Mumbai – Team Reemarkabl.
Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai signed a Letter of Intent with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) to develop the Jewish route in Maharashtra. Kobbi Shoshani, Israel’s Consul General to Mid-West India and Shraddha Joshi Sharma, Managing Director
of MTDC signed this document in the presence of Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra and Shri Saurabh Vijay, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Maharashtra.
Under this initiative important Jewish monuments in Mumbai and Maharashtra will be identified and will be opened for tourists around the world. Jewish people are living in Maharashtra for more than two thousand years without any fear or persecution. They adopted Marathi language, culture and customs of Maharashtra. Today, there are close to 3000 Jews in Maharashtra. The number of Israelis of Indian origin is more than 80,000, most of whom emigrated from Maharashtra. Many Israelis and Jews around the world visit Mumbai for work and tourism and are interested in visiting their ancestral places.
The idea of the project is based on the research work conducted by Dr. Saul Sapir for his scholarly book “Bombay: Exploring the Jewish Urban Heritage”. After signing the Letter of Intent, the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai with the help of the local Jewish community will install plaques in the Jewish monuments giving information about their history and significance. MTDC will prepare multiple travel itineraries, ranging from one to three days and offer it as packages with tour guide and hotels etc. The Consulate will help MTDC to market and popularize these itineraries by providing electronic media and marketing support.
This year, India and Israel are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their full diplomatic relations. This initiative will increase awareness about Indian Jewish. Appreciating the initiative Tourism Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha said that this collaboration would preserve the Jewish heritage and will boost the tourism sector of the state of Maharashtra. Consul General Kobbi Shoshani said that there is quite excitement in Israel as there is scope for increasing awareness about the Indian Jewish communities and their contribution in the contemporary history of Maharashtra among the Jews all over the world. He said that a similar effort is underway to develop the Indian Tourist Circuit in Israel.