Shavei Israel emissary joins 400th anniversary commemorations of Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands

Rabbi Salas in Amsterdam Jewish cemeteryIn 1614, the first Jewish cemetery was established in Amsterdam. The cemetery celebrated the 400th anniversary of its construction in December of last year, and Rabbi Elisha Salas, Shavei Israel’s emissary to the Bnei Anousim in Portugal, was invited to attend the festivities. For Rabbi Salas, who is based in Belmonte, Portugal, and works with Bnei Anousim, some of whom are only today rediscovering their roots, seeing how Anousim who fled Portugal for the the Netherlands hundreds of years ago found the freedom to embrace their heritage was an inspiration. Read More...

Shavei Israel organizes teen Shabbaton in Poland and meets Steven Spielberg

Group photoWhat makes a successful Jewish event? When all the participants say they want to do another one…as soon as possible. That was the clear takeaway from Shavei Israel’s first ever “Teen Shabbaton” held in Warsaw, Poland, at the end of last year. As a result, a second weekend retreat was held this past weekend. But the biggest surprise: a chance encounter (and selfie) with U.S. film director Steven Spielberg who was in Poland at the same time. Read More...

VIDEO: Bnei Menashe immigrants arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport

Bnei Menashe and American yeshiva student at Ben-Gurion AirportNew on the Shavei Israel website: a video documenting the November 2014 aliyah of a group of Bnei Menashe. The 5-minute video includes moving footage of the Bnei Menashe as they head towards the arrival hall at Ben-Gurion Airport, as well as a meeting with Member of Knesset Nissan Slomiansky Read More...

New video explains “Who are the Subbotnik Jews?”

Subbotnik Jewish community in Beit Shemesh during 2014 Hanukah celebrationsWho are the Subbotnik Jews? A new video produced by Shavei Israel describes the fascinating history of this special Jewish community that lives primarily in southern Russia and Siberia, along with a smaller group who have made aliyah to Israel and reside in the town of Beit Shemesh. Read More...

Aliyah aftermath: Bnei Menashe receive after-school program and job training in Upper Nazareth

Bnei Menace students receiving homework help at Moadonit MiriamShavei Israel has opened a special after-school study program for Bnei Menashe youngsters who have settled with their families in the town of Upper Nazareth. The program is called Moadonit Miriam, in honor of Shavei Israel chairman Michael Freund’s maternal grandmother, Miriam Rosenthal. Fifteen to twenty Bnei Menashe children in the 1st through 6th grades are attending Moadonit Miriam 3-4 times a week, for up to three hours each day. Read More...

Bnei Anousim mark Global Judaism Day in Portugal

El Rabino Salas en el Día de Estudios JudaicosIn 2010, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, who is best known for the English and Hebrew translations of the Talmud that bear his name, established a now annual event: The Global Day of Jewish Learning. This year, Shavei Israel’s emissary to Portugal, Rabbi Elisha Salas, joined the study celebration, leading the small Bnei Anousim community in Belmonte, Portugal in a series of classes according to the 2014 theme: “Heroes and Villains, Saints and Fools: The People in the Book,” Read More...

Bnei Menashe exhibition hits the road

"Sambatyon" is the name of the legendary river beyond which the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were said to have been exiled by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser in 722 BCE. "Across the Sambatyon" is also the name of a photo exhibition on the Bnei Menashe that is currently being displayed at the Acco (Acre) municipality. The name is fitting: the Bnei Menashe trace their roots to the Biblical tribe of Manasseh (Menashe) which crossed the Sambatyon when it was forced out of the Land of Israel 2,700 years ago. Read More...

Shavei Israel’s Hanukah round up 2014

Nuevos inmigrantes de Bnei Menashé encendiendo velas en la comunidad de MaalotFor 8 days concluding last week, Shavei Israel communities celebrated Hanukah around the Jewish world by kindling the hanukkia together; frying (and then eating) some simply scrumptious sufganiyot and latkes; sitting together to study Hanukah-related Jewish sources with Shavei Israel’s eminent emissaries; and even competing for prizes in Shavei Israel-sponsored sporting competitions! Here's a roundup of 2014's Hanukah activities Read More...

Update from Sicily and southern Italy: 40 Bnei Anousim participate in Shabbaton

Forty Bnei Anousim from Sicily and southern Italy participated in a two-day Shabbaton organized by Shavei Israel at the end of October. The weekend retreat was held in Palermo. We also look at other recent events for the Bnei Anousim coordinated by their Shavei Israel emissary, Rabbi Pinchas Punturello, including a return to the infamous Steri Palace for Hanukah candle lighting. Read More...

Aliyah from India: Paomang Issachar Haokip sings a new song in the Holy Land

Issachar Haokip and familyPaomang Issachar Haokip loves to sing. The 43-year-old Bnei Menashe from the tiny village of Mateyang in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur served as the chazan (cantor) for the community’s synagogue for ten years. Now he is singing a new song - of aliyah. Issachar Haokip has finally come home. Read More...

Chinese olim have Golani Brigade in their sights

Report from India: the inspiring aliyah of the Bnei Menashe

250 Bnei Menashe make aliyah in November – total for year is 660, the most ever!

Shavei Israel on the “Voice of Israel” radio

Celebrating comings and goings in El Salvador