The Bene-Israel of India:

an ancient living community

Sunday, October 29

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 7:00 pm / France 08:00 pm / Israel 09:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

The Bene-Israel is the largest historical Jewish community from the Indian sub-continent, surpassing in numbers the Cochin and Baghdadi communities.

According to their oral tradition, they arrived in India sometime in the first or second century BCE when their ancestors were shipwrecked while on a trading voyage to the far east. In the Middle Ages, Maimonides mentioned a Jewish community living in India that possibly were the Bene Israel. We will explore their history, culture and heritage. How did it all began? What part did they take in the history of today's India and Pakistan? What was their role under British colonial rule, and in the creation of the Bollywood film industry?

Explore their journey back and forth, and back again, to Israel, where they confronted the political establishment in their struggle for equality. Of some 100,000 Bene Israel at the turn of the 21st century, less than 4,000 remain in India. The great majority have immigrated to Israel, thus realizing their motto: Mother India, Father Israel.

About Eliaz

Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker is a 4th generation Israeli, descendant of the leaders of the Bene-Israel community from the 18th century, the Kammodan Mocadem Divekars.

He is an author, archivist, documentary maker, lecturer, artist and publisher. Eliaz is the founder and owner of "Kammodan Mocadem Publishing House" and has published five books, taking part in several more. He is also a co-founder of the "Next generation group" of Jewish-Indian activists in Israel. Eliaz has lectured and given interviews around the world on subjects such as The Jewish communities of India and PTSD related to combat experience.

Choose your contribution amount

With your contribution, you will also be donating to the "Kammodan Mocadem Publishing House", established in 2017 with the objective to give an open platform for artists, authors & poets of Jewish Indian origin.

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