ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000


VOLUME : 5, ISSUE : 3, July-September, 2017 (ISSN No. : 2321-4155)

Jewish Diaspora of Mumbai in the Late 19th Century as Covered by Press

Dr. Neeta M. Khandpekar*

The press penetrates every nook and corner of the society. It searches out and apprehends the most recluse and the most unsocial in the city and in the field. The Diaspora1 (from the Greek, meaning “dispersion”) has been the characteristic mode of existence of the Jewish people for more than two and a half millennia.2 Today Jews in India are a miniscule minority who don’t even find a separate mention in the census. In the religion-wise break-up of India’s demographics, Jews figure in the ‘Others’ category which makes up 0.7% of the country’s population. 40, 000 Jews from India immigrated to Israel upon its creation in 1948. According to the 2009 data by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the number of Jews in India is 5, 000.3 Today Israel and U.S. account for 81% of Jews.4 The present paper tries to explore news items on Jews especially the Bene Israel group of Jews as highlighted by some Christian Newspapers like Bombay Guardian (BG) and Oriental Christian Spectator (OCS). Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Thane, Dombivli, Ahmedabad and villages around Raigad in Maharashtra constitute the belt where one can find the largest representation of this ancient faith in India. An attempt has been made in the present study to look at the Jewish community altogether through the prism of modern press in India.

Keywords: Bene Israel, Christian Newspapers, Community, Diaspora, India, Jews.