This small community in Jayapura Western Papua is comprised of 160 members. Their story is that a few hundred years ago their ancestors were living in Chile, South America. Evidently, they had been from Spain and emigrated due to the Inquisition. Due to fear of the Inquisitions, ten men and ten women were chosen as they were the strongest members of the community and sent away to find safety on two small boats. Sailing into the Pacific ocean, they first came to Japan, and then found their way to Western Papua.
They always knew that they were Jewish. Their grandmothers told them not to enter the church, even though they accepted Christianity when forced to officially choose a religion. The term they used as a title for the elders, despite not knowing its meaning, was “melamdim” which means teachers in Hebrew. There is a second smaller community in Freeport Western Papua. They are observant of Jewish law and would like to convert officially to Judaism.
Papua Indonesia Articles and Links
- The-islands-will-rejoice. by Nili Salem B’Simcha (2018)
- Anousim in Indonesia, a New Kulanu Community by Ari Greenspan (2017)