Fundamentally Freund

Dipping an apple in a bowl of honey and blowing the shofar are two of the most iconic images of the Jewish New Year. But those customs are nothing short of miraculous when they take place so far from Israel or other large Diaspora Jewish...

Shavei Israel Chairman visited the Jews of Kaifeng, China last week. In this column that originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post, he reports on his visit, and on the remarkable history - and future - of one of the most far flung and remarkable Jewish...

Just in time for Purim, when we celebrate the ancient deliverance of the Jewish people, a long-suffering Jewish community has received some remarkably good tidings. After nearly a decade of bureaucratic torment and agony, the remaining Subbotnik Jews of the former Soviet Union will at...

Are Spanish King Ferdinand and his wife Queen Isabella burning with rage? Over five centuries after they cruelly expelled the country’s Jews in 1492, Spain now finds itself clamoring for their return. The Spanish government has approved a draft bill offering citizenship to descendants of...

It was after 3:00 a.m. on Thursday of last week, in the small airport outside Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, and the group of 38 travelers was exhausted. Young and old, these members of the Bnei Menashe community, which traces its descent to a lost tribe of...

The Isaac Cardoso Center for Jewish Interpretation in Trancoso, Portugal, was formally dedicated this weekend with a special "guest" - a new Torah scroll, the first to make its home in Trancoso in nearly 500 years. More than 60 people attended the dedication, including the...

[caption id="attachment_10330" align="alignleft" width="300"] Two Bnei Menashe show their brand new Israeli identity cards while still in India[/caption] Fundamentally Freund: The return of the Bnei Menashe to our people is a tangible reminder of the power of Jewish memory to overcome all obstacles, and the inevitability...

[caption id="attachment_9960" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Bnei Menashe girl looking forward to aliyah"][/caption] On October 24, the government passed an historic decision, one that paves the way for the return of a Lost Tribe of Israel to Zion. Resolution 5180, which received unanimous ministerial approval, will allow 275 members...

[caption id="attachment_9037" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="Wedding in Warsaw"][/caption] Last Thursday evening, hundreds of guests milled about, chatting amiably as they awaited the start of the joyous ceremony. Bedecked in white, the striking bride made her way down the aisle, each step drawing her closer to the wedding canopy...

[caption id="attachment_7050" align="alignright" width="195" caption="Two Italian Marranos examine the ancient underground mikva"][/caption] Tucked away in the southeastern Sicilian city of Syracuse (or Siracusa in Italian), lies one of Europe’s least-known Jewish treasures. Down a charming, narrow street just a block or two away from the...