It is believed that the first Jews settled in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) as early as the 6th century, though they were small in number. By the 18th century, Jews began to arrive on-masse in Mumbai
from the nearby Konkan coast area, due to its economic opportunities. The Jewish community of Mumbai consisted of the remnants of three distinct communities: the Bene Israeli Jews of Konkan, the Baghdadi Jews of Iraq, and the
Cochin Jews of Malabar. At its peak, in the late 1940s, the Jewish population of Bombay reached nearly 30,000
The Jews of India lived in harmony with the Indian people and found that the Hindu religion was tolerant of their beliefs and practices allowing them to preserve their own distinct culture for centuries. The impact though of the Jewish residents, on the permanent landscape of the city, is far greater than its numbers. A walk through Bombay is steeped in Jewish history and Jewish institutions.
Today, the local community is home to the majority of India's rapidly dwindling Jewish population. Mumbai Jews' ties with their city's Muslim community have historically been strong and remain so even after the Mumbai attacks. The two groups have been drawn together as minorities in a Hindu-dominated land and share common districts of the city. Mumbai's Muslim Council had ordered that the nine gunmen killed should not be buried in the city, a gesture which was highly appreciated by the Mumbai Jewish community.