‘Jews in Gujarat will get minority status’
small Bene Israeli community in Gujarat is now declared as a minority by the chief minister Vijay Rupani of gujrat. He announced it during the meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his 10-day visit to Israel, thus fulfilling a long-pending demand of the community in the state.
Now reduced to a handful, there are only168 members of the community in Gujarat of which 140-odd members, who are settled in Ahmedabad, gathered at the Magen Abraham synagogue in the Walled City.
The Jewish population in Gujarat is so minuscule that they didn’t even figure separately in the Census 2011, and were just mentioned as part of 16,480 ‘other communities’ in the state.
Aviv Divekar, secretary of the Magen Abraham Synagogue, said that it is truly a landmark moment for the community. “Apart from anything else, the status would ensure their property rights to the community. While the synagogue has been provided security, many of the properties related to the community need care,” he said.
Sahitya Akademi winner Esther David said, “It was a long-pending demand. The announcement recognizing the small Jewish community goes a long way in not only making us feel safer, but that our presence has been recognized as a minority in the country.”
Divekar said that they had met Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani at his office during the last session of state assembly and had represented their case. “Ahmedabad at the moment has 140 members of Jewish community whereas Gujarat has 170,” he said.