Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund greets 8-month old Netanel, who arrived Thursday from India. (Facebook) (Facebook)
Michael Freund

This moving video shows the arrival of 72 ‘Bnei Menashe’ in Israel, where they were led in prayers of thanksgiving to the Almighty – and to the State of Israel – for making their dream a reality.

Shavei Israel was founded in 2002 by Michael Freund. According to its stated mission, the organization “opens the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity.”

While serving as deputy communications director under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1997, Freund came upon a letter from a group in northeastern India called the Bnei Menashe – the Children of Menashe – saying they were descendants of the tribe of Menashe, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and were pleading to return to the Promised Land. Their letter sent Freund on a mission to learn all he could about the Lost Tribes of Israel. In the process, he discovered that all across the world there are “lost Jews” dreaming of returning to their Jewish roots.

On Thursday, Freund welcomed 72 Bnei Menashe arrivals at Ben-Gurion Airport.