Nineteen Jews have been secretly taken from their homes in Yemen and been brought to safety in Israel as episodes of violence increases in this predominantly Islamic country.
Reports from UnitedwithIsrael.org state that the Jewish Agency for Israel has rescued 200 Jews from Yemen in the past few years. The most recent rescue involved 19 Jews with 14 from Raydah and a family of five from Sana’a.
The group which arrived from Raydah included a rabbi who had brought an ancient Torah scroll estimated to be 500-600 years old with him.
Yemen has been in the midst of an ongoing civil war and violence against the Jewish people has escalated as a result. The father of the husband from Sana’a was unfortunately murdered in an anti-Semitic attack and his remains will be brought for burial in Israel.
Natan Sharansky, who is the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel commented that although Jewish people are almost non-existent in Yemen, their culture has been 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.”
Over 51,000 Jews from Yemen have moved to Israel since Israel was formed in 1948. Now, it has been estimated that only 50 Jews are left residing in Yemen.