Sifra Lentin

Sifra Lentin

Bombay History Fellow

Sifra Lentin is a Mumbai-based writer and the Bombay History Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. She graduated in English from Elphinstone College, Mumbai, and went on to complete her Bachelor’s in General Law (BGL) from Government Law College, Mumbai. She has written for a wide spectrum of Mumbai-based newspapers and magazines – most notably Mid-Day, Reuters, The Times of India, The Sunday Observer, Hindustan Times, Taj Magazine, JetWings and One India One People. The books written by her are: the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet coffee table book ‘A Salute To The Sword Arm – A Photo Essay On The Western Fleet’ (April 2007), and more recently Our Legacy: the Dwarkadas family of Bombay (March 2018) on the 250 year old history of the eminent Halai Bhatia Dwarkadas Khimji family of Mumbai. She has also been published in three books: MARG’s ‘Indian Jewish Heritage – Ritual, Life-Cycle & Art’ (2002), One India One People’s book on Communities of India (2006), and recently in Primus Publications Mumbai Socio-Cultural Perspectives: Contributions of Ethnic Groups and Communities (2018), where she has written Chapter 10 on ‘Mumbai’s Jewish Community’. Lentin was recently awarded a one-month fellowship (October 2018) to the Herbert Katz Center for Advance Judaic Studies in Philadelphia for a project on the ‘Jews of Karachi’. She is also on the Board of Trustees of the Sir Jacob Sassoon School (Byculla, Mumbai).
Expertise

History, Bombay

Last modified: September 11, 2017

Recent projects

old photos bombay Courtesy: Live Mint
15 August 2017 Gateway House

Bombay, Karachi, linked by sea and refuge

The 70th Independence Day for India and Pakistan – August 15 and 14 respectively – is a reminder of how Partition displaced 15 million people, causing untold hardship. What is less known is that the cities of Karachi and Bombay have had a shared colonial history and economy: the parting of ways left one bereft of a host of spirited citizens, who went on to rebuild their lives in the other

His Highness Aga Khan Adressing in Central Asia_1 Courtesy: Zahur Ramji
13 July 2017 Gateway House

When Bombay was home to the Aga Khans

The Aga Khan IV, Prince Karim al-Husayni, the religious head of of the Ismaili Shia Imamat, celebrated the diamond jubilee year of his leadership earlier this week with the launch of many development projects. What is not very well known is that Bombay was a centre for the consolidation of the community and its religious leaders’ influence

IMG_0796 Courtesy: Dr. Sarah Israel
29 June 2017 Gateway House

India, Israel and the chosen people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel (July 4-6) marks 25 years of India’s diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. Forging political and economic ties with it has not been smooth sailing, and it’s the Indian Jewish community that has kept a tenuous relationship going
Arial_View_Flora_Fountain_Bombay Courtesy: Wonderful Mumbai
22 June 2017 Gateway House

Heritage on the brand wagon

One of the conclusions drawn from a recent panel discussion, co-hosted by Gateway House and Avid Learning, on how brands are helping promote heritage conservation, moderated by Sifra Lentin, Mumbai History Fellow, was that there is an urgent need to preserve Mumbai’s natural and built heritage to meet the Maharashtra government’s target--the year 2020--for inaugurating the international financial centre at Bandra-Kurla Complex. Here is a summary of the concerns that the panellists raised
Sister Cities Cover Courtesy: Gateway House
19 May 2017 Gateway House

Mumbai-Shanghai Sister Cities Agreement: Challenges and Opportunities

In light of our government's new understanding of the role that the sister cities relationship can play in envisioning urban projects in India, Gateway House's Mumbai History Fellow, Sifra Lentin, has readied a special report on the role and understanding of sister cities.

CFo1ubfUgAAzxei Courtesy: Consulate General of France in Mumbai
16 March 2017 Gateway House

More than a whiff of France in Bombay

All eyes are on the outcome of the French elections next month with its portents of a far right president being the people’s choice. But it was 200 years ago that Bombay forged its French connection. Trade with France ushered in cultural influences while the city’s early nationalists were drawn to the French Revolution’s political philosophy of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’
silk road Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
14 February 2017 Gateway House

Interweaving the old Cotton and Silk Routes

China’s resurrection of the ancient Silk Road is ambitious, sprawling, hegemonic. Its pre-European origins, though, lay in a criss-crossing of nameless caravan routes on which Indian cotton was traded as vigorously as Chinese silk, tangible proof of the interdependence of two ancient civilisations over two millennia
bandra kurla complex Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
19 December 2016 Gateway House

Bombay’s past and future as an IFC

The historic role of Bombay (as it was then called) as a hub for banking, commerce, trade, and shipping, and its financial clout a 100 years ago, are little known today. With the city scheduled to soon open an international financial services centre, it is worthwhile to recall and integrate this legacy with Mumbai’s present strengths in order to attract global capital to its IFSC
Sifra Germany Photo Courtesy: Chemould Prescott Road Archives
1 December 2016 Gateway House

A German renaissance in Bombay

Germany’s presidency of G20 in 2017 comes at a time when the country is in a state of deep flux. But its relations with India have always been unshaken. Even 80 years ago, German-speaking immigrants, fleeing the Second World war, greatly enhanced Bombay’s cultural life
Chp 5. The Chartered Bank%2c Bombay Photo courtesy Dr Jehangir S. Sorabjee Courtesy: Jehangir S. Sorabjee
9 November 2016 Gateway House

Bombay and the City of London

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India from November 6-8, her first to a country outside Europe, has been focusing on increasing bilateral trade and investments. But 300 years ago, London and Bombay shared a critical financial relationship.