Tag Archives: India

Family Origin: India, Moshav Nevatim, Israel 2007

Often framed as a monolithic society, Israel is in fact made up of the many stories of the immigrating families who have built their lives there, united under the values of a shared heritage and history. The Israeli family has a distinct blend of customs from their original home country and the homeland. Immigration to …

Purim’s Gandhi, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) India, 2001

To celebrate the festival of Purim, this boy in India’s capital city Mumbai has dressed up in costume, following the well-known tradition of dressing as heroes and villains from the story of Esther. But rather than a figure from the Megillah, he is wearing the iconic outfit of his country’s greatest political hero, Mohandas Gandhi, …

B’nei Yisrael Wedding, Mumbai, India, 2008

The rabbi reads from the ketuba as part of this traditional wedding ceremony in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. A ketuba is a marriage contract that outlines the husband’s responsibilities to his wife. This ancient document not only protects the woman’s rights during the marriage but also in the event she is divorced or widowed. Traditionally, the ketuba is …

Kindling Holiday Lights, Bombay (Mumbai), India, 2001

Until modern times, Shabbat and holiday lights were usually kindled with oil. In some places, like India, that’s still the custom. The woman in this photograph is lighting hanging oil lamps in honor of the holiday of Purim. Although Jewish law doesn’t require the kindling of lights for Purim, it is the tradition in her community to welcome …

Oil Pressers, Alibag, India, 2001

This Jewish family lives in Alibag, India, a small village outside of Mumbai. Many of the Jews from the towns and villages around Mumbai have worked as oil pressers for generations. In fact, they were sometimes known among their non-Jewish neighbors as Shanwar Telis, or “Saturday Oil Pressers,” because they didn’t work on Shabbat. In this picture, you …