November 28th, 2008
02:06 PM ET

The deep Jewish roots in India

David Schechter
CNN Senior National editor

Some people have been puzzled or surprised that a Jewish Center, called a Chabad house, was attacked in Mumbai. It's true that the Jewish population in India numbers just a few thousand - in a country of billions. But Jews have a long history in India, maybe 2,500 years; and some say they are descended from one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel.

Most of India's Jews live in Mumbai, making it a natural place to find Chabad, a movement within Orthodox Judaism that sends emissaries world-wide from its headquarters in the Crown Heights section of New York City.

Mumbai also is a center of international business and a city frequented by young Israelis, who set off to see the world after completing their military service obligation and before entering university. Chabad is even big in Katmandu.

Chabad is an acronym of the Jewish words for wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Though rooted in the oldest of Jewish beliefs, Chabad also spreads its message online at http://www.chabad.org. And if you'd like to know more, a good read about Chabad is "The Rebbe's Army" by Sue Fishkoff.

Watch Nic Robertson's report on the stand-off at a Chabad in Mumbai.

Filed under: David Schechter • India • India Attacked
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Phyllis - Florida

    Don't understand why people are always surprised re Jews in India, since Diaspora, Jews live in and among people of almost every country in the world. Am always surprised people don't know there are Chinese Jews, Japanese Jews, etc. TU for the mention of the Sue Fishkoff book "The Rebbe's Army"

    November 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm |