Last week Rabbi Edery’s wife, Efrat took part in the annual ”Chabad of Asia Women’s Conference”. Chabad of Cochin, India, Rabbi Zalman and Sheindy Berenstein hosted the event. To date there are 14 Chabad Houses in India from the most Northern point to the Southern point, such as Vattakanal, Hampi, Kudli Beach, Puna, Varanasi, Delhi, Pushkar, Goa, Daramsala, Kasol. Each Chabad House does all that they can to help the people who come. It was truly an incredible experience seeing from up close the devotion, love and self sacrifice these emissaries have. The Chabad Houses are a light house for the many travelers and locals, they serve kosher meals on a daily basis to hundreds of travelers, and during the Holidays the festive meals and services can amount to over 500 people.
In Cochin, there were once two flourishing Jewish Communities, the larger one, known as the ”Dark Jews” date back to the time of the destruction of King Solomon’s Temple. The smaller community, known as the ”white Jews” came from Spain for business, around 400 years ago. There are about 8 beautiful Syangouges, in Ernakulam, where the dark Jews lived. Today only a handful remain, and only one synagouge is opened and hardly used. The remaining white Jews still pray in the only one Synagouge that they established 400 years ago, and Rabbi Zalman serves as their Rabbi and mentor.