Religions in India

Jews in India are a bunch of several communities that settled in India and include Indian Bene Israel Jews, Cochini Jews and Baghdadi Jews.

Judaism


Judaism Religion in India - Definitely there are Jews in India but they do not belong to one single community. Instead their various communities have their unique culture, background, origin and the ways of coming to India. The three main communities are Bene Israel, Cochini and Baghdadi that had some connections along with Ashkenazi Jews and Bne Menashe found in east India with Israeli origin that remained to themselves and regarded others as 'outsiders'. The largest Jewish community is Bene Israel that seetled first in the villages of west Maharashtra in the Konkan coast and later moved to Mumbai in the 19th century and also to Pune, Ahmadabad and Karachi (now in Pakistan). After 1950, many of them migrated to Israel, Australia and England and their population in India reduced from being 30000 to less than 5000 Bene Israels, who are concentrated in the Thana suburb of Mumbai.

Baghdadi Jews came from Arab countries and Iran to India in the late 18th century. They came from Baghdad, Syria, Iran, Yemen and other places in Iraq and are also collectively known as 'Iraqi Jews'. They were also known as 'Yehudis'. They came as merchants and businessmen and settled in the commercial cities of India such as Surat in Gujarat, Bombay and Calcutta and even Rangoon, which was the capital of Burma. Cochini Jews settled around Cochin in South India, especially in the town of Kudungallur in its north. The Cochini Jews are said to be descendants of those who came to India during the King Solomon's period and later Jews from Spain joined them. Jews of Manipur and Mizoram are the descendants of the Menashe Tribe, one of the 10 lost tribes and have Chinese appearance. European Jews came to India in the 1930s, when some 2000 Jewish refugees escaped from European Anti-Semite countries and engaged in liberal professions like doctors. They left India before 1950 and immigrated to Western Europe and United States.