ALIBAG, Indian town on the Konkan Coast, south of Bombay; formerly the leading settlement of the *Bene Israel community. Its synagogue, "Magen Avot," was founded in 1840 (rebuilt in 1910) on the initiative of the ḥakham Shalom Shurrabi, author and sponsor of liturgical works for the Bene Israel community. Alibag was the favorite resort of retired military personnel of the Bene Israel group and the center of Hebrew instruction for youth from neighboring Bene Israel settlements. The historian of the community, Ḥayyim Samuel *Kehimkar, was born in Alibag. The synagogue in Alibag was still functioning in the beginning of the 21st century.
H.S. Kehimkar, History of the Bene Israel of India (1937); S. Samuel, Treatise on the Origin and Early History of the Bene Israel of the Maharashtra State (1963). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Roland, The Jewish Communities of India (1998).
[Walter Joseph Fischel]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.