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Indian Jews want to settle in Israel.

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    Indian Jews want to settle in Israel.

    A group from India that claims to be a lost Jewish tribe asked Israel on Tuesday to welcome it home after 2,500 years of exile - the latest request that has Israel reconsidering its open-door policy to Jews and their descendants.

    About 450 members of the Shinglung community have come to Israel over the past 10 years.

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    A group from India that claims to be a lost Jewish tribe asked Israel on Tuesday to welcome it home after 2,500 years of exile - the latest request that has Israel reconsidering its open-door policy to Jews and their descendants.

    About 450 members of the Shinglung community have come to Israel over the past 10 years.

    ``Since I was a young boy, I was taught that Israel is the place to which we have to return,'' said Samuel Joram, 39, who arrived from the Indian province of Mizuru two years ago with his mother.

    Israel, which since its inception has actively urged Jews from around the world to settle there. Nearly 2 million people in northeast India and in Myanmar, also known as Burma, are ethnically related to the Shinglung.

    Representatives of the 3,500-member Shinglung community say they are descendants of Menashe, a tribe that was lost after the Jews were exiled from Israel in 586 B.C. Joram said his ancestors, separated from Judaism's other 11 tribes, called themselves the children of Menashe.

    In the 1970s, with the help of a businessman from the Monopur province who studied at a Jewish institute in Bombay, Joram said the Shinglung began rejecting Christianity and adopting modern Jewish practices. They began coming to Israel in 1989.

    Blumenthal said experts would be appointed to investigate the origins of the Shinglung.
    ``The longing and love for Israel is still there today,'' he said.

    There was a sizable Jewish community in Maharashtra and Kerala but many have migrated to Israel. Unlike other countries India was a country where the Jews were never persecuted.

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