Bnei Menashe community suffers damage in India quake
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck northeastern India early Monday morning, killing at least nine people and injuring over 90 more.
The Bnei Menashe (sons of Manasseh), who claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, reported extensive damage to their community in the Indian state of Manipur.
“The earthquake struck early in the morning and buildings shook violently,” said Tzvi Khaute, Shavei Israel’s emissary to Manipur and a member of the Bnei Menashe community.
“Thank God no one among the Bnei Menashe was injured or killed,” he added. “There is, however, extensive damage from the quake.”
Shavei Israel is a non-profit organization which aims to strengthen the ties between the Jewish people, the State of Israel and the descendants of Jews around the world – including the Bnei Menashe.
The non-profit has launched an emergency relief fund to assist members of the Bnei Menashe community affected by the disaster.
“We are in touch with the leaders of the Bnei Menashe community throughout northeastern India,” noted Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund. “Miraculously no one in the community was harmed, but we are concerned by reports of damage to homes and property.”
“There are still 7,000 Bnei Menashe living in India and 700 of them, many of whom were affected by the earthquake, are awaiting final permission to make Aliyah in 2016,” Freund added. “I call on the Israeli government to bring them home to Zion as soon as possible.”