Yemenite Jews Arrive in Israel


yemen1Ten new immigrants arrived in Israel this afternoon from the Yemenite community of Raida, where Jews have recently been harrassed by Muslims. The special aliyah operation by the Jewish Agency for Israel was carried out in cooperation with the Yemenite Jewish Federation of America. The group included Said Ben-Yisrael, one of the heads of the Raida Jewish community, and his wife and seven children, as well as another new immigrant from the community. Several weeks ago, Muslim extremists threw a grenade into the Ben-Yisrael family’s courtyard. In the wake of threats on his life, Said took his family and went to live in the capital city of Sana’a.Upon landing in Israel, the family was expected to travel to Beit Shemesh accompanied by a Jewish Agency team. The other new immigrant was headed to the Jewish Agency’s Ye’elim Absorption Center in Be’er Sheva.

Yemenite Jews have been under the special protection of President Ali Abdallah Salah. In recent years, though, there has been increased harassment of Jews against a background of anti-Semitism by Muslim extremists. The tension reached a climax this past December, when Reb Moshe Yaish Nahari, father of nine, was murdered by a Muslim. Threats against Jews in Yemen worsened following Israel’s recent military operations in Gaza.

Moshe Vigdor, director-general of the Jewish Agency, said the organization is closely following the situation of the community in Yemen. Eli Cohen, the director-general of the Aliyah and Absorption Department, said that the Jewish Agency strives to ensure the safety of community members and is working to quickly bring to Israel most of the Jews in Yemen who wish to immigrate. The new immigrants will receive special assistance from the agency, including a grant of NIS 40,000 per family.

About 280 Jews currently remain in Yemen, 230 of whom live in Raida in the Omran province, and another 50 in Sana’a. The Jews now in Sana’a had fled there from their homes in Sa’ade province about a year ago due to harassment by the Huthi, a terrorist group connected to Al Qaeda. Most of the Jews of Yemen immigrated to Israel during Operation Magic Carpet in 1950. Several hundred Jews immigrated in two subsequent smaller waves – in the mid 1960’s and in the beginning of the 1990’s.

Dozens of Yemenite Jews have moved to the U.S. and London in recent years, brought there by Satmar chassidim. Satmar has expressed its concern for preserving the ancient Jewish community, and recently, Rav Aharon Teitelbaum of Satmar wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking for assistance to enable Yemenite Jews to emigrate to the United States.

{Yair Israel/INN}


  1. yea will the “israeli government” cut their Simanim (payot) and take their babies away and give the to non religious families telling the mother that they died at birth

    as was done in the past by the israeli government

    i will be happy to host a family like this for Shabbos as i do for Chialim (soldiers)