• Judaism is one of the oldest religions of the world, evolved in Egypt about 3,700 years ago.
  • It believes in the unity and oneness of universal Creator.
  • Judaism is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people.
  • Jews have been living in India for over 2,000 years ever since they first landed on West coast of India.
  • Indian Jews are known as a peace-loving community.
  • They follow Hebrew calendar.
  • They have special thanks giving ceremony known as Eliyahoo-ha-Nabior i.e. ‘gratitude to Elijah the Prophet’, on festive occasions.
  • Indian Jews fall into five categories
  • Bene Israel – meaning Children of Israel. Marathi speaking. Arrived in Maharashtra 2,100 years ago.
  • Cochin Jews – arrived in India 2,500 years ago and settled down in Kerala as traders.
  • Baghdadi Jews – Jews who came to India as traders from West Asia, mainly from Baghdad. They are settled mainly in Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata.
  • Bene Menashe – The Manipur Jews constitute a community which sees itself as descendants of the Manasseh (Menashe) Tribe (which is one of the 10 lost tribes of Jews).
  • Bene Ephraim – also called “Telugu Jews”. They are a small group who speak Telugu. Their observance of Judaism dates to 1981.
Why in news?
  • Gujarat Government has granted religious minority status to Jews living in the state.
  • Gujarat is third state in India to grant religious minority status to Jews after West Bengal and Maharashtra.

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