Remaining Families of Cochin Jews in India to Be Brought to Israel

The remaining families of another ancient Jewish community, that of Cochin in India, will soon be brought to Israel, S. Z. Shragai, head of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department, told a meeting of Israeli members of the Zionist General Council today.

He said about 100 Cochin Jews were left of the nearly 3,000 Jews who lived in Cochin before 1948. More than 2,000 now live in Israel. There are varying opinions about the origin of the Cochin Jewish community, including the theory that the Cochin Jews came to India on King Solomon’s ships and another that they came to India via Yemen after the destruction of the Second Temple.

Aharon Zisling, head of the Jewish Agency absorption department, told the meeting that while in early 1960 there were reserves of more than 2,000 housing units for immigrants, there were no reserves now. Adding that immigrants were currently being sent to housing still under construction, he declared that new transit camps (maabarot) would not be set up under any circumstances. He reported that immigrants arriving during October came from 42 countries.

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