May 02, 2005

'Maharashtra Day' celebrated in Israel

Lod (Israel), May 2: The Indian Jewish community in Israel has celebrated 'Maharashtra Day' with a pledge to strengthen political and cultural ties with their country of origin.Hundreds of Indian Jews, who immigrated from Maharashtra and are commonly referred to as Bene Israel, descended to this small town near Tel Aviv to participate in a day-long cultural programme in Marathi."We are proud of our Indian heritage and with Israel chosen among the countries where people of Indian origin will be extended dual citizenship, this sentiment will hopefully soon get a new meaning," said Noah Massil, president of Central Organisation of Indian Jews in Israel and Editor of Marathi journal 'Maiboli'.Thanking the Indian government for the gesture, Massil said, "We haven't forgotten how we were treated in India where there was no trace of anti-semitism and we have brought with us a message of love and peaceful existence to Israel."Indian Ambassador to Israel, Arun Kumar Singh, greeting the community on the occasion in Marathi got a rousing welcome."You are a very important link between India and Israel. While contributing and integrating with the Israeli society, you have continued to maintain the Indian tradition", Singh said, and commended the Indian Jewish community. (Agencies)www.chennaionline.com/col...E=National

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