The story of the Jews of India, has often been told by historians, Anthropologists and sometimes by Indian Jews themselves recounting their Family histories in India, the land of their Birth over many generations. We know that Indian Jewish Communities: The Bene Israelis in Bombay, Poona, Ahmedabad and Jabalpur, the Baghdadis in Calcutta and Bombay and the Kerala Jews in Cochin, Parur or Chendamangalam lived peacefully in pluralistic neighbourhoods experiencing no Anti-Semitism. However, when Israel was established, thousands of Indian Jews were inspired and like their cousins from other Parts of the globe, migrated to the Jewish Homeland. Yet, today 60 years since the first Jewish Families made 'aliya' and migrated to Israel (1949), Little is known about this community of 70,000 Indian Jews scattered across Israel.
This book, for the first time, presents a deeply researched analysis of all three Jewish communities from India, studying them holistically as 'Indian-Israelis' with shared histories of migration, acculturation and identity in the Jewish Homeland. Based on extensive fieldwork and Ethnographic Research conducted among Indian Jews across Israel between 2005-8, the book reflects the author's deep engagement and familiarity with Israeli Society and the complexities of Ethnicity and class that underlie the cleavages within Israeli Jewish society. The volume vividly captures the immigrant experience of first-generation Indian Jewish Men and women. The Tapestry of these narratives and lived Experiences is skillfully woven into theoretical insights illustrating how ethnicity, Gender and class intersect with 'Jewish-ness' to create Complex identities of 'Being Indian' and 'Being Israeli'.
The author's deep engagement with the Indian-Israeli community and her accessible Style enrich this book for readers across the wide range of interests.