Tucked away in a corner of the high-end Humayun Road, near Khan Market, lies a modest looking structure, hardly noticeable to a passerby except for the large Star of David that adorns its front wall. Locating this humble piece of architecture is not an easy task as the community it represents, the Jews, is barely recognised by those inhabiting the area. The Synagogue Judah Hyam Hall is the only place of worship in Delhi for Jews, a special minority group whose entry into the country can be traced to 2,000 years back. On Tuesday, as PM Narendra Modi lands in Israel as the first Indian prime minister to do so, this tiny and barely visible community in India has demanded minority status for themselves, more as an attempt to get recognition for the large contributions they have made to India’s socio-cultural life, rather than for distinguishing themselves from the Indian majority.
“Israel is in my heart, India is in my blood,” says Ezekiel I Malekar, the Rabbi (head priest) of the Synagogue Judah Hyam Hall. The Rabbi, who has been the head secretary and caretaker of the synagogue since 1980 without any form of remuneration, claims that for the Jews in India, they are Indians first and Jews second. Looking back at the long history of association between Jews and Indians, he claims India is the most tolerant country in the world and one of the only places where Jews did not have to experience anti-semitism.
Read more full story: http://indianexpress.com/article/research/narendra-modi-in-israel-here-is-everything-you-need-to-know-about-indian-jews/