Indian Community in Israel Indian Community

Indian Community in Israel

Indian Community in Israel 

There are approximately 85,000 Jews of Indian-origin in Israel. The main waves of immigration into Israel from India took place in the fifties and sixties. The majority is from Maharashtra (Bene Israelis) and relatively smaller numbers from Kerala (Cochini Jews) and Kolkata (Baghdadi Jews). In recent years, some Indian Jews from Mizoram and Manipur (Bnei Menache) have been immigrating to Israel. While the older generation still maintains a deep bonding with India, the younger generation has become increasingly assimilated into Israeli society. 

Shri Eliyahu Bezalel hailing from Chennamangalam, Cochin has distinguished himself as an eminent agriculturalist and became the first Israeli of Indian origin to receive Bhartiya Pravasi Samman in 2005. Sheikh Ansari, who manages the Indian Hospice in Jerusalem, a unique Indian connection to the Holy City, was honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2011. In 2017, Dr. Lael Best, an Israeli cardiothoracic surgeon of Indian origin, was also conferred the award.

In 2013, the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv facilitated the first-ever National Convention of Indian Jews in Israel in Ramla. The event brought together nearly 5,000 people from all the four major groups of Indian Jews. Four more annual Conventions have since been held in subsequent years in cities of Yeruham (2014), Ramla (2015), Kiryat Gat (2016) and Ashkelon (2017). The Know India Programme has been effective in binding the Indian origin youth to India.

There are about 12,500 Indian citizens in Israel, of whom around 11,500 are care-givers. Others include diamond traders, some IT professionals and students.

PM Modi addressed a gathering of around 8000 PIOs and Indian nationals working in Israel at the Tel Aviv Exhibition grounds during his visit in July 2017.

December 2018