Israel is investing millions of shekels to bring hundreds of members of India’s Bnei Menashe community to the Jewish state and oversee their conversions to Judaism by the end of December this year, an Absorption Ministry document waiving the usual procedure for such immigration confirmed, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Sunday. According to the report, the document was presented to the non-profit organization Shavei Israel, which has been actively involved in trying to help the Bnei Menashe community from northeastern India move to Israel and undergo official conversions to the religion with which they claim to identify.

What is special about the document – which states that NIS 8.1 million (just over $2 million) will be allocated to bringing 712 Bnei Menashe members to Israel, converting them to Judaism and overseeing the process until they receive the temporary Israeli ID cards given to all new immigrants – is that it also constitutes a waiver of the “tender” procedure normally involved in such operations. READ MORE