Joan G. Roland

Joan G. Roland is chair and professor of history at Pace University in New York City. She received her Ph.D. in Middle Eastern History from Columbia University. She began her study of the Jews of India while on a Fulbright Fellowship to India in 1977–1978 and published Jews in British India: Identity in a Colonial Era (University Press of New England: 1989), a second edition of which was updated and published by Transaction Publishers (1998), under the title of The Jewish Communities of India. She is currently working on the integration and adaptation of Indian Jews in Israel, particularly on the preservation and transformation of Bene Israel culture, and has published articles on this topic.

Articles by this author

Bene Israel

Of the three Jewish communities in India—the Bene Israel, the Cochin Jews, and the Iraqis or Baghdadis—that of the Bene Israel of Maharashtra in western India was by far the largest. Numbering perhaps twenty thousand at its peak in the early 1950s, the majority of the Bene Israel have since left their homeland—most going to Israel—so that only about five thousand remain in India.

Baghdadi Jewish Women in India

The “Baghdadis,” referring to Jews coming mainly from Baghdad, Basra and Aleppo, but also from other Arabic speaking parts of the Ottoman Empire, arrived in India in the late eighteenth century and ultimately formed important diaspora trading communities in Bombay and Calcutta.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Joan G. Roland." (Viewed on January 24, 2020) <>.


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