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Bombay Jewish Board Asks Israel to Protect Bene Israel Rights

The Jewish Board of Bombay, representative body of Indian Jewry, expressed concern today over the difficulties encountered by members of the Indian Bene Israel community in Israel in securing permission to marry other Israel Jews. At a special meeting of the Board called to consider the problem, the Indian Jewish leaders deplored the fact that decisions on the question made in the past by the late Chief Rabbis Herzog and Uziel were not being implemented.

The Board appealed to President Itzhak Ben-Zvi Premier David Ben-Gurion and Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim to “set matters right and remove misgivings disturbing national integration and unity” in Israel.

The Israel Chief Rabbinate, which had earlier announced that questions involving marriages between Bene Israel Jews and other Israelis would be left to the local rabbinic authorities, has indicated its satisfaction with a proposed solution to the problem whereby an Orthodox rabbinic leader would be sent to India to instruct the members of the Jewish community there in traditional Jewish practice. Indian Jewish marriage and divorce procedures had been questioned by Israeli rabbinic authorities.

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