Shavei Israel Founder Michael Freund: Bnei Menashe celebrates Israel's 75th Independence Day with “excitement and pride” in Northeastern India.
(PRUnderground) May 11th, 2023
On the occasion of Israel’s 75th Independence Day, the children of the Bnei Menashe community from Churachandpur, in the Indian state of Manipur, proudly marched through the streets waving blue and white flags. This heartening event is a testament to the deep connection these individuals feel towards their ancestral homeland.
In the past 20 years, over 5,000 Bnei Menashe have been able to make Aliya to Israel thanks to the tireless efforts of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based nonprofit organization. However, another 5,000 remain in India, dreaming and fervently praying for the day they too can return to the Jewish state.
“Each year, members of the Bnei Menashe community in northeastern India celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with a combination of excitement and pride,” says Michael Freund. “Their shared dream is to make Aliyah to the country they deeply love and respect.”
The Bnei Menashe are descendants of the tribe of Manasseh, one of the Ten Lost Tribes exiled from the Land of Israel over 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire. Despite the centuries-long exile, the Bnei Menashe community has tenaciously held on to their Jewish heritage. Their steadfast faith has seen them observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the Jewish festivals, and following the laws of family purity, just as their ancestors did.
The dream of returning to their ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel, has been nurtured and passed down through generations. Today, as Israel celebrates its 75th year of independence, the Bnei Menashe community in India joins in the commemoration, hopeful for a future where they too can call Israel their home.
Shavei Israel, under the leadership of Rabbi Michael Freund, remains committed to helping these descendants of the lost tribe of Manasseh fulfill their age-old dream, continuing their vital work to facilitate the Aliyah for the remaining Bnei Menashe in India.
Having graduated from Princeton University and earned his MBA from Columbia University, Rabbi Michael Freund is a deeply committed member of the Jewish faith. He founded Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based organization that aids hidden Jewish communities in their journey back to Zion. His experience includes serving in the capacity of Deputy Communications Director for Binyamin Netanyahu. In addition to these roles, Freund is a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post, where he regularly shares his insights in a column aptly named “Fundamentally Freund.”
To learn more about Shavei Israel, you can visit their website at www.shavei.org
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Original Press Release.