6.7 quake hits India’s Jewish community

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The non-profit Shavei Israel reported in a statement today that the homes and property of the Bnei Menashe community there had incurred “extensive damage”. No one in the community of 7 000 was harmed, they added.
by ANT KATZ | Jan 05, 2016

Remote Jews

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck north-eastern India, inflicting damage on the infrastructure of the Jewish community of Churachandpur.

“We are in touch with the leaders of the Bnei Menashe community throughout north-eastern India. Miraculously no one in the community was harmed, but we are concerned by reports of damage to homes and property,” Shavei Israel chairman and founder, Michael Freund said.

16 India home

ABOVE: This family joined members of the Bnei Menashe Jewish community from across north-eastern India gathered in Churachandpur, in the state of Manipur, to celebrate Chanukah on December 8, 2015. (Shavei Israel)

The earthquake struck at 04:35 local time on Monday morning, 36 kilometres north-west of Imphal, the capital of Manipur Province. At least six people were killed and at least 79 injured.

Shavei Israel has set up a relief fund for victims affected by the earthquake.

Jewish Churachandpur

To put some context on the community affected, here is an extract of the final update after a Jewish Voice week-long visit three years ago. On November 2, 2012, Jewish Voice’s director of global outreach wrote the following from Churachandpur:

“It’s hard to express the level of our joy following the conclusion of this Jewish Voice outreach. As we approach the lunch hour in Churachandpur, our Jewish Voice team is busy packing and readying their personal luggage for our long departure back home. We will first drive nearly two hours back to Imphal through the beautiful and lush hills of Manipur. We will pass through village after village with unending harvest-ready rice fields in between. This afternoon we fly from Imphal back to Delhi, followed by the final fight tomorrow night back to the US.

“We enjoyed a powerful morning together in our closing Shabbat service. We enjoyed a wonderful time of praise and worship lead by Israel and Ronna. The worship was followed by nearly a full hour of testimonies and stories from the outreach week. Doctors, prayer warriors, line flow managers, administrators… all wanting to tell of the great things they experienced this week in their respective outreach roles…” 


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