Month: February 2016

Highest Ranking Jew in Indian Army Lt. Gen. Jacob-Farj-Rafael dies aged 92

One of the most prominent members of India’s Jewish community died Wednesday 13 January 2016 after a short illness. Lt. Gen. Jacob-Farj-Rafael “JFR” Jacob had a successful career in India’s military, and his body was held in state at Brar Square in Delhi Cantonment before a funeral took place at Judah Hyam Synagogue in Delhi. A reception to honour Jacob was attended by all 3 chiefs of the Indian Army,the Minister of Defence, the former President of India, ambassadors and 13 regiments.  

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Carmon said that Jacob was a staunch supporter of India-Israel relations and “shall forever be remembered as a human bridge between our peoples.”

Jacob was inspired by the plight of Jews in Europe to join what was then the British Indian army in 1942. His family had settled in India from Iraq in the 18th Century. 

Jamaica community works to restore cemeteries

The Jewish community of Jamaica started a programme of cemetery restoration and cataloguing with the cleaning up of the Hunt’s Bay Cemetery 9 years ago. This, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Jamaica which served the Jews who first settled in Port Royal after the capture of the island by the English in 1655-58. The earliest graves date from 1672.

Up until now, the community has almost completed the revised cataloguing of all the Jewish graves in the remaining 12 Jewish cemeteries island-wide. This has been undertaken with volunteers, headed by Rachel Frankel, through the Caribbean Volunteers Expedition program. The community has 15 volunteers working as of today on two cemeteries, Orange Street and Elletson Road.

The White Church Street Cemetery will be catalogued next year. This will be undertaken on completion of its restoration. Updates will follow.

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