An Appeal for the Shinlung
As you may know from previous newsletters, the Shinlung Jewish community (the Bnei Menashe) of northeastern India — who are of Chinese extraction — never comes to Israel according to the Law of Return. The reason is this: The community is very proud and does not want to be accused of abusing a law that is already criticized as being too generous. This is quite painful since the Shinlung feel awkward whenever they do something which diminishes their historic claim to Jewish origins.
Therefore, the day after Shinlung arrive in Israel they begin work to support themselves, at the same time that they begin absorption and formal training for conversion by the chief rabbinate. It is a remarkable feat when you consider how much money the Jewish Agency (through your federations) spends for absorption centers to the same end.
The one expense that the Shinlung need help with is transportation costs to Israel. There are now 30 Shinlung who are ready to leave for Israel and there is a $5000 shortfall in transportation expenses. While at earlier times the impediment to their arrival lay with unsympathetic ministries, the current impediment is something WE can easily overcome.
I am asking those in Kulanu who believe in the legitimacy of the Bnei Menashe or Judaism-by-choice (take your pick) to act now to help keep the Chinese Diaspora Aliyah alive.