Israel News in 2005

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On March 31, 2005 the Israeli government officially recognized the Bnei Menashe or Sons of Menashe, as one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The Bnei Menashe people hail from North-Eastern India.

Since the end of the 20th century, many of the Bnei Menashe began studying and converting to Judaism from Christianity, the religion which most of their ancestors had adopted in the nineteenth century. They began converting to Judaism because they came to believe that one of their ancestors was Menashe, the son of Joseph.

After considering much research, including genetic testing, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate recognized the Bnei Menashe as descendants of Israel. However, the Chief Rabbinate required that the Bnei Menashe undergo formal conversions to Judaism before being allowed to immigrate to Israel as Jews, the reason being that the Bnei Menashe had been separated from the Jewish faith for so long.

This official recognition enabled thousands of people to immigrate to Israel to join their brethren in their homeland. In 2013, the 2000th member of the Bnei Menashe immigrated to Israel and more are still hoping to come.

Watch this clip to learn more about the Bnei Menashe: