Norwegian delegation makes an unplanned stop at Shavei Israel

Norwegian delegation makes an unplanned stop at Shavei Israel

A spontaneous visit to our Jerusalem offices by ten people representing two Norwegian interest groups turned into an interesting lecture about Lost and Hidden Jews, and a real learning experience. 

Arvid Bjerga, who set up Shavei Israel’s Norwegian branch almost three years ago, was present in one of the two groups, one in which he is on the board for twin city relations between Stavanger (Norway)- Netanya and the other which is more agriculture related. 

The main group visiting Shavei Israel is from Stavanger department of the Norwegian Israeli Chamber of Commerce.  They invited farmers and one importer of technical solution to study Israeli innovations. But Henrik Halleland, a politician from the Stavanger city government and Arvid, represent the twin-city board for Netanya- Stavanger. 

On the unplanned trip to Shavei’s Jerusalem office, the group was treated to classic Israeli rugelach and burekas, as well as a lecture from Shavei’s Laura Ben-David about the history of the Bnei Menashe, learning about their roots, their culture and how they came to connect with Michael Freund, and their aliyah journey which Shavei Israel has been facilitating for nearly 20 years. Additionally, she spoke about the Kaifeng Jews, Bnei Anousim, Subbotniks and Hidden Jews of Poland. 

All the guests reported that it was a true highlight to listen to Laura. Most didn’t know that much about “Lost Tribes and Hidden Jews”, so it was totally new information for them. They were interactive throughout, with lots of questions, and were very thankful for the lecture.

Group photo including: Arvid Bjerga (far left); Henrik Halleland (far right); Sigve Bø (third from right) one of the leaders of the Norwegian Israeli Chamber of Commerce