah - even in the farthest flung spots on the globe. Check out our pictures. Read More...

El Salvador to hold weekend Shabbaton with special guests Michael Freund and Rabbi Eliyahu Birnbaum

El Salvador community leaders in synagogue during PurimThe El Salvador Bnei Anousim community is holding a seminar this weekend. Filled with classes, prayer, singing and shared meals, the Shabbaton will feature as guest speakers Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund and Shavei’s Educational Director Rabbi Eliyahu Birnbaum. But perhaps the highlight of the weekend will be a visit to San Salvador’s Quetzaltepec volcano, which rises up from the western side of country’s capital city. Participants will eat breakfast and discuss future community projects in the stunning shadow of the volcano. Read More...

First in line for Portuguese citizenship: Jewish dreamers and fortune seekers

Congregants praying at the Kadoorie Synagogue in Porto, Portugal, May 2014. (Photo: Jewish community of Porto)JTA reports on the 2013 Portuguese law granting citizenship to the descendants of Sephardim, Jews who once lived in the Iberian Peninsula. The article profiles a woman who claims to be a descendent of Joseph Karo, the 16th century Spanish rabbi who authored one of the principal codifications of Jewish law, as well as the Portuguese politician who co-authored the law. Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund is quoted as well. Read More...

Michael Freund on Pesach in India – Israel Radio interview

Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund was interviewed on Kol Israel - Israel Radio - this week to discuss what Passover is like in India with the Bnei Menashe. Listen to the interview here. Read More...

Hearts of the Fathers: Mishpacha Magazine covers Shavei work in Poland

Mishpacha Magazine ran a feature on Shavei Israel's work with the "Hidden Jews" of Poland. It's not online yet, but we have a PDF you can download and view, as well as images of each page from the print edition of the magazine. Read More...

Model Seder held for Bnei Menashe in Manipur

Eating matzah in ManipurPrior to the start of the Passover holiday, the Bnei Menashe in the Indian state of Manipur held a “Model Seder” – a large group run-through of the entire Haggadah, complete with explanations and speeches, so that the Bnei Menashe families will better know the order and customs of the Seder when they return to their homes tonight to celebrate the holiday. We have pictures! Read More...

New booklet published for Subbotnik Jews just in time for Pesach

This Year in Kaifeng

Bnei Menashe aliyah dream in danger

Belmonte Portugal welcomes new Hebrew teacher

VIDEO: Conversion Authority visits Bnei Menashe in Kfar Hasidim