Lost and Found: Jewish Communities of India

Contributed by Gayle Goodman

Gayle Goodman and Michael Schuster, of Sof Ma’arav, traveled to India in December 2017 to visit Jewish communities around India to research an upcoming East West Center exhibit called “Lost and Found: Jewish Communities of India.”

Gayle Goodman with members of the sisterhood of Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue

Gayle Goodman with members of the sisterhood of Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue, in the city of Thane, outside of Mumbai.

The exhibit will be opening June 10th. You can go to arts.eastwestcenter.org to subscribe and receive announcements about the opening and details of related programming. The exhibition will explore the contributions of Jews to Indian society and the impact of Indian culture on Jewish life there. Through photographs, paintings, video, ritual objects, and historical artifacts, the viewer will learn about the customs, synagogues, and rituals of these unique communities. The exhibit will also feature a Torah loaned by Temple Emanu-El.

Michael Schuster lighting Hanukah candles

Michael Schuster lighting Hanukah candles on the last night of Hanukah 2017 with Oprah and Elias Joseph of Kadavumbagan Synagogue in Ernakulam.

Related programming include a talk about the history of the Honolulu Jewish community, presented by Alex Golub of Sof Ma’arav, on July 15th at 2:00PM. Siona Benjamin, an Indian Jewish visual artist based in New York City, will be visiting and conducting workshops. There will be an illustrated talk by Michael and Gayle about their experiences with the Jewish communities in India. And for Rosh Hashanah, there will be a family celebration at the gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing members of the Honolulu Jewish community there.