22 to 20

Shalom Israel is the caretaker of the jewish cemetery in Calcutta. A centuries’ old cemetery, it is rarely used these days as the community has shrunk to 22 people. That number is about to change to 20, as Shalom and his brother Mordechai leave to make aaliyah (move to Israel) in a mere week’s time. It was not an easy decision; Shalom has been an active member of the community, but decided, for many reasons, that it was time to go. For one, he has a girlfriend in Israel. But what sparked the decision was growing resentment over many small arguments between him and other leaders in the community. “The smaller the community, the more arguments we have”, he says.