Passover in India
An Indian man prepares 'matzah' – unleavened bread – for the Jewish Passover festival. The seven-day festival starts on 3 April Getty

An Indian city has hosted a model seder – a Jewish Passover meal – for more than 550 members of the Bnei Menashe community.

The meal was hosted in the Shavei Israel Hebrew Centre in Churachanpur, north-east India, on Thursday, 2 April, the day before the Passover festival begins.

Passover – or Pesach – festival is a seven-day long festival that marks the exodus of enslaved Jews from Egypt almost 3,500 years ago.

The Bnei Menashe community hope to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem next year.

"Passover symbolises the Jewish people's deliverance, and the Seder embodies the deepest hopes of the Bnei Menashe community," Shavei Israel founder and chairman Michael Freund, told the English-language Israeli daily, the Jerusalem Post.

"In the past two years, we have brought 1,000 Bnei Menashe to Israel," Freund said. "We hope the remaining 7,000 members of the community still in India will soon experience the same taste of freedom – next year in Jerusalem!"

One of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, the Bnei Menashe are a group of indigenous people from India's border states of Manipur and Mizoram. They were banished from Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian Empire.

During the 19th century many of the tribe converted to Christianity. But for the past 40 years members have been converting back to Judaism.