252 Bnei Menashe immigrants to arrive in Israel
252 Bnei Menashe immigrants to arrive in Israel on Tuesday
The new arrivals will enter COVID-19 quarantine in the Nordiya moshav close to Netanya and will remain there while they adjust to their new country and learn Hebrew
Two-hundred and fifty-two members of the Bnei Menashe community from India are poised to immigrate to Israel and will be landing in the Jewish state on Tuesday morning.
According to the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, 2,437 people from the Bnei Menashe community have immigrated to Israel from their homes in northeastern India since 2003, although the numbers of immigrants from the region have dropped significantly in recent years.
“I am happy that I have the merit to bring the Bnei Menashe to Israel after many years of waiting,” said Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata.
The claim of the Bnei Menashe to be descendants of the tribe of Menashe, exiled from the Land of Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire, has aroused criticism in the past.
The Chief Rabbinate initially did not consider the Bnei Menashe to be Jewish, and their immigration was halted at the beginning of the 21st century.
In 2005, however, then-Sephardi chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar formally recognized the Bnei Menashe as descendants of one of the Ten Lost Tribes, although they were still required to convert to Judaism upon arrival in Israel.
The immigration of the 252 new immigrants was approved in a government resolution in October and includes among them 50 families, and 24 unmarried singles, four infants under the age of two, and 19 immigrants over the age of 62.
Their immigration was advanced by Tamano-Shata as well as the Shavei Israel organization, which has promoted their case for immigration to the Jewish state.
The new arrivals will enter COVID-19 quarantine in the Nordiya moshav close to Netanya and will remain there while they adjust to their new country and learn Hebrew, following which they will move to Nof Hagalil in northern Israel.
By Jeremy Sharon December 14, 2020