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August 17, 2015 1:13 pm

India Plans Jewish Heritage Tours for Israelis of Indian Origin

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Cochini Jews, a community that originated in India and now has 25,000 members living in Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Cochini Jewsish community originated in India and now has 25,000 members living in Israel. India is urging Jews of Indian origin to visit India and explore their heritage. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – India is urging tens of thousands of Jews of Indian origin to visit the country to explore their heritage, in a bid to help continue to strength bilateral ties between India and Israel.

“We want to tell the world proudly about the rich Jewish life in India with your efforts we are working to preserve the Jewish heritage in India. We hope to have a package tour to Jewish heritage sites in Mumbai and elsewhere by early next year,” Indian Ambassador to Israel Jaideep Sarkar told a gathering of Jews of Indian origin at the National Convention of Indian Jews in Israel, the Times of Indiareported.

There are about 85,000 Jews of Indian origin living in Israel from four different communities—Bene Israel, Cochini Jews, Baghdadi Jews, and Bnei Menashe.

Recently, the Indian government restored the Paravoor and Chennamangalam synagogues in Cochin in an effort to attract Jewish tourism, especially among the 25,000-strong Cochini Jewish community in Israel.

In a sign of India’s growing prioritization of Israel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans visit Israel later this year.

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