Knanaya Christians and the Cochin Jews

Dr. Shalva Weil conducted a detailed study on the Symmetry between Knanite Christians and the Cochin Jews of Kerala.

Prof. Dr. Shalva Weil is editor of India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art, and Life-Cycle (New Delhi: Marg publications, 2002; 3rd edition 2009), and co-editor of  Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-First Century: A View from the Margin(Palgrave-Macmillan Press).  She is Senior Researcher at the Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.  She is a graduate of the London School of Economics and received her D. Phil in anthroplogy from Sussex University.  Shalva Weil  has specialized in research on the Jews of India for thirty years, including  three years fieldwork with the Bene Israel Indian Jews in Israel. Her publications include numerous scientific articles on the Bene Israel, an edited volume on Cochin Jews, essays on the Baghdadi Jews, and papers on the Shinlung (Bnei Menasseh) in Mizoram and Manipur.

In 1996, she was invited by Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to attend the India Studies Symposium, where she lectured on Co-Existence in India: the Case of the Cochin Jews.  In 1991, she curated an exhibition at Beth Hatefutsoth: the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora on the Ten Lost Tribes, in which India was prominently featured.  In 2002, she organised an international conference on Indo-Judaic studies at Oxford University, a field in which she is a forerunner.  In 2005, she curated an exhibition on the Cochin Jews in the village of Chennamangalam, Kerala, where ws instrumental in reconstructing an ancient synagogue. She is on the editorial board of several international journals, including the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies.  Dr. Weil is founding Chairperson (with Zubin Mehta as President) of the Israel-India Cultural Association, the official friendship association between the two countries.  She has just completed an edited volme with Prof. David Shulman entitled Karmic Passages: Israeli Scholarship on India (Permanent Black).

Please click on the links below to read her two articles:


To read her article, “Symmetry between Christians and Jews in India: the Cnanite Christians and the Cochin Jews of Kerala,” payment is necessary.  For details, Click Here