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Jewish Women in India Have a Powerful New Role Model

20170325_194452Simcha Sharona Massil Galsurkar is busy. The 37-year-old mother of three, who works as a full-time Jewish teacher and is one of the pillars of the Mumbai Jewish community, spends every spare second preparing educational materials. A member of India’s 2,000-year-old Bene Israel community, Sharona works on a range of projects, from organizing learning groups to collaborations with local organizations like the JDC and Chabad, to ensuring that her three daughters ––Tiferet,13, Tehilla,11, and Emunah,8 ––don’t miss any aspect of a Jewish upbringing. xe88

This time of year, though, she is even busier than usual. Like so many Jewish women around the world, she had been getting ready for Passover. But her task is particularly heavy: not only hosting a Seder for 80 to 100 people, but also assigning herself the task of keeping this holiday alive in a community where Jewish connections are fading.