PREVIEW: First pictures from November’s Bnei Menashe aliyah

The aliyah from India is back - the first of several flights of Bnei Menashe new immigrants from the Indian state of Manipur landed last week. We have a few preview pictures below. Shavei Israel staff is now in India preparing another 200 immigrants who will be arriving during the month of November. We'll have more pictures and stories in the next issues of Roots. Read More...

Shavei Israel in the news – Poland edition

Rabbi Avi Baumol blows shofar in Poland - page from Mishpacha Magazine (in Hebrew)Shavei Israel’s activities in Poland have been mentioned several times in the news in the past few weeks. The Times of Israel has an article about how young Polish Jews are embracing their “hip” Jewish ancestry. The Polish television station ITV has a report about the renewed cemetery in Myslowice. And Mishpacha Magazine has a long article on Shavei Israel’s activities in Krakow. Read More...

Mazel tov! Subbotnik Jewish couple gets married in Russia

Israel and Elisheva enjoying their wedding meal and party.There is an old Russian custom to steal the shoe of a bride at her wedding. Then the bride or her family must “redeem” the shoe through a variety of different techniques. It’s all in good fun – even more so when the festivities are part of the small but vibrant Subbotnik Jewish community in southern Russia – which doesn’t see a lot of weddings. Here's the story of Serge (Israel) and Natalia (Elisheva) Zilnatzkov. Read More...

Aliyah from India: Elitzur Seikhogin Haokip

Elitzur Haokip and family before making aliyahWe continue our series of profiles of Bnei Menashe who have made aliyah in the past two years with Shavei Israel’s help. Elitzur Haokip made aliyah in November 2012 after two long careers, first in the Indian National Army and then at the "All India Radio" station in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur. "I was brought up according to traditional Manmashi customs," Elitzur explains, recalling the path that led him to Judaism and then to Israel. Read More...

Aliyah from India: Yoshi Thouthang and family

The Bnei Menashe aliyah is back! With G-d’s help, Shavei Israel will be bringing 247 new immigrants from northeastern India during the month of November. This will bring the total number of Bnei Menashe who have returned to Zion in 2014 to 660, the most ever in one year! As Shavei Israel staff prepares the Kfar Hasidim absorption center for the newest arrivals, we present a new series of profiles where we visit with some of the remarkable Bnei Menashe who have arrived in the last two years. Meet Yoshi Thouthang and family Read More...

PICTURES: Sukkot in Kaifeng, China

Mother blessing her daughterHow does the Kaifeng Jewish community celebrate Sukkot? The same way Jews do all over the world - by sleeping and eating in a sukka (the temporary structure built to commemorate the Israelites' 40 year sojourn in the desert following the Exodus from Egypt), surrounded by friends, family and ushpizin (Aramaic for "guests"). We have a few pictures from this year's Sukkot festivities in Kaifeng. Read More...

Afula takes first prize in 6th annual Bnei Menashe soccer tournament

The sixth annual Bnei Menashe soccer tournament took place last week in Israel. Eight teams from each of the Bnei Menashe communities in Israel competed with Afula F.C. taking home first place folllowed by Bnei Menashe teams from Migdal HaEmek and Beit El. The annual competition provides the Bnei Menashe communities an opportunity to get together and make new friends, explains the organizer, Rabbi Gurion Sela. Read More...

Shavei Israel launches Bnei Menashe Translation Project with first book in Mizo

Inside of Hilchot TeshuvaFor the first time ever, Maimonides’ seminal text Hilchot Teshuva (the Laws of Repentance) has been translated into Mizo, one of the two main languages spoken by the Bnei Menashe. The new text is just the start of an ambitious new project to translate dozens of key Jewish texts for the Bnei Menashe. The next book to be translated covers practical halacha and will be in Kuki. Read More...

Happy Sukkot from Shavei Israel: is the biggest etrog in El Salvador?

Outside of the sukkaIt's customary during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot to buy what are known as "the four species" - lulav (a palm frond), hadass (leaves from a myrtle tree), aravah (leaves from a willow tree) and etrog (a large yellow citron). Well we have a picture of an etrog that may be the biggest we've seen yet. It's in El Salvador where Shavei Israel is assisting a small community of Bnei Anousim. Read More...

PICTURES: Bnei Menashe visit Jerusalem for the first time

When a recent group of Bnei Menashe immigrants visited Jerusalem for the first time, we sent our photographer to capture the excitement. Here is a selection of photos that evoke the atmosphere of that special day. Read More...

WATCH: Bnei Menashe on emotional first visit to Jerusalem

Russia’s Subbotnik Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana with new Shavei Israel publications

A Chinese Jewish New Year

Michael Freund on the Yishai Fleisher radio show

Genetic study proves Jews are a people