Kehimkar, Ḥayim Samuel

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KEHIMKAR, ḤAYIM SAMUEL (1830–1909), historian of the *Bene Israel community in Bombay (Mumbai). Born in Alibag on the Konkan coast like many in his community he became a civil servant in Bombay. In 1853 he founded the Bombay Bene Israel Benevolent Society. In 1875 he and his two brothers opened a school in Bombay which taught both Marathi and Hebrew. He was the editor of the periodical Israel, which appeared until 1885, and his work Sketch of the History of the Beni-Israel and an Appeal for Their Education was published in 1892. On his death, he left in manuscript his "History of the Bene-Israel of India," a mine of information on the history and customs of the Bene Israel community, which was published in Tel Aviv in 1937 on the initiative of Immanuel *Olsvanger.


H.S. Kehimkar, History of the Bene-Israel of India (1937), iii–viii. add. bibliography: S.B. Isenberg, India's Bene Israel: A Comprehensive Inquiry and Sourcebook (1988); J.G. Roland, Jews in British India: Identity in a Colonial Era (1989).

[Walter Joseph Fischel]