Lost & Hidden Jews Around the World Share the Light of Hanukkah

December 24, 2014

2 min read

Lost and hidden Jews all over the world, in places as remote as El Salvador, India and Poland, are reconnecting to their Jewish roots and rekindling the Jewish spark in their souls.

On one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays of the yearly cycle, the lost Jews are reviving their spiritual connection to Judaism with the help of the Israel Returns organization.

shavei israel el salvador hanukkah“We remember the miracles that took place when a few Jewish soldiers overcame the mighty enemy armies, and we see spiritual miracles today as lost and hidden Jews find their way home,” a post by the organization explains.

Laura Ben David, Director of Marketing forIsrael Returns told Breaking Israel News that her organization’s staff in Israel and in various communities around the world are dedicated to facilitating Jewish renewal and imbuing the communities of lost and hidden Jews with the rich traditions that they have been without for so long.

“Whether through special seminars and study groups, small parties or grand celebrations, performances as well as communal observance of the festivals, no efforts are spared to bring the light of the Jewish holidays and customs to these communities the world over,” she said.

And Hanukkah is no different.

“Israel Returns is proud of the huge part it has played in bringing back such great numbers of previously lost or disconnected Jews who are returning to their roots and celebrating the holiday of Hanukkah with us this year,” she explained.

Among the communities that Israel Returns has helped to reconnect with their Jewish heritage are those in El Salvador, Sabotnik Jews in Russia, communities in Poland, Bnei Menashe Jews from India, and Jews in Kaifeng, China.

shavei bnei menashe hanukkahOf course Israel Returns is also helping recently returned Jews who have merited to come and live in Israel. The Bnei Menashe immigrant community, some of whom moved to Israel just this past year and live in Kfar Hasidim, celebrated their first Hanukkah in their new home in Israel. The celebration was sponsored by Israel Returns.

“It is so special to see Israel’s newest immigrants lighting the Hanukkah candles and enjoying delicious sufganiyot. With God’s help, this will be the first of many beautiful Hanukkah celebrations in Israel for the newest arrivals from ‘Operation Menashe,’” the organization shared on social media.

In one particular post, children from the Bnei Menashe community are seen dressed up like the mighty Maccabees: “Bnei Menashe Jewish children who just came home to Israel made a play about Hanukkah. These are the true modern day Maccabees!”

Israel Returns works tirelessly to bring Judaism to lost or hidden Jews around the world in an effort to reawaken and help lost Jews connect to their heritage, their culture, and their homeland. This Hanukkah, they brought light to hundreds of people whose holiday is all that much brighter because of the work that they do.

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