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  • Esther Haokip and her three sons | Photo credit: Shavei Israel
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Help a Widowed Grandmother to Make Aliyah

Michael Freund - 20 August 2019

In recent years, Christians for Israel has supported the efforts of Rabbi Michael Freund, the founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel, an organisation which has brought more than 4,000 Bnei Menashe on aliyah to the Jewish state.

Shavei Israel will be bringing a large group of 250 Bnei Menashe immigrants to Israel later this year, including Esther Haokip, who has been separated from the rest of her family for decades.

That day is now rapidly approaching, and with your assistance, we can make it happen.

In this article, Michael explains how we can help Esther and her family, and others like her to return to the land of their forefathers.

This autumn, after many years of waiting, Esther Haokip will finally get to embrace her two Israeli-born grandchildren whom she has never met.

Esther, a widow, is a member of the Bnei Menashe Jewish community of northeastern India, who are descendants of one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. She has longed for the day when she could make aliyah and be reunited with her relatives in the Holy Land.

Esther resides in the Indian state of Manipur, along the borders with Burma and Bangladesh. “My husband Yishai passed away in 2009, and his dream of making aliyah was lost and unfulfilled,” she says. “However, I never abandoned my dream nor my longing to return to my homeland, the Land of Israel,” she adds.

In 2007, Esther bade a tearful farewell to her daughter, Chedva, who made aliyah. Stuck in India, Esther has not seen her daughter in more than 12 years. She missed attending Chedva’s wedding in 2011 and has not yet held Chedva’s offspring, her only grandchildren.

Before that, in 1998, Esther’s parents, brother and sister moved to Israel. “I’m very happy for them. But I miss them a lot. We have been separated for 21 years,” she says.

Esther’s painful separation from her loved ones has been very difficult for her. And since the death of her husband, she has had to take care of her three sons who live with her.

But the timing of Esther’s move to Israel, along with the other 249 Bnei Menashe who will make aliyah with her, depends in part on funding. The cost per immigrant is just US $1000, which covers airfare and transportation from India to Israel as well as some of the initial absorption costs. For every $1000 that is raised,

Esther Haokip and her three sons | Photo: Shavei Israel

Esther or another Bnei Menashe will be able to make the long journey home to Zion.

“My sons and I believe that life in Israel would be an opportunity to reconnect with our roots and our forefathers,” Esther says, adding, “but we need help to go home to Zion.”

By supporting the Bnei Menashe Aliyah, you can be part of fulfilling the Divine Will by bringing the Lord’s children back from exile.

Please give generously so that Esther Haokip’s tears of longing can, at last, be transformed into tears of joy when she is reunited with her family in Jerusalem. You can donate to Bnei Menashe Aliyah via the buttons below. Any amount is welcome!

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