Indian Jewish Community in Israel
The Bene Israel of India (Jewish community of India) is a small community of Jews that have lived for many centuries on the west coast of India, just south of Mumbai (Bombay), in the Konkan region of Maharashtra.
The Bene Israel (literally meaning Children of Israel) of India is an ancient community that has maintained its cultural heritage, traditions, customs and Jewish faith in the original traditional form that was followed prior to construction First Temple.
In the absence of contacts with the mainstream Jewish community for a considerable length of time the Bene Israel of India could not keep up with the changing Jewish traditions and generation after generation the gap increased further. However, when they were later rediscovered and exposed to the mainstream Judaism, they were still observing several important aspects of traditional biblical form of Jewishness.
It is true, that the Bene Israel adopted or even modified certain customs but this is a universal truth. They had no written form of Torah as it is believed they were cut out from the mainstream prior to its existence.
The India society at large was always extremely tolerant of other faiths and religions thus it was quite easy for the Bene Israelis to practice their unique rituals and traditions. Unlike many parts of the world, Jews have historically lived in India without anti-Semitism from Indians, except for a few incidents during the Portuguese regime in parts under their rule. That was one of the reason that they refrained from Bombay area until it was gifted to British Control as a dowry in 1668. It was then that the Bene-Israeli community started migrating from Konkan region to Bombay.
Acknowledgement: Information is gathered from various sources including Mr. Haeem Samuel Kehimkar’s book "The History of the Bene Israel Jews of India".