Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Bombay (present day Mumbai)
(697 words)

There were two separate Jewish communities in Bombay: the Bene Israel (Children of Israel), and the Baghdadis. The Bene Israel claim that their ancestors were shipwrecked off the Konkan coast, south of Bombay, around 175 B.C.E. In the eighteenth century, the British enlisted them as soldiers and offered them employment beyond the confines of the Konkan villages. The first Bene Israel family moved to Bombay in 1749. By 1796, when Subedar Samaji Hasaji Divekar founded the Gate of Mercy Synagogue, there was more than a quorum of Bene Israel in the city. In 1843, the New Sy…

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Shalva Weil, “Bombay (present day Mumbai)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0004450>
First published online: 2010

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