Source: The Jerusalem Post
Wire Service: AP
On April 2, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A special team of rabbis from Israel will soon be sent to the Indian-Myanmar (Burma) border in order to convert thousands of members of a local tribe who have been recognized as Jews by Israel's chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, The Times of London has reported. According to the report, the tribesmen have been defined as members of the lost tribe of Menashe. Once converted, they would be able to immigrate to Israel based on the Law of Return. The mission is reportedly funded by a group of Christian Evangelicals. About 800 members of the 'Bnei Menashe' have been brought to Israel from northeast India over the last decade by a group called 'Shavei Israel.' According to 'Shavei Israel,' there is ample evidence to show that the Bnei Menashe are of Jewish descent. Their customs, including mourning rites, hygiene and the use of a lunar calendar, closely mirror Jewish traditions."