View Full Version : How Middle Eastern/Levantine are Chinese and Indian Jews?

07-25-2020, 12:31 AM
So while it's generally agreed upon that most historical Jewish communities, with the exception of a couple outliers, derive a substantial chunk of their genetic background from the Near East. I'm curious relatively how Middle Eastern outlier groups like the Kaifeng Jews of China or the Cochin Jews and Bene Israel of India would be.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the origins of these communities are from the Persian speaking part of the Jewry world, similarly to the Bukharan Jews of Central Asia. However unlike the Bukharan Jews who seemed to remain relatively endogamous, the Indian and Chinese communities seemed to have converted and intermarried pretty heavily with their host population to where they seem to be genetically and phenotypically indistinguishable from the people who surrounded them.

Would anyone who studied this a bit further be able to shed more light on the subject? I haven't really found any threads or comments concerning these specific communities.

P.S. I just want to make it clear, I'm not trying to say they are less Jewish than others since this can be a touchy subject, I think anyone who either converts or who was born to a Jewish mother is Jewish regardless of their genetics. I'm just interested in learning a bit more about less talked about communities like these, as information about them seems rather scarce.

07-25-2020, 03:32 AM
There are a couple very short threads on Indian Jews (and several others more specifically about confusion over "Indian Jewish" oracle results on GEDmatch that pop up fairly often for non-Jewish South Asians). I believe there hasn't been much discussion in part because there's not a whole lot of information out there besides the main studies like these two:



Here are the threads, for general reference:



I'm not aware of any genetic research done on Kaifeng Jews. They are notably absent from the major genetic studies on Jews.