A New Study Confirms Evidence of Jewish Ancestry among India’s Bene Israel https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/history-ideas/2017/06/a-new-study-confirms-evidence-of-jewish-ancestry-among-indias-bene-israel/

June 28, 2017 | Michele Chabin
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Of India’s three principal Jewish communities, the Bene Israel—who historically lived in the northwestern part of the country—have the most obscure origins. It was not until 1964 that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate accepted their status as Jews. According to their own legends, they are descended from fourteen shipwrecked Jewish travelers who landed on the coast of the Arabian Sea in ancient times. A recent genetic study sheds new light on the question, as Michele Chabin writes:

Using the latest tools in population genetics, a team of American and Israeli researchers were able to determine that the Bene Israel have significant Jewish ancestry that likely originated from a group of Jews from the Middle East. . . .

“Broadly speaking they looked similar to the non-Jewish Indian populations,” said Yedael Waldman, [one of the study’s co-authors]. “But when we looked deeper, we saw that they are different from other Indian populations and were significantly similar to other Jewish populations.”

Based on their findings, Waldman and his colleagues believe the Bene Israel’s descendants arrived in India anywhere from 600 to 1,000 years ago. . . . The Jewish immigrants “probably married local women” when they moved to India.

Read more on Times of Israel: http://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/on-the-genetic-trail-of-the-bene-israel/