ICEJ to sponsor first aliyah flight for Bnei Menashe
ICEJ: "I will bring your descendants from the East.” Isaiah 43:5-7
For hundreds of families in northeast India, the news could not have been more exciting!
After spending several years in limbo, members of the Bnei Menashe tribe were recently informed that Israeli authorities are ready to allow aliyah flights for their community. The first planeload is expected to arrive in Israel by September and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem will have the privilege of sponsoring this initial flight.
The Bnei Menashe, meaning “Sons of Manasseh” , claim descent from one of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago. Their ancestors wandered for centuries along the Silk Road through Central Asia and the Far East, before settling in what is now northeast India, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh.
Throughout their sojourn in exile the Bnei Menashe continued to practice Judaism, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals, and following the laws of family purity. And they continued to dream of one day returning to the Land of Israel.
Rediscovered in modern times, the Bnei Menashe were officially recognised by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate as having Jewish ancestry in 2005. Some 1,700 Bnei Menashe were then able to make the journey back to Israel, but their aliyah has been suspended since 2007.
The remaining 7,200 members of the community have thus been living the past five years in uncertainty about their future. But their main advocate, Michael Freund, has now managed to persuade Israeli officials to continue their aliyah. The first plane of 270 Bnei Menashe is expected to arrive in September, just in time for the start of the new school year.
This first wave of 50 Bnei Menashe families will likely be followed by another flight in time for Hanukkah in December.
“The return of this lost tribe to Zion more than 2,700 years after their ancestors were exiled by the Assyrian empire is nothing less than a miracle”, said Freund.
“The Israeli government and Jewish Agency have approached the International Christian Embassy to help pay for their flights,” added Howard Flower, the ICEJ’s Director of Aliyah Operations. “So we have stepped into the gap and pledged to cover the first flight planned for September and hopefully more to come.”
Soon after their arrival, each family will be eligible to receive government funding to help pay for their housing and other absorption costs. The families will eventually be settled in the Galilee.
The return of the Bnei Menashe provides an amazing opportunity for Christians to express our love and support for Israel, and to participate in the promised last-day return of the Jewish people to their homeland. But we need your immediate help, as the expected costs for the first flight of Bnei Menashe will be more than $300,000.
So please give generously to make the dreams of the Bnei Menashe come true, according to God’s promise to bring home Israel’s descendants “from the East!”
Be a part of fulfilling biblical prophecy, as the sons of Israel's return to their borders.