Vox Tablet

Convince This Man You’re a Jew, and He’ll Move You to Israel

Matthew Fishbane accompanied a group of would-be Jews as they made aliyah from rural India, led by an unlikely activist

February 19, 2015
(Matthew Fishbane)

(Matthew Fishbane)

Tablet Magazine’s Matthew Fishbane likes to find Jews far from home. He’s reported from Venezuela, the Solomon Islands, and Uganda. His latest assignment took him to Manipur, India, where people from disparate hill tribes who identify themselves as Jewish—and who are known as the Bnei Menashe—prepared to make aliyah. Fishbane was there shadowing Michael Freund, an Orthodox Jew who is something of a savior to these people and who has spent 17 years working to bring hidden Jews and descendants of Lost Tribes back into the fold.

Fishbane joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss what drives Freund, how members of previous migrations of Bnei Menashe have fared in their new home, and the geopolitical implications of Freund’s activity.

Plus, Victoria Hanna’s new music video has exploded online. It mashes up the Hebrew alphabet with hip-hop beats and dance movements that seem like letters in a secret alphabet. She tells Daniel Estrin what it’s all about.

Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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