THE ASHKENAZI DIASPORA From 'Atlas of the Jewish World' , Nicholas de Lange, 1985, pp50-51
OTHER JEWISH DIASPORA GROUPS ______________________________
(1) The hidden existence, or future public return of these tribes, is based on written religious tradition and/or speculation. A belief has persisted that one day they would be found. Eldad ha-Dani, for instance, a 9th-century Jewish traveller, reported locating the tribes “beyond the rivers of Abyssinia” on the far side of an impassable river called Sambation, a roaring torrent of stones that becomes subdued only on the sabbath, when Jews are not permitted to travel. Manasseh ben Israel (1604–57) used this legend in pleading for the admission of Jews into England.
King Solomon created the wealthiest and most powerful central government the Hebrews would ever see, but at a high cost. Land was given away to pay for his extravagances and people were sent into forced labor into Tyre in the north. When he died, between 926 and 922 BCE, the ten northern tribes refused to submit to his son, Rehoboam, and revolted.
From this point on, there would be two kingdoms of Hebrews: in the north - Israel, and in the south - Judah. These kingdoms remained separate states for over two hundred years. Within a century of Solomon's death, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were left as small states.
In 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered Israel. So conquered territories remained pacified they forced many to move to other parts of their empire usually concentrated on the upper and more powerful classes as they had no reason to fear the general population. They then sent Assyrians to relocate in the conquered territory.
When they conquered Israel, they forced the ten tribes to scatter throughout their empire. For all practical purposes, you might consider this a proto-Diaspora ("diaspora"="scattering"), except that they disappeared from history and are called "the ten lost tribes of Israel." Why this happened is difficult to assess
Many groups claim to be descended from the lost tribes. Listings from three sources are shown in The 10 Lost Tribes.
(2) SHAVEI ISRAEL
Reaches out to “lost” and “hidden” Jews around the world. From Poland to Peru, and Barcelona to Brazil, Shavei Israel aims to help descendants of Jews reconnect with the people and State of Israel. We open the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity.
The Jewish people are currently facing a demographic and spiritual crisis of unprecedented proportions. Our numbers are shrinking, Jewish commitment is waning, and more and more young people are leaving the fold. And yet, simultaneously, an extraordinary awakening is taking place. From northeastern India to southern Spain, from the coast of Portugal to the shores of Brazil, countless numbers of people are trying to make sense of their Jewish ancestry, wrestling with profound questions of history, identity and self. Many are literally knocking on our collective door, looking for a way to enter.
This presents the Jewish people with a tremendous opportunity to reinforce its ranks and reinvigorate its spirit by extending a courteous hand to all those who wish to return. Shavei Israel is the only Jewish organization today that is actively reaching out to “lost Jews” in an effort to facilitate their return. We are not merely a research team. We approach each case on a human level, lending guidance and understanding in tracing Jewish roots, exploring Jewish history and evaluating options for returning to the Jewish people.
THE HOW-TO’S OF “RETURN”
Returning to the Jewish people does not and should not involve coercion or compulsion. It is a deeply personal decision and cannot be imposed from the outside. It may result from a desire to recover a lost heritage, or from an intense need to understand various inherited customs and family traditions.
Whatever the source, Shavei Israel supports, guides, and provides assistance for these personal journeys however varied they may be. Shavei Israel opens the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity. Shavei Israel does not proselytize nor does it support any form of missionary activity. Shavei Israel responds to personal expressions of desire to return to Judaism.
To find out more Go to SHAVEI ISRAEL VIDEO - THE LOST TRIBES: THE JOURNEY OF THE BNEI MENASHE
Is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in New York City, Kulanu (Hebrew for "all of us") works around the world to support isolated and emerging Jewish communities who wish to learn more about Judaism and (re-)connect with the wider Jewish community.