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The History of the Jews of India

March 12, 2023 @ 1:00 pm

- Free

Please join us on Sunday, March 12 at 1pm (EDT) over Zoom for a fascinating and culturally insightful presentation on the history of the Jews of India, given by Dr. John Grayzel, PhD. An anthropologist with over 40 years of worldwide multicultural experience, his international career spans the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Philippines, India, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, and Africa. A graduate of The University of Oregon, Stanford University Law School, and Columbia University, his career includes over 30 years working in international development (including 27 years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development) and 10 years teaching in academia (including serving 5 years as the holder of the Baha’i Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland).

Throughout his career travels, Dr. Grayzel has also pursed his strong personal interest in the local Jewish history, an interest he attributes to the influence of his now deceased uncle, Rabbi Solomon Grayzel, who was the author of the well-known book A History of the Jews. It was during Dr. John Grayzel’s four years of living and working in India with his family from 1989 to 1993 that Dr. Grayzel not only studied but participated, with his family, in Jewish life in India, including the Bar Mitzvah of his son, Roland Solomon Grayzel, in New Delhi.

This presentation will give an overall sense of the incredibly rich, varied and intriguing — over 2,000 years — history of the Jews in India, including some of the contributions they made to India’s culture and development despite their relatively small numbers (tens of thousands vs hundreds of millions of others). In addition to the history itself, Dr. Grayzel will ask participants to reflect on the probing question as to why Jews outside India know so little about the Jews of India and why at least one suggested possibility may warrant profound consideration by non-Indian Jews of their current understanding of the totality of Jewish history and identity.

Dr. Grayzel’s wife, Mary, will join him in this presentation.

Please RSVP via our website for what will be an informative and interacting presentation. Zoom information will be provided to those who RSVP once the date gets closer.


March 12, 2023
1:00 pm
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Congregation Beth Israel
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