Talk:Cochin Jews

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The photo "Cochin_Jews.jpg" looks as if it isn't real. The relationship of the faces to the bodies suggest that it is a composite image. Does anyone else agree? Arnell700 (talk) 03:33, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Research and expand[edit]

There seems to be a lot of information about the Cochin Jews on the Internet. It might be worth doing some research to expand this article, or at least to add some useful external links. -- Jmabel 18:46, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Angry women[edit]

Man, the women in the picture at the top of the page look VERY angry.

No wonder the men in the picture look scared out of their wits. (talk) 04:15, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


Did these Jews slowly develop a caste system similar to that of their Hindu neighbours? (anonymously asked Oct 27, 2004)

Edna Fernandes (the journalist whose 2008 book is the source of most of the article) attributes the downgrading of the Black Jews to the arrival from Europe in the 16th century of the White Jews. This would have been a consequence of the expulsion of Spanish Jews by Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon under the Alhambra Decree of 1492 and related actions in other countries. The details of the disabilities of the majority group resemble those imposed by higher on lower Hindu castes.

There is no suggestion of the development of caste distinctions within the Jewish community before the arrival of Europeans Jews. The Jews may not have been numerous enough to have to perform all social roles within their communities, so they may not in earlier times have felt the pressure to develop the unacknowledged caste structure that the Indian Christians, Muslims and Sikhs did.

The period after the 16th century may have seen the general exaggeration of caste distinctions in what later became Kerala to the extent that in the 19th century Swami Vivekananda called the area a "madhouse." NRPanikker (talk) 01:36, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

"St. Thomas"[edit]

From the article: "Another reason why there was a reduction in Jewish population in old times was conversion to Christianity. When St. Thomas came to Kerala to spread Christianity, many Jews also joined among Nasrani Christians." I presume this means to refer to Thomas (apostle), but even granting the somewhat questionable legend of his coming to India, this would probably be around the same time the Jews would have arrived there. The story of Thomas is so shrouded in legend that I cannot imagine how one could possibly confidently say that he converted Jews at that time. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:42, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)


I have removed the word 'Moors' and replaced it with Muslims, because 'Moors' in the context of 16th century India seems like a total Misnomer suggestive of Spain and North Africa. However im not very familiar with the particular history so if anyone has further information or some clarification to add please do so. Isthatyou 15:57, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You have? Jayjg (talk) 18:08, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ok, so it took me a little while, Heh. Isthatyou 21:51, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

USA in Kerala?[edit]

"Significant populations in: Israel 8000 (est.) Kerala 52 (including Cochin, Ernakulam, Parur, Aluva and in USA)" - Kerala, including USA??? Shouldn't USA form a separate row? --Oop 22:56, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

  • Clearly; I'll edit accordingly. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:07, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, what constitutes "significant population" (since it's been removed completely now)? I am Cochini Jewish and I grew up in the US and have family there, though I can't imagine the 8 or so of us alone count as a significant population! (talk) 07:37, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

"related groups" info removed from infobox[edit]

For dedicated editors of this page: The "Related Groups" info was removed from all {{Infobox Ethnic group}} infoboxes. Comments may be left on the Ethnic groups talk page. Ling.Nut 23:24, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

How many of them still speak Malayalam?[edit]

Are there any speakers???? Axxn 18:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Problems in chronology[edit]

This article claims that the Jews settled in India as early as 700 BCE on the one hand, and in the times of the breakup of Judah/Israel and of Solomon on the other. As Solomon died around 931 BCE and the United Monarchy divided around 930 BCE, there is a gap of about 200 years. If there is contradictory evidence, these years should be presented as being contradictory. Otherwise, this is just a fascinating article. Wakablogger (talk) 09:12, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Another chronology problem: "In 1524, the Muslims ... attacked these wealthy Jews of Cranganore ... The Jews fled south to the Kingdom of Cochin, seeking the protection of the Cochin Royal Family (Perumpadapu Swaroopam). The Hindu Raja of Cochin, Bhaskara Ravi Varman II (979— 1021) gave them asylum" Brownturkey (talk) 12:14, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Cochini Jews are found as far as in Malaysia[edit]

The Joseph Rabban and Joseph Azar family connections could be traced up to Seremban Town in Malaysia. There were many marriages among the Jews in Seremban.The Meyuhasheem , Rabbans married to Eliyahu of Malaya and there were only 12 families of Jews. Name like Joseph Rabban, Joseph Azar, Benjamin Meyuhasheem,Mannaseh,Mannaseh Meyer,Ezra, Cohen ,these names forgotten by social engineering policies. The last post of jews happens to be the House of Eliyahu of Malaya, two other family of jews were of intermarrige beteween the Naboothri Brahmins of Kerala and Cochini Jews,the migratory birds of the House of Judah.Benjamin Meyuhasheem lives as the Malaysian indian ( Ramalingam / Benjamin Meyuhasheem ) currently believed to have moved to Singapore.He is of the ancestory and origins of the Anjuvarnam Jew of Kerala. ( (talk) 08:47, 16 January 2011 (UTC))

The Jewish Semolina Cake of the Seremban Jews- often said to be of Eurasian Recipy[edit]

350 g butter 275 g caster suger 250 g semolina flour 55 g all purpose flour 50 g preserved or crystalized melon pices, chopped. 2 table spoon of diced orange peel or lemon peel 110 g almond chopped 15 egg yolks 1/2 teaspoon mixed spices (the magic jewish five spice powder) 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 1 cup of brandy ( 4 oz)

1. mix semolina, flour, melon preserve lemon or orange peel with the jewish 5 spices. 2. Whip egg yoke with half the caster sugar till light and fluffy. 3.Cream butter with the rest of teh sugar together with vanilla flavour 4.Fold in the creamed egg yoke mixture. 5. Add the mixed dry ingredients and brandy 6. Just stir lightly to well mix 7. Turn batter into lined and greased 9 inch cake tin. 8. Bake in apreheated oven at 175 C for 1 hour until golden brown 9. test with the skewer if the skewer comes out clean the cake is done. 10. Icing the cake with royal icing, or glace ( lemon or orange ) is jewish.

Note : make sure all the ingredients are proper and kosher. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

"The 12th century Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela visited the Malabari coast of Kerala..."[edit]

Benjamin of Tudela never visited India himself - see map of his travels. Text after that sentence is fine. - Agassi1 (talk) 15:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

So, I'm changing. - Agassi1 (talk) 16:17, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

File:Black jew of cochin with peyots.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

Icon Now Commons orange.svg An image used in this article, File:Black jew of cochin with peyots.jpg, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests July 2011
What should I do?

What is the reson for deletion?Old Mallu (talk) 07:07, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

A discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. If you feel the deletion can be contested then please do so (commons:COM:SPEEDY has further information). Otherwise consider finding a replacement image before deletion occurs.

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 15:47, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Racial segregation an exaggeration[edit]

The article seems to make exaggerate the existence of 'racial segregation' or 'apartheid' between the handful of 'white' Jewish families- who owned one, albeit the oldest extant, synagogue- and the much larger Malabari (black) community, who had their own synagogues, some which were very old as well (as back to the 16th century). To call it apartheid is ridiculously excessive as neither community had fewer legal rights or even social or economic standing. As far as I can tell the 'racial segregation' extended only to the use of the one synagogue and the inbreeding among to white community, which given it's size during its peak was only around 100 or so members! That a five or so families had a feeling of superiority isn't worthy of attention. The — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:26, 12 May 2012 (UTC)


Does anyone know of sources for more information about them? Numbers as part of White Jews when they came in the 16th century? Origins? Based on the history of slavery and slaves in Europe, I think it is likely that most were mixed-race African and European, as such slaves returned with slave ships to Spain and Portugal, often working as sailors and/or interpreters. I knew that in North American colonies, Sephardic Jews were slaveholders, but had not come across any commentary that said their slaves became Jewish.Parkwells (talk) 20:03, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Life in Israel[edit]

The article does not have anything on the life of Cochin Jews in Israel. Jonathansammy (talk) 21:57, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Delete Modern Day?[edit]

The Modern Day section has only a sentence fragment in it. Unless someone wants to add more info to it, it should probably be deleted. I don't know enough to add anything.

Copper Plates[edit]

There is a problem with the sentence "The plates are physically inscribed with the date 379 CE,[32]". In the first place, this is not possible, as the Common Era (CE) was a) not used in the 4th century at all b) not used in India until the 15th century and c) not used by Jews. So the sentence should probably read "...with a date equivalent to 379 CE". But even this is not obvious to be true, because the translation of the text doesn't give a date at all, except the one relative to the king's reign. Also the next source quoted [33] says "The plate's narrative declare that they were given to [...] Rabban [...] in 379 C.E." That is not the same as "physically inscribed with". I hesitate to do a change because the "physically inscribed" stuff is sourced with a book I can't access right now. Somebody who can should have a look, but as I said, it's completely impossible that really a CE date is given. Ilyacadiz (talk) 20:54, 1 March 2015 (UTC)