Arriving with the British and ultimately departing with them, the Baghdadi Jewish community of Bombay and Calcutta provides an unusual opportunity for examining issues of identity, ethnicity and marginality. They have been described as an “imagined community”, fitting into the concept of a community that is bound not to a territory but to an idea. As they became more prosperous as a trading community and better known, the fair-complexioned Baghdadis were eager to be considered as Europeans and to assimilate, legally, politically and to a lesser extent, socially with the British. This, and British racial antagonism, determined their negative attitudes toward Indian nationalism as well as their relationships with their indigenous co-religionists, especially the Bene Israel. The Indian conditions of caste, colour and community influenced the distinctions between the two communities. Despite the fact that they considered their Jewishness as their core identity, relatively few Baghdadis went to Israel after the Partition of India, preferring, and able, to migrate to Western countries.