Laura Ben-David
Sharing Israel with the world through my lens

Bnei Menashe Aliyah in jeopardy

It’s been six months since my eventful trip to India which irrevocably connected me to the Bnei Menashe. These special people, believed to be of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, have finally been returning to their lost homeland after 2700 years. In November Shavei Israel brought 250 of them to Israel. And I had the honor of escorting some of them on their Aliyah flight.

They spent their three months at the Shavei Israel absorption center learning Hebrew, learning for their conversion, learning how to live in a land that was lost to them for so incredibly long, yet never forgotten.

(Full disclosure – I am director of marketing at Shavei Israel. But my love for the Bnei Menashe is my own…)

They’ve formally converted – all 250 of them, one at a time. They’ve formally made Aliyah. They’ve moved to their new homes in Tzefat to make room for the next group of Bnei Menashe who themselves had already been preparing for the biggest move of their lives, to fulfill a dream that you will be hard-pressed to find a Bnei Menashe who does not share.

Alas, the Aliyah date came and went. Brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents…all waiting in their little village in northeast India, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Houses packed up; businesses sold. But the Aliyah didn’t happen. Because, quite frankly, the money wasn’t there. It was heartbreaking. But all was not lost.

Major efforts have been made, and half of the million dollars necessary has been secured. Enough to at least commit to make it happen…and pray we can get the rest.

Though I’m not much of a fundraiser, these people are too important to me; I had to put my own comfort aside, and just put it out there. So I am turning to you… If you find it in your heart, please help make the Bnei Menashe Aliyah dream a reality.

Click here to make a difference. 

Image from the Bnei Menashe campaign to help bring them home.
Image from the Bnei Menashe campaign to help bring them home. (Photo credit: Laura Ben-David)
About the Author
Laura Ben-David is a photographer, public speaker and Israel advocate. Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura began writing and never stopped. She is the author of the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has spoken all over the world about Israel, Aliyah and other topics, often with beautiful photographic presentations. Formerly the head of social media at Nefesh B'Nefesh, Laura is the director of marketing at Shavei Israel as well as a marketing consultant.
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