India’s Jews apply for minority status

 The Maghen David synagogue, Mumbai (Photo: A Spellman)

India’s approximately 5, 000-member Jewish
community is renewing its request for official government recognition as
a minority group, submitting an application to the country’s minority
affairs ministry.The Times of Israel reports:

Official
recognition would make it easier for Jews to register marriages,
establish educational institutions and “practice and promote our
culture,” Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, the Delhi Jewish community’s
head, told IANS, which reported on the application Tuesday. The news
service did not say when the community’s previous application was made
or why it was unsuccessful. 

India has six official minority communities: Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Jains.

“Jews have been part of the Indian society for
2,300 years now. But post independence, we have not been recognized as a
minority,” Malekar said.

In recent years, dozens of Jews from northeast
India claiming to be the descendants of a lost biblical Jewish tribe
emigrated to Israel after years of controversy over their connection to
Judaism.

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