People of Jewish faith from Jerusalem and people of the Ganges are coming together in harmony today because of a timeless act two thousand years ago that added a beautiful pattern on the fabric of Mother India.
I have known friends who yearned to go to their Dharmabhumi- the holy land of faith- Israel but in their heart remained Indians, as India remained their Matrubhumi- the Mother land. Together our cultures transformed the air of Alibaug and Cochin by spreading joy while celebrating Hanukkah, Diwali together.
This magazine is dedicated to the people of the Jewish faith and of all faiths of India who did something phenomenal together two thousand years ago beginning on the shores of Alibaug and set a principal that we still follow today. These values are inspired by their saga of valor and an unwavering commitment to contribute their best to enhance the glory of the cultures of India and Israel. They have contributed immensely to the growth of our journey together.
Not as guests or casual visitors, but as one of us. The Indian cinema, arts, culture, philanthropy, military victories, political and social arena and, above all, the humanitarian aspect of our national life has essentially had a Jewish thread always and everywhere. Namaste Shalom appeals itself to that spirit of giving and not wanting anything in return.
We promise to give you stories from the Ganges to Jerusalem – in each issue. Please share your ideas, thoughts, anecdotes, and articles with Namaste Shalom -you are invited to be a part of Namaste Shalom. It is a four thousand six hundred and ten kilometer mile long voyage of hope, faith and togetherness that begins with prayers in temples, synagogues, mosques & churches and completes in the temple at the mount. Prime Minister Narendra Bhai Modi’s historic and path breaking visit to Israel in September last year will remain a milestone in bilateral relations as glorious and as unforgettable as the stars in the sky and the tricolors on our flag. It has created a new script for our friendship, and we have found it befitting that on the occasion of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s India visit, we are launching Namaste Shalom.
This is dedicated to the chemistry of the friendship between Modi and Netanyahu, between the two great people of India and Israel. It shall be a cross-cultural embarkation of sharing beliefs and telling the story of Indians and Jewish people world over. Thanks a million to the President Shri Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi ji for your encouragement and support to this noble cause.
Our dear Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis has been a great help and guide to our efforts and is creating a new chapter of friendship by helping build a historic museum and memorial at Alibaug to pay homage to the great story of the arrival of the Jewish people two millenniums ago. Thank you Devendra ji for your prompt and swift action on this matter of great emotional and historical significance.
The Bene Israel Heritage Museum and Genealogical Research Centre has been the fundamental to this effort and no words of thanks are enough to express our gratitude to
all dear friends in the Mumbai Jewry. In the best traditions of those of our ancestors who lay the foundation of this mutual trust and togetherness, this magazine is dedicated with humility.
We seek and pray for your blessings, support and guidance. The help and support from friends for Namaste Shalom has been amazing, and it has overwhelmed us.
Looking forward seeing you in our next issue, Namaste Shalom