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Shavei Israel’s Rabbi Michael Freund Spreads Jewish Traditions to India’s Zion Torah Center With Machon Milton Program

Michael Freund helped Samuel Devasahayam and his family convert to Judaism and share their faith with others in India.

ERODE, INDIA, January 17, 2023 / -- The Zion Torah Center in Erode, India, is a beacon of spiritual freedom and hope for all those who attend. What many people don’t know, however, is that the roots of the Zion Torah Center began to take shape when Samuel Devasahayam and his family met Rabbi Michael Freund of Shavei Israel in India.

“We started knocking on all doors which could help us in our path to Judaism,” said Devasahayam’s wife, Anna Sheela Samuel. “One such door was Michael Freund’s of Shavei Israel. He believed in us and helped us immensely by sending Rabbi Yishai Tsur and his family to us in Erode.”

This led to the creation of Zion Torah Center, a rural South Indian religious facility featuring a synagogue and numerous programs for teaching and spreading the Jewish faith. Samuel passed away in 2018, but his legacy lives on. Shavei Israel’s Machon Milton program also facilitated the conversion to Judaism of Anna and Samuel’s children.

The Machon Milton program holds classes in English and offers a simple and in-depth look at the Jewish faith. The program, which runs for an entire year, gives participants the opportunity to experience a whole year of the Jewish faith. For instance, Machon Milton students get to see exactly what the Jewish calendar entails over the course of a year. The classes take place in Jerusalem for four hours per night and encompass 400 hours of education in Judaism.

To be eligible for Machon Milton classes, prospective students must meet certain requirements such as being active or eligible Israeli citizens, having been accepted by the special committee of the Interior Ministry, or having previously studied with a conversion program outside of Israel.

Men and women alike are welcome to join Machon Milton programs, although any married person or anyone in a committed relationship is required to attend with their significant other.

“It is an honor to help this family in their own journey to Judaism while also building a strong Jewish community in Erode,” says Freund.


See more about Anna’s story on their website at

Further details on Machon Milton classes can be found at

For more information and news, check out Michael Freund’s LinkedIn page.


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