Shavei Israel sending first ever emissary to Nigerian Jews

Igbo KingIn 2012, Daniel Limor was invited to a royal audience with an African village king – a member of the Igbo tribe, the second largest ethnic group in Nigeria. The king was wearing a robe with a Star of David on it. So begins the story of one of the most fascinating possible “lost” Jewish tribes to be found anywhere in the world – many of them claim some sort of descent from the Israelite tribe of Gad, which was exiled by the Assyrians more than 27 centuries ago. And now Shavei Israel is sending its first emissary. Read the fascinating story here! Read More...

Shavei Israel organizes first Lag B’Omer celebration for Subbotnik Jews in Israel

Subbotnik Jews in Beit Shemesh build a Lag B'Omer bonfireEsther Surikova was worried. The barbeque and bonfire she’d planned for the Subbotnik Jewish community of Beit Shemesh last Wednesday night conflicted with another event for Jews who have immigrated to Israel from Russia – a party to mark “Victory Day” – the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Most of the Subbotnik Jews in Beit Shemesh were invited to both celebrations. So Surikova, who directs Shavei Israel’s Russia and Eastern Europe department, was both surprised and delighted when nearly the entire Subbotnik Jewish community chose to attend Shavei Israel’s Lag B’Omer festivities. Here's the story plus pictures. Read More...

El Salvador Shabbaton unites Bnei Anousim communities

Prayers with Rabbi Birnbaum (center)As the banquet hall in San Salvador filled up, it was not clear who was more excited – the 250 Bnei Anousim who had come from all over El Salvador to celebrate Shabbat together, or their guest speakers for the weekend, Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund and Shavei’s Educational Director Rabbi Eliyahu Birnbaum, who had flown from Israel to be with the community for this special Shabbaton. Read More...

Safed welcomes new Bnei Menashe immigrants

Bnei Menashe girls celebrate  Yom Ha'atzmaut in SafedForth-five new immigrant families from Manipur India have moved to the ancient city of Safed in the Upper Galilee. They left the Kfar Hasidim absorption center, where they first landed after making aliyah, several months ago. A team led by Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund visited them – this is what they found. A special ceremony to mark the community’s successful integration! Read More...

El Salvador Jew: “I am proud to be a part of the people of Israel”

El Salvador group at recent ShabbatonSome 300 El Salvadorian descendants of Spanish conversos observe the laws of Judaism and dream of living in Israel. "I wanted to connect with the Creator and I found the Jewish commandments the best way to do that," says a community leader. The newspaper Israel Hayom profiles El Salvador's Jewish community. Read More...

For some Subbotnik Jews, trip to Jerusalem a first

Subbotnik Jews in Jerusalem - at the KotelAs unbelievable as it sounds, for some members of the Subbotnik Jewish community living in Beit Shemesh, a day trip to Jerusalem organized last week by Shavei Israel included their first ever visit to the Western Wall. First time or not, a stop at the Kotel was the clear highlight for the 28 participants, all of whom have moved to Israel from Visoky and nearby towns in southern Russia. We have the story here. Read More...

Help young Polish Jews reclaim their heritage on a Shavei Israel trip to Israel this summer

For today’s young Polish Jews, who are rediscovering and reclaiming their Jewish roots in unprecedented numbers, a trip to Israel is often the foundation stone upon which their Jewish futures are built. Shavei Israel has been offering select groups of Polish “Hidden” Jews an educational, spiritual and ultimately transformational summer seminar for the past seven years. Our next trip is coming up in August and we need your help. Read More...

Retracing Old Footsteps: Genie Milgrom

Genie Milgrom"I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m Jewish. I need proof. I need your help. I’m begging you. Please point me in the right direction.” Genie Milgrom receives hundreds of emails like this one every year. Milgrom, president of the Society of Crypto-Judaic Studies and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami, responds to each message. Read More...

Bnei Menashe celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in India (and Safed)

“With hope and prayer we celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut this year in Manipur, but next year in Zion!” writes Shavei Israel’s coordinator for the Bnei Menashe in India Meital Singson. That was the theme of this year’s Israel Independence Day celebrations in Manipur, which drew more than 1,500 Bnei Menashe men, women and children to the B. Vegnom community hall in Churachandpur. We have the story...and pictures. Read More...

PICTURES: American student group visits Palermo

Two weeks ago, we shared with you a video of a group of American students on the Kivunim gap year program who visited the infamous Steri Palace in Palermo. Shavei Israel’s emissary Rabbi Pinhas Punturello made the visit happen and shot the video of the group spontaneously breaking out into song. Rabbi Punturello has sent us more pictures from the group’s visit, and an update on their activities. We have it here. Read More...

In search of lost Jews: Iberian Peninsula gives up its secrets

חוברת מיוחדת ליום העצמאות בשפה הפולנית

Israel Independence Day booklet published for first time in Polish

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

Kivunim students visit Steri Palace in Sicily