While King Solomon was building the great Temple at Jerusalem in BC 961, the Jews were having trade links with Kerala in the South-West coast of India, embracing the Arabian Sea. The first
Jewish settlement in Indian in Kodungalloor (35km north of Cochin) began nearly 3000 years back, when the town started trading with Palestine and Jewish traders settled here. After the
destruction of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem, more Jewish families arrived and were warmly welcomed by the Hindu rulers.
The Jewish community has thus been tightly entwined with local trade and commerce and is regarded as the founder of the money lending business in India. The architecture of Kerala Synagogues reflect the harmonious life Jewish people led here over the centuries in their beautifully combination of Kerala and Sumerian styles.
The past decades have seen a mass emigration to Israel from the local Jewish community. This was not motivated by any intolerance, ill-treatment or by external political or social pressure, but simply the desire and religious fervor to live and die in the Holy Land. Among the remaining Jews in Kerala today, none are younger than 70. Though they miss their kin, who have long immigrated to Israel they do not intend to leave Kerala, as they are too deeply rooted in this beautiful land.