Nineteen Jews have been covertly taken from their homes in Yemen and brought to safety in Israel as violence against Jews increases in the predominantly Islamic country.
UnitedwithIsrael.org reports that the Jewish Agency for Israel has rescued about 200 Jews from Yemen in recent years.
The most recent rescue involved 19 Jews; 14 from the town of Raydah and a family of five from Sana’a.
The group arriving in Israel from Raydah included a rabbi who brought with him an ancient Torah scroll, estimated to be between 500 and 600 years old.
Yemen has become embroiled in civil war and violence against Jews has escalated. The father of the husband from Sana’a was murdered in an anti-Semitic attack. His remains were also brought to Israel for burial.
Natan Sharansky, an immigrant from the USSR who is also Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel said that although Jews have almost disappeared from Yemen, their culture will be preserved in Israel:
“This is a highly significant moment in the history of Israel and of Aliyah. From Operation Magic Carpet in 1949 until the present day, the Jewish Agency has helped bring Yemenite Jewry home to Israel. Today we bring that historic mission to a close. This chapter in the history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities is coming to an end, but Yemenite Jewry’s unique, 2,000-year-old contribution to the Jewish people will continue in the State of Israel.”
More than 51,000 Yemenite Jews have immigrated to Israel since the country was first formed in 1948. There is reportedly only 50 Jews remaining in Yemen.
Publication date: March 24, 2016