Offering Aid to the Bnei Menashe Lost Tribe Before Aliyah

2012 Jewish Voice medical clinic in Manipur.

2012 Jewish Voice medical clinic in Manipur.

By Jonathan Gannon,
Director of Global Outreach for Jewish Voice

DATELINE: Manipur, INDIA
October  28, 2012 7:47 a.m.

This is our third Jewish Voice medical outreach to the Bnei Menashe Jewish community of Manipur. We are situated in far eastern India, near Burma and Bangladesh. Our Jewish Voice team of 42 participants (staff, medical professionals, and volunteers) arrived just over 50 hours ago. The journey here has been immensely challenging, but full of the Lord’s miraculous provision.

There is much mystery surrounding our target audience here in Manipur, the Bnei Menashe community. This Jewish community is considered by many to be one of the Lost Tribes of Israel and is the focus of much international research and publication. In fact, rabbis from Israel have been coming to this humble region for more than 30 years with the goal of imparting traditional rabbinic Judaism to the Bnei Menashe.

How do we know that these people are actually of Israelite origin? Well, there are several factors that suggest strongly that the claims are indeed true. The first clue lies within the name of the Mizo and Kuki tribal ancestor “Manmaseh” (which is phonetically close to the name Manasseh, one of the tribes of Israel). (more…)

The Bnei Menashe and the Lord of the Harvest

By Benjamin Levitt,
Jewish Voice Lead International Logistics Manager

DATELINE: Churachandpur, Manipur, India
Saturday, November 5, 2011

Silence . . .

Silence is all we hear as we take ten minutes to stop speaking and look out over the broad valley of Churachandpur from Prayer Mountain where we commissioned the clinic week in prayer only six days ago. It seems like a month…

As we cease from our work this past week, enter into Shabbat, and rest in what the Lord has done during this year’s Manipur clinic, we hear only the birds chirping and the occasional wisp of wind. We are all “spent” but content at the same time; exhausted, yet somehow joyful and full of the Lord.

As we worship together and then sit in silence, several team members agree that they sense, if not clearly hear, the Lord’s pleasure and satisfaction in our labor of love these past five days. This is not the kind of empty exhaustion that comes from spinning our wheels, attending to our own devices, pursuing our own pleasures and comforts for personal gain. This is the pregnant exhaustion of having partnered with the living God of Israel according to His heart and His purposes, having spent ourselves on behalf of the poor and needy, and having proclaimed good news and release to the captives and the hopeless—having comforted His People, as Isaiah commanded, knowing the seeds that were sown will bear much fruit—in Churachandpur, in Israel, and in eternity. (more…)

Manipur Grandma Gains Relief

By Lavi Matesan,
Jewish Voice Photojournalist/Reporter

Lavi Matesan tells us what happened during the first day of our free, five-day medical clinic to the Bnei Menashe and surrounding community in Manipur, India.

DATELINE: Churachandpur, Manipur, INDIA

FIrst Day Manipur Clinic stats:

  • 990 seen in the clinic
  • 243 received prayer in the Prayer Room
  • 8 received Yeshua as Messiah

It was a full and busy first day at the clinic. We have teamed up with a local hospital and we are operating out of it, holding the Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI) medical outreach for the five days that we are in Churachandpur, Manipur.

Ninghau and her grandson David receive help from Jewish Voice.

Ninghau and her grandson David receive help from Jewish Voice.

Two hundred Bnei Menashe, a people group believed to be descendants of the Lost Tribe of Manasseh, awaited treatment from our clinicians. They were among the 990 total seen at the medical clinic today.

Among the Bnei Menashe were 57-year-old Ninghau, who had been suffering with abdominal pain for 10 years, and her 5-year-old grandson David, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Though the boy had surgery at 4 months of age to correct these conditions, the hole in the roof of his mouth resurfaced and expanded, making surgery necessary again. (more…)

Cherokees a Lost Tribe?

During the August 9, 2010 interactive Jewish Voice webcast, Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis debunks the myth that the Cherokee Indians are one of the ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

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Operation India: Our Season of Favor

Hidden away in the high plains and mountainous jungles of India’s northeast sector, hundreds of thousands of needy people declared by the State of Israel to be “of Jewish origin” live without access to adequate medical care.

In an Indian state normally closed off to Westerners, Jewish Voice has received unprecedented favor and permission to come in with a team of volunteers to bless one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Bnei Menashe, in Yeshua’s (Jesus’) name.

We have a short term medical mission trip to Manipur, India available. We need medical volunteers and prayer warriors to serve in our free medical, eye, dental clinics and on-site prayer room. Come and join us on this medical mission to India!

Operation Manipur

Dates: November 4-15, 2010

Location: Manipur, India

People: Hmar Tribe

Setting: Newly built hospital in the Mizo community

Phase: First ever JVMI outreach to Manipur

Impact: Minister to the Bnei Menashe and their neighbors at a clinic site literally across the street from the Jewish community

Cost: USD $2,680 Full Package (included airfare from NYC); USD $1,450 Land Package only. Taj Mahal tour included in both packages.

Jewish Voice medical outreaches

Jewish Voice Ministries International

YouTube Video: The Gefat Jewish Community

Jewish Voice was introduced to this new Jewish community when Jonathan Bernis was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, earlier this year for a Jewish Voice medical outreach and learned this tribe lived a couple of hours away. A visit to the region was quickly set up, and the adventure began.

You might have already read about the Gefat tribe of Southern Ethiopia in a previous blog post. If you haven’t read the post, check out Discovering the Gefat. In this blog post you will gain introductory knowledge of the Gefat and enjoy a photo gallery.

Now we want to share this YouTube video, so you can better understand the life and culture of these Jewish people and the geographical area where they reside.

Discovering the Gefat: A New Ethiopian Jewish Community

Gefat children of Waliso, Ethiopia.

Gefat children of Waliso, Ethiopia.

Recently, while on a medical outreach to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jonathan Bernis and several members of the Jewish Voice team took a trip two hours south by car from Addis to an area called Waliso to meet a new Jewish community.

Gefat Tribe Facts

  • They number between 10,000-15,000 in a 5 kilometer area. In the larger 30 kilometer region, there are as many as 30,000 of these people.
  • The history of the Gefat goes back 600 years. They originally migrated from Addis Ababa.
  • They are known as the Fuga, a derogatory term that means “hated, un-liked people.” The original meaning of Fuga was “blower,” because they were blowers of the shofar. The term then became derogatory – as in dry up and blow away from us.
  • Cultural Jewish expressions: They circumcise their males on the eighth day and they celebrate different biblical feasts. In honor of Passover, they kill a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts and on their foreheads.
  • Like the other Jewish communities in Ethiopia, they are also artisans. Their pottery closely resembles the pottery of the Beta Israel and Beta Avraham.

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