22 Mar Meet Revital Haokip, Bnei Menashe toddler who just made aliyah
Eighteen-month-old Revital Haokip was among the 204 members of the “lost” northeastern Indian tribe of Bnei Menashe who Shavei Israel assisted in bringing to Israel on aliyah this week. Haokip, her older sister Emunah, and her parents Yoel and Nurit landed at Ben-Gurion Airport Tuesday and another group arrived Thursday.
The 204 new immigrants come from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, on the border with Burma, and which is home to the largest concentration of Bnei Menashe in India. The new immigrants plan on settling in the Galilee, where many Bnei Menashe immigrants have made homes. They initially will reside in Shavei Israel’s absorption center in Kfar Hasidim, where they will formally convert to Judaism.
“This is very exciting for all of us. We are witnessing a modern-day exodus from India a week before these new olim will celebrate their Passover in Israel. After 27 centuries of exile, this lost tribe of Israel is finally making its way home,” said Shavei Israel Founder and Chairmane will not rest until all the remaining Bnei Menashe still in India are able to make Aliyah as well.”
“I’m so happy that I don’t know how to express my feelings,” said Mr. Haokip, who was reunited yesterday with his parents, brothers and sister, whom he hadn’t seen in three years and who were introduced to their granddaughter for the first time. “We have waited many years for this. This year in Jerusalem!”
Photos: Laura Ben-David