City Heritage - Nadira's People, or People of Delhi's Jewish Cemetery

City Heritage – Nadira’s People, or People of Delhi’s Jewish Cemetery

City Heritage - Nadira's People, or People of Delhi's Jewish Cemetery

The capital heritage

[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Nadira, Sulochana and Pramila. These long-ago Hindi film actors adorn a recently painted Connaught Place mural. All three were “Indian-Jewish,” as an accompanying plaque points out. Nadira’s original nome was Florence Ezekiel, Sulochna’s was Ruby Myers, and Pramila’s was Esther Victoria Abraham. The only other place in Delhi to meet a substantial number of Indian Jews is in the city’s only Jewish graveyard. The historic Humayun Road cemetery is small, making it possible to list all the dwellers lying there in eternal sleep.

1. Lt Gen Jack Farj Rafael Jacob, died in 2016 (hero of the Bangladesh war)

2. Samuel Nissim Luddy, 1918-2013

3. Isaaco Joseph D’Ascoli—died in 2011

4. Beatrice Moses, 1934-2007 (she was a “sweetheart wife and mother”)

5. Cathora Shalom Payne, 1930-2007 (her other name was Kanwal Sehgal; wife of Ram Sehgal; daughter of Sarah and Shalom Payne)

6. Diana Kolet, 1922-2005

7. Ruth Kolet, 1920-2004

8. Matilda Abraham, 1929-1998 (wife of M.B. Singh, she was Leah and Moses Abraham’s daughter)

9. Sophie Moses, 1910-1996

10. Moshe, died 1995 (“he bore his pain silently”)

11. Dr Sarah Kolet, 1906-1993 (“she had smiles for all and a heart of gold”)

12. Ezra Kolet, 1914-1992

13. Ann Samson, died in 1986

14. Mrs Ivy Narain, 1944-1986

15. Shanta Simha Chenoy, 1930-1981 (daughter of Hannah, who was founder and principal of Delhi University’s Lady Irwin College)

16. Meera, 1929-1977 (daughter of Sherula and Aaron Jacob)

17. Yadullah Mobasser, died in 1974

18. Elizabeth Kolet, 1903-1971

19. Aaron Solomon Jacob Mendrekar, died in 1970

20. Solomon Daniel Belkar, 1908-1969 (born in Igatpuri, died in Ludhiana, and buried in Delhi)

21. Dr Rachel Judah, 1907-1967 (“gentle in mind and patient in pain”)

22. Luna Reubens, 1895-1966 (“an example of courage and patience”)

23. Mrs Sarah Jacob, died in 1965

24. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Ephraim Jhirad, died in 1965 (He died on 17 September during the India-Pakistan war while commanding the 8th battalion of the Garhwal Rifles.)

25. Sybil Daniel, 1912-1963 (“his sudden death shocked everybody”)

26. Sheba Rahamin Kolet, died in 1962 (“a virtuous woman whose price was far above rubies”)

27. Mary Abraham, died in 1961

28. Naomi Jhirad, 1945-1959

29. Elizabeth, died in 1956, aged 75

30. Mrs Jerusha Joseph Samson, 1919-1955

31. Elizabeth Moses Isaacs—1888-1954 (“many a sorrow she had seen”)

32. Benjamin Samuel Reuben—died in 1952

33. Herbert Appel—1905-1952 (born in Bonn, Germany)

34. Hyeen Benjamin, 1930-1949

35. Victor E. J. Reubens, died in 1948

36. Baby of Albert Rubens, 20.5.1947 to 30.5.1947

37. Signalman Bernard Pruim, 1925-1946 (his identity number at work was No. 2624730 Royal Signals)

38. Ezra Penkar, 1943-1944

39. Hanukh Jhirad, died in 1944

40. Flora Simon Chandgaokar, died in 1935

41. Benjamin (Benny) Jacob, born in 1932

42. Dr J.H. Legbheim, dates not legible