10 Dec Shavei Israel programs part of diaspora mission
Laura Ben David, Shavei’s director of marketing and new media, visited a number of North American Jewish communities as part of her volunteer work for OTS Amiel Bakehila under the sponsorship of Israel’s Ministry of the Diaspora. In her most recent travels she had the opportunity to speak about the lost and hidden Jews all over the world and the work Shavei Israel is constantly doing to reconnect them with their heritage. Laura’s travels included to San Antonio, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico and Long Branch, New Jersey.
In San Antonio, Laura spoke about the Bnei Menashe of northeast India to members of Congregation Rodfei Sholom. The participants were quite moved and most had never heard of the Bnei Menashe.
Santa Fe held a lovely Saturday night event with Indian food as a setting for the program about the Lost Jewish Tribe that ended up in India for centuries and is being assisted to return to Zion by Shavei Israel. Another community that Shavei works with that interested the Santa Fe residents greatly was the Crypto Jews – those descendants of Jews who were forcibly converted in the Spanish Inquisition. In fact, there are many people in Santa Fe who, themselves, claim descent from this community so it opened many conversations and hope for more local work on this subject in the near future.
The attendees of Laura’s lectures were very excited and gave lots of positive feedback. “We loved it!” shared one of them. “You make me want to look into working for Shavei Israel or a similar type of organization when my kids are grown.”
To host one of Shavei Israel’s dynamic speakers at your synagogue or community center, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.