Jewish Journal


January 6, 2013

Pakistani newspaper covers the Bene Israel Jews of Mumbai



Eighty-year-old Isaac Talkar, a Bene Israel Jew, is one of the 4,000 in Mumbai. Photo by Shai Venkatraman/The Express Tribune

My newspaper in Pakistan, The Express Tribune, published this Sunday, Jan 6, 2013, a stellar piece on the Jews of Mumbai. T magazine's editor Zarrar Khuhro commissioned the story 'Where the Crescent meets the Star' that was written by Shai Venkatraman and included some beautiful photographs of Shaare Raason syngagogue and Gates of Mercy syngagogue. 

I am sharing here their work, but would urge you to read the whole story online here.

Where the Crescent meets the Star
by Shai Venkatraman for The Express Tribune

With a green kippah, the traditional Jewish cap, on his head, Isaac Talkar cuts a striking figure as he winds his way through the crowded by-lanes of Dongri in the heart of Mumbai city.

Most of Mumbai’s eight Jewish synagogues are located in the Muslim neighbourhoods of Byculla, Mazgaon and Dongri

Eighty-year-old Talkar, a Bene Israeli Jew is heading to the local synagogue, a daily ritual. Dongri, a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood in south Mumbai, has been his home from birth.

“I have lived here all my life,” says the retired bank manager.

“My entire family, including my parents and siblings, migrated to Israel thirty-five ago. I have no relatives left here. They kept calling me for a long time but some sort of attachment keeps me here. I want to die in India and be buried here.” (The rest of the story is on the newspaper's website)

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