On the other hand, computer engineer Elkan Palkar says he feels at home in India, but still wants to emigrate to Israel. "I plan to learn the language and begin a new life in my fatherland and, if required, fight for it too," he says.
For India's 4,480 Jews—80 per cent of whom live in Mumbai—life is an eternal toss-up between settling down in Israel like Jews the world over, or staying on in India. Even though emigration is significantly down from the post-Independence years—there was a mass exodus after the formation of Israel in 1948—Mumbai's Jews are still a shrinking community. Both the Bene-Israelis, who were shipwrecked off the Konkan coast 2,000 years ago, and the Baghdadi Jews—merchants who fled oppression in Iraq in the 18th century—are going all out to keep, as Jewish author Esther David puts it, "the young within the fold".