Belmonte Portugal welcomes new Hebrew teacher

Penina Amid spells out the number 9 for students in BelmontThe Bnei Anousim community in Belmonte, Portugal has a new Hebrew teacher. Penina Amid, who taught Hebrew in the Israeli school system for most of her career and is now retired, is volunteering her time in Belmonte during March as part of an annual project called the “Month of Hebrew.” The program, which is sponsored by the Belmonte municipality, is mainly intended for non-Jews who wish to connect with Belmonte’s Jewish past – the town had a thriving Jewish community prior to the Inquisition. Of course, the approximately 100 members of the Bnei Anousim community in Belmonte are participating as well. Read More...

VIDEO: Conversion Authority visits Bnei Menashe in Kfar Hasidim

When the Bnei Menashe arrive in Israel, their Jewish journey is not completely over: they still must undergo a formal conversion. In charge of that is the Chief Rabbinate's Conversion Authority, which pays regular visits to the Kfar Hasidim absorption center to meet the Bnei Menashe and test their Jewish knowledge and commitment. In this new Shavei Israel video, we provide a glimpse into the workings of the Conversion Authority as we travel with them to Kfar Hasidim and hear their impressions of the Bnei Menashe community. Read More...

Israeli TV documentary on Bnei Menashe – Part 2 in English now available

Last month, we published the first part of a video documentary produced by Israel's Channel 10 on the Bnei Menashe. Channel 10 reporter Roy Sharon accompanied Shavei Israel on a journey to Manipur. Part 2 of the documentary is now available with English subtitles. Click to watch it now. Read More...

“Becoming Moses” – profile of Shavei Israel in Tablet Magazine

Tablet Magazine recently published an extensive profile of Shavei Israel and its chairman and founder Michael Freund. Reporter Matthew Fishbine spent months working on the piece, which included a visit to India with Shavei Israel to report on the Bnei Menashe. Fishbine gives his impressions of Bnei Menashe life in Manipur and their longing for Zion. He then accompanies one of Shavei Israel's aliyah flights from India and continues on to meet the Bnei Menashe in the Kfar Hasidim absorption center in Israel. Read More...

Under the Radar, Shavei Israel Has Brought Back Thousands

Bnei Menashe on their way to IsraelIsrael National News profiled Shavei Israel and its founder Michael Freund in this article, which focuses on Shavei's work in India with the Bnei Menashe and in Europe and the Americas with Bnei Anousim. Read More...

From Sicily to Naples, Italian Crypto-Jews are Returning

Rabbi Punturello (center with glasses) leading Hanukah candle lighting in Palermo, ItalyIsrael National News reports on how one rabbi is leading efforts across Italy to build new communities for long lost Jews. A profile of Shavei Israel's emissary to the Bnei Anousim of Sicily and southern Italy, Rabbi Pinhas Punturello. Read More...

Shavei Israel celebrates Purim 2015 in style

Costumes in ColombiaPurim 2015 has come and gone but the pictures are still flowing in to the Shavei Israel office. Now it’s time to share them with you. So strap on your jet pack, we’re going for a ride - from China to India, Poland to Portugal, Israel to El Salvador. Happy holiday! Read More...

Costumes and Cookies: Shavei Israel celebrates Purim around the world

This week, Israel and the Jewish world are celebrating the holiday of Purim. In honor of the joy the Jews felt at their last minute deliverance, Purim today is perhaps the happiest day on the Jewish calendar. Everyone dresses up in costume to read from the Scroll of Esther (the Megilla), deliver treats to friends and family, and attend extravagant parties with loads of kosher hamentaschen. The communities that Shavei Israel works with are getting into the spirit of the holiday, too. Here’s what our emissaries have planned for the rest of Purim week. Read More...

Karaite Jews in Crimea

Karaite cemeteryKarate Judaism is a Jewish movement that recognizes only the Bible as a source for legal authority. Tracing its origins to Baghdad in the 8th century CE, today, there only are an estimated 30,000–50,000 Karaites left, most living in Israel, with smaller communities in Turkey, Europe and the United States. One of these communities can be found in Crimea. While only 800-1,500 Karaites remain in the region, their history goes back more than 700 years. In this special section, we profile this fascinating Jewish community. Read More...

Introducing the Bnei Menashe Tefillin Project

Tefillin (phylacteries) is one of Judaism’s most ancient and revered commandments. When the Jewish people were exiled from the Land of Israel, they took with them the tradition of Tefillin. And when some of the exiled tribes continued their journey eastward from Assyria or Babylon, Tefillin served as a constant connection to the roots of their faith. Today, one of those lost tribes, the Bnei Menashe, continues to observe the mitzvah of Tefillin, but until recently, Tefillin was a rare commodity in India, with no Tefillin manufacturers or scribes in northeastern India. Shavei Israel's Bnei Menashe Tefillin Project aims to address this need. Read More...

Return to Sikkim – Bnei Menashe “Fellows” seminar begins

Israeli TV documentary on Bnei Menashe – now in English!

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

Shavei Israel communities celebrate Tu B’Shvat 2015 around the world

Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund speaks on IBA News