A "Lost" Jewish Tribe in India?


A "lost" Jewish tribe in India?

FIU expert to weigh the evidence in upcoming lecture

"Who is a Jew?" It was once much easier to answer that, before discovering communities like Bnei Menashe in northeastern India. Such communities have changed the long-running "Who is a Jew" debate, from individual heritage to the claims of entire groups to a connection with the Jewish people.

FIU professor Galit Shashoua will discuss the issues in "Messianic Religious Zionism and the Lost Tribes: The Case of the Bnei Menashe." Her talk is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

Shashoua’s lecture will also examine Bnei Menashe's paradoxical status in world Jewry. On the one hand, the State of Israel is typically inclusive, but initially rejected the group; on the other, the Orthodox rabbinate, which is traditionally much more exclusive, has accepted Bnei Menashe as genuine Jews.

Galit Shashoua is a visiting professor at FIU's department of religious studies. She has taught at Columbia University, Drew University and the University of Miami.

Her talk is part of FIU's Mondays at the Museum series. Admission is $10 for the public, $5 for museum members, free for students with valid ID.

To RSVP, e-mail info@jewishmuseum.com or call 786-972-3175.