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Bnei Ephraim
Total population
350[1]
Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh, India:
  350 (estimate)[1]
Languages

Telugu, Hebrew

Religion

Judaism

Related ethnic groups

Tradition :
Jews
  Indian Jews
    Bnei Ephraim
Ethnobiology :
  Jewish
   Bnei Ephraim

The Bene Ephraim, (Hebrew: "Sons of Ephraim") also called Telugu Jews because they speak Telugu, are a small community of Jews living primarily in Kottareddipalem, a village outside Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, near the delta of the River Krishna.[1][2][3]

The Bene Ephraim claim to trace their observance of Judaism back to ancient times, and recount a history similar to that of the Bnei Menashe in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur: adoption of Christianity upon the arrival of Baptist missionaries around the beginning of the 19th century.

Since 1981[2], about fifty families around Kottareddipalem and Ongole (capital of the nearby district of Prakasham) have studied Judaism, learned Hebrew, and sought recognition from other Jewish communities around the world. Because of the very recent emergence of this community, and the current overwhelming emphasis on the use of Hebrew as a living language, rather than merely a liturgical language, the impact of Hebrew on the daily speech of this community has not led to the development, as yet, of a distinctly identifiable "Judæo-Telugu" language or dialect. (See Jewish languages.)

The community has been visited over the years, by several groups of rabbis, who have thus far not seen fit to extend the same recognition to this community as that recently extended to the Bnei Menashe.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Primack, Karen. Meeting the Jews of Andhra Pradesh. 2007
  2. ^ a b Yacobi, Sadok. Bene Ephraim of Andhra Pradesh, South India
  3. ^ A week with the Bene Ephraim of Andra Pradesh entry in blog "Next Year In Mumbai : The Blog" March 18, 2008.
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