Small community arrives with rabbi; Operation carried out in secret; 50 Jews remain in Yemen; Netanyahu meets with new immigrants in Jerusalem
Seventeen Jews from Yemen were brought to Israel in a secret operation on Monday, making aliyah. “Aliyah”, or “to rise” in Hebrew, refers to Jewish immigration to the State of Israel.
It is illegal for Jews from Yemen to immigrate to Israel, all operations conducted to bring Yemenite Jews to Israel carried out by the Jewish Agency in cooperation with Israeli security agencies.
Jews suffer persecution and anti-Semitism in Yemen, the option to make aliyah unimaginable for the small Jewish communities still trapped in Yemen. Just last year a Jewish woman was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and married to a Muslim. There have been numerous cases of attacks, abuse and even murder for Yemen’s small Jewish community.
Over 51,000 Jews from Yemen have immigrated to the State of Israel since 1948, majority arriving during Operation Magic Carpet in 1949-1950. According to the Jewish Agency, over 50 Jews still remain in Yemen.
Of the seventeen immigrants who arrived to Israel on Monday one is the community’s rabbi who came to Israel with a 600 year old Torah.
Natan Sharansky, the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency stated on the operation “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.”
Jews who immigrate to Israel are absorbed and provided homes and programs to assist in integration to the Jewish State.
On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the olim (immigrants). He spoke with them and viewed the Torah scroll brought with them. He stated “Welcome to Jerusalem, to the Land of Israel. I am very excited to see you here. It is moving that you know to read from the Torah. This is the basis. For many years we have thought about bringing you and with God’s help it is over.”