Beni-Israel - Encyclopedia


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BENI-ISRAEL (" Sons of Israel"), a colony of Jews settled on the Malabar coast in Kolaba district, Bombay presidency, chiefly centring in the native state of Janjira. With the Jews of Cochin, they represent a very ancient Judaic invasion of India, and are to be entirely distinguished from those Jews who have come to India in modern days for purposes of trade. Some authorities believe that the Beni-Israel settled in Kolaba in the 15th century, but they themselves have traditions which indicate a far longer connexion with India (see JEws: § 3).

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