S havei Israel was founded in 2002 by Michael Freund, and formally incorporated as an organization in 2004. While serving as the Deputy Communications Director under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1997, Freund opened an envelope that arrived in the mail one day. That simple action was to profoundly change his life as well as that of many others.
The letter was from a group in northeastern India called the Bnei Menashe. They said they were descendants of the tribe of Menashe, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and were pleading to return to the Promised Land. Their letter sent Freund on a mission to learn all he could about the Lost Tribes of Israel. In the process, he discovered that all across the world there are “lost Jews” dreaming of returning to their Jewish roots.