Indian Jewish Community in Israel
Some claim that the Bene-Israels (one of the lost ten tribes) were rediscovered by David Rahabi. He among a few others were mainly instrumental in bringing the Bene-Israel community of India to limelight. Efforts to convert this group to Christianity can also be not ruled out. The point to stress here is that the Bene-Israelis avoided the teachings of the New Testament by the Christian Missionaries and stuck to the religion and faith. At the same time the Hindus converted themselves to Christianity freely and took all the benefits that were offered including employment.

Thanks to the efforts of several Christian missionaries in Bombay Presidency area and in London who provided both secular and religious education, published bible, story books and prayer books in Marathi, the language spoken by the majority of the Bene-Israel. They were careful not to include the Christian values.

The Bene-Israel arrived at Navgaon, in Konkan region, on the west coast of India near the twin rocks of Andheri Undheri when they were struck by a storm in the Arabian sea. All but seven couples survived and the Bene-Israel community is the descendents of those seven couples. The survivors somehow managed to settle in the village and started working in agriculture and oil producing which later on became their main profession. They were nicknamed the shanivar teli ("Saturday oil-pressers") by the local population as they abstained from work on Saturdays which is Jewish Shabbat.

Those who survived adopted the local dress and the local language - "Marathi". They never forgot "Shema Israel" and observed Shabbath, circumcised their sons, celebrated major festivals and kept Kashrut Laws.

Acknowledgement: Information is gathered from various sources including Mr. Haeem Samuel Kehimkarā€™s book "The History of the Bene Israel Jews of India".
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