Pune: As India celebrates its 70th Republic Day, the Bene Israeli community on Saturday hoisted the Indian national flag at its synagogue here.
Speaking to ANI, Yosef Nowgaonkar from the Bene Israeli community said, “Our ancestors have been in India for years and hence we are an Indian. We are never scared of our own brothers and sisters in India. We feel proud celebrating these days at our holy place.”
The flag was hoisted at the Succath Shelemo Synagogue.
The tradition of hoisting the national flag was started at Pune’s Synagogue after 1971 when the law was made to
allow hoisting of the Indian flag on non-government buildings.
The flag is hoisted every year on Independence Day as well as on Republic Day. There are about 300 Jewish people living in Pune from different tribes in which the population of the Indian origin Jews or Bene-Israel is very less.
Israel’s Ambassador to India Ron Molka also extended his greeting and best wishes to India on the occasion of its 70th Republic Day.
“Wishing all our friends in India Happy Republic Day from everyone in Israel,” Molka said on Twitter.
He also shared a video message on the social networking site, “Namaste, on the behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and people of Israel I want to wish all our friend in India a very happy Republic Day. Jai Hind (Hail India).”