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The Jews of India

Dalia Ray (Author)

The Jews of India, a microscopic marginal community among other communities settled in India, have become an important part of the Indian history. The Jews, who first landed in the port cities of India such as Cranganore and Cochin in the South, Surat in Gujarat, Konkan in Maharastra and Calcutta in undivided Bengal in the 17th and `18th centuries respectively for the purpose of trade and commerce and to save themselves and their religion from the onslaught of the Muslims, were never very numerous. Yet they have left their distinct mark in the economic, commercial, socio-cultural history of India.

The Cochin Jews of Kerala, the Bene Israels of Gujarat and Maharashtra, particularly in Bombay and Poona and the Baghdadi Jews of Bombay and Calcutta, have left behind a rich heritage in the Indian cities where they settled. Though always a miniscule community compared to other marginal communities in India, the Indian Jewish communities, contributions to the economic and socio-cultural development as well as to the cultural panorama of the metropolises in Kerala, Bombay, Poona, Ahmadabad and Calcutta, were vast, remarkable and praiseworthy.

The socio-cultural, economic, religious and philanthropic activities of the Jews of India are reconstructed in this study with the help of both archival materials and contemporary sources. The focus of this study is on the contributions of the Jews in India and also highlights the question of Jewish identity in the historical and social aspects and shows how their identity is manifested and preserved by the Jews in their everyday life. This objective study has also dealt with two other recent Jewish communities, the Bene Menashe Jews of Manipur and Mizoram and the Bene Ephraim Jews of Andhra Pradesh as well as the Indian Jews viz., Cochini, Bene Israel, Baghdadi and Bene Menashe Jews settled in Israel.

Contents: Foreword. Preface. Introduction. 1. Jews of Kerala. 2. Bene Israel Jews of India. 3. The Calcutta Jews. 4. Bene Menashe Jews of Mizoram and Manipur. 5. Bene Ephraim Jews of Andhra Pradesh. 6. Recent Jewish immigrants in India. 7. Indian Jews in Israel. 8. Conclusion. Bibliography.Index.

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About the author

Dalia Ray

Dr. Dalia Ray, daughter of late Hon’ble Justice Bankim Chandra Ray retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India (1985-1991) and late Banalata Ray, is the chip of the old bloc. After taking her M.A. degree in Modern Indian History from the Jadavpur University, she took her Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Calcutta. She was a Junior Research Fellow of the University and took her Ph.D. from the Jadavpur University in Modern Indian History under the supervision of Prof. Amitabha Mukherjee., Her thesis was published under the title The Bengal Revolutionaries and Freedom Movement (1902-1919) from Delhi in 1990. After working as a First Class Judicial Magistrate and Munsiff in the West Bengal Judicial Service for 8 years. Dr. Ray returned to the Bar of the Calcutta High Court in 1998. She is a practicing lawyer and is doing well at the bar. Dr. Ray has published a number off papers in the academic and research Journals. Her papers on the Jews of Calcutta in the Proceedings of the Indian History Congress and the All India Oriental Conference etc. have been well received and appreciated. She is a frequent contributor to the daily Press of Calcutta. She has written a few papers in Bengali. Apart from social service, Dr. Ray is a gifted singer of light classical music and has released two cassettes off her songs in 1997 and in 2001.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Jews of India
Author Dalia Ray
Format Hardcover
Date published: 06.09.2016
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788193230909
length xi+346p., 40 Pages of Plates; Illustrations; Colour; 29cm.