Judaizing movements are viewed as “lost tribes” in popular culture. This talk begins with the historical development of the identity of the Bene Israel of Maharashtra, how they emerged from an oil pressing caste in the rural Konkan Coast about 250 years ago and became urban, Mumbai-based Jews, fully accepted as part of world Jewry. They are the paradigm on a successful Judaizing movement.
Next, we consider the Bene Menashe, who live along the remote Indo-Burmese border. Emerging through dreams and visions about 60 years ago, many have studied the religion, learned Hebrew, and for the most part have immigrated to Israel, another success story modeled on the Bene Israel.
The Bene Ephraim, a very poor community in Andhra Pradesh, have begun their emergence as well, adopting Jewish practices, over the past twenty years or so.