Formerly known as Bombay in English, Mumbai is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. Mumbai is not only the richest city in India, but also the most populous one; with population of approximately 20.5 million, it is the sixth most populous city in the world.
It is home to the Bene Israel and Baghdadi Jewish communities; The Bene Israel arrived in the state 2100 years ago. For generations they lived as a distinct endogamous group in rural villages, observing the Sabbath, circumcising their male children and celebrating Jewish holidays related to the Bible. By the end of the first half of the 20th century, their population has picked at an estimated 25,000! Since then most of them have migrated and less than 5000 persons remain. The Baghdadi Jews, Jews who have arrived from the area between the Tigri and Euphrates rivers, as well as Syria, Yemen, Persia and Afghanistan, were successful merchants who moved, encouraged by the British, to the developing cities of Calcutta and Bombay. They remained attached to the teaching and tradition of Baghdad, however after World War I, they tended to refer to the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of England.
Join us on a Jewish Heritage tour of Mumbai and enjoy some insights into a hidden world which is not easy to discover!