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Indian Jews celebrate Maharashtra Day in Israel

Three hundred people from the Indian Jewish community in Israel celebrated Maharashtra Day on Thursday.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 14:58 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The Indian Jewish community in Israel celebrated 'Maharashtra Day' in Lod with a pledge to strengthen cultural and political ties with their country of origin.

Some three hundred people from the community, who immigrated from Maharashtra and are commonly referred to as Bnei Israel, arrived in this town near Tel Aviv on Thursday to participate in a day-long cultural programme in Marathi.

"We are proud of our mother tongue which gives us a distinct identity. We are committed to preserve the rich cultural heritage we brought with us from India," said Noah Massil, President of the Central Organisation of Indian Jews (COIJ) and Editor of the Marathi journal Maiboli.

Speaking on the occasion, India's Ambassador to Israel Arun Kumar Singh elaborated on recent schemes launched by the Indian government for youth of the community.

"You are a very important link between India and Israel. While contributing and integrating with the Israeli society, you have continued to maintain Indian tradition," he said.

Lod Mayor Benny Regev promised the community he would honour an Indian Jew by naming a road in the town after him.

"For several years, you have chosen the town for such a wonderful gathering and it is now our turn to show our gratefulness," Regev said.

Noting that the Lions Lod Club have won the Israeli league cricket championship six years in a row, the Mayor promised to facilitate the construction of a cricket field for the local Indian Jewish community.

First Published: Apr 28, 2006 14:58 IST