Jews of India

The Jews of India

   Join us for The Jews of India - One Family's Story, Thu Apr 22 2021, 7–8 pm via Zoom:

    This lecture will feature power-couple Abraham D. Sofaer and Marian Scheuer Sofaer in conversation on the Jews of India, diplomacy and current events in Israel, Iran, and the entire Middle East. Vin and Laurel Gupta, local philanthropists and business leaders, will introduce their long-time friends the Sofaers during this program, which is presented in partnership between the Jewish Federation of Omaha and the JFO Foundation. 

   Abraham D. Sofaer was appointed the first George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution in 1994. Named in honor of former US secretary of state George P. Shultz, the appointment is awarded to a senior scholar whose broad vision, knowledge, and skill will be brought to bear on the problems presented by a radically transformed global environment. Sofaer's work focuses on the power over war within the US government and on issues related to international law, terrorism, diplomacy, and national security. He served as Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State from 1985-1990 and is highly regarded as an expert on foreign affairs. 

   His personal story is equally intriguing: born into the Baghdadi Jewish community in Bombay (now Mumbai), he attended boarding school in England and joined the U.S. Air Force after immigrating to the US as a young man. Personal interests include numismatics (coin collecting), music (he has a voice likened to Sinatra), and sharing with others his experience as a Jew Indigenous to the Middle East. 

   Marian Scheuer Sofaer edited the book Synagogues of India, describing more than thirty synagogues still extant in India, written by Jay A. Waronker. She had the honor of presenting the book to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Israel in 2017. 

   After the synagogue in Chendamangalam was restored by the Kerala Department of Archaeology and Department of Tourism, Marian served as the project director for an exhibition, co-curated by Shalva Weil and Jay A. Waronker, to document the history of the local Jewish community for visiting tourists and local groups and to help preserve the synagogue as a cultural landmark for the Muziris Heritage Project, and eco-tourism initiative.

   Marian and her husband, Abe, are frequent visitors to India. She is general counsel and co-founder of an arbitration and mediation firm, Federal Arbitration, Inc., and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Columbia Law School.