GUWAHATI: A total of 252 Jews, including infants and elderly residing in Manipur and Mizoram, from the Bnei Menashe community immigrated to Israel on Tuesday. They included 50 families, 24 singles, four infants under the age of two, and 19 people over the age of 62.
Their immigration was approved by the Israeli government in October.
Some 2,437 people from the Bnei Menashe community have so far immigrated to Israel from the Manipur and Mizoram since 2003, the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption said.
Though there were debates around the Jewishness of Bnei Menashe in the past but in 2005, the then Chief Rabbi of the Sephardi community, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, recognised them as descendants of Israel paving the way for their immigration to Israel.
The community claims that it belongs to the Menashe tribe, one of the ten tribes pushed into exile by the Assyrians some 2700 years ago.
All of them will be taken to a Shavei Israel absorption centre in the Nordiya moshav close to Netanya.
Shavei Israel is a non-profit organisation that has led the movement to bring back Jews looking to immigrate to Israel.