A total of 235 new immigrants from the Bnei Menashe community in India landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday as part of the Yom HaAliyah national celebration on Oct. 12-13.

Hailing from Manipur in northeast India, they have preserved Jewish traditions across generations. Their move to Israel is the result of a government decision promoted by the Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata and the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization.

The Bnei Menashe, or sons of Manasseh, claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel that were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago. Their ancestors wandered through Central Asia and the Far East for centuries before settling in what is now northeastern India, along the borders of Burma and Bangladesh.

Children from the Bnei Menashe community in India arrive in Israel on Oct. 13, 2021. Credit: Laura Ben David, courtesy of Shavei Israel.