Pakistan Allows Man to Register as Country’s First Jew in Decades
The Fellowship | March 31, 2017
The Times of Israel reports on the efforts of one Pakistani citizen, Fischel Benkhald, to finally register as Jewish, something he feared to do because of possible backlash from his Muslim neighbors.
Benkhald, who was born Faisal Benkhald, was brought up by a Jewish mother and Muslim father in Karachi. He had been pushing to change his national identity card status for three years. He chose the Yiddish name Fischel.
Wilson Chowdry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, took up Benkhald’s cause with the Pakistani High Commission in London.
In 2014, Benkhald told The Times of Israel he intended to register as a Jew, but feared being rejected and a backlash from neighbors if they found out he was Jewish…
Before rampant anti-Israel sentiment forced Jews to leave the Asian country in the years following 1948, Karachi was once home to over 1,000 Jews. Chowdry estimates that hundreds of Jews are now living secretly in Pakistan.