Sara Cohen, one of the best known Paradesi Jews of Jew Town, Cochin, India, passed away last month. She was 96 years old. Two other Jews remain.
Sara used to pray at the Paradesi synagogue, which celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2018.
This is a portrait of Sara in her home in Mattancherry in 2015.
The White Jews of Cochin (not to be confused with the much older community of Black Jews) are the descendants of Sephardi Jews expelled from Iberia in 1492. They became known as Paradesi Jews (Foreign Jews). In the 19th century, Baghdadi Jews joined the Paradesi community.
Reconstruction of the Paradesi synagogue at the Israel Museum.
(All photographs are the copyright of Shalva Weil, and reproduced by kind permission.)