History of the Jews in India

The history of the Jews in India reaches back to ancient history. Judaism was one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India in recorded history. Indian Jews are a religious minority in India who have historically lived there with very sparse instances of anti-Semitism from the local non-Jewish majority. The better-established ancient Jewish communities have assimilated many of the local traditions through cultural diffusion. While some Indian Jews state that their ancestors arrived in India during the time of the Ancient Kingdom of Judah, others identify themselves as descendants of Ancient Israel's Ten Lost Tribes who arrived earlier. Some claim descent particularly from Ancient Israel's tribe of Menashe and are referred as the Bnei Menashe. It is estimated that India's Jewish population peaked at around 20,000 in the mid-1940s, and began to rapidly decline due to their emigration to Israel after its establishment in 1948.


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