Inheriting the land – Jerusha comes home

Inheriting the land – Jerusha comes home

Samuel Devasahayam was the founder of the Zion Torah Center in Erode, India. He was a courageous, G-d-fearing man, who left a huge hole in a community when he tragically passed away in 2018. His family has continued with the legacy he left, on their 11-year journey to becoming Jewish. Now is his daughter Jerusha’s turn.

We have been friends with the Samuel family for many years. We recently shared his wife, Ann’s, story here.

After several years, with big brother Moshe already in Israel for two years and about to complete his aliyah process, Ann and her two daughters were preparing to come. A wedding invitation for 19 year-old Jerusha pulled her own trip to Israel back to February.

The last one in her family to ever go to Israel, Jerusha was so excited and couldn’t wait for the trip. Having just finished high school, and studied to teach English as a second language, Jerusha was now ready to embark on the next leg of her own journey toward becoming Jewish, at Machon Milton. Shavei’s conversion program under the auspices of the Rabbinical Council of America.

Jerusha has a bit of a head start in her studies, as she can already read and write Hebrew, and has been practicing Judaism with her family.

Jerusha, which is a Hebrew word, meaning ‘inheritance’, arrived in Israel just this week and after a bit of a lengthy bureaucratic snafu, emerged to find her brother waiting for her at the airport, both relieved and thrilled.

With a big smile, Jerusha spoke about how even though she only just arrived, Israel feels like home. “We have been in this process for eleven years now. To finally get to start my own journey is really incredible.”

As we sat in the office interviewing her, we sent the photos to her mom in India, who, of course, we have known for many years. She immediately sent those very photos to her children – who were still sitting, right across from us. We look forward to photographing ALL of them in Jerusalem, together!