2016-03-30 / Mideast

Final group of Yemeni Jews airlifted to Israel

A group of the last remaining Jews from Yemen arrived in Israel in a secret operation coordinated by the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The 19 Jews who arrived include 14 from Raydah, including the community’s rabbi, and a family of five from Sanaa, the capital. The rabbi brought with him a 500- to 600-year-old Torah scroll, the Jewish Agency said in a statement. It was later reported that the Yemeni government arrested two men for helping the rabbi take the historic Torah out of the country. The Yemeni government claims ownership.

“This is a highly significant moment in the history of Israel and of aliyah,” Natan Sharansky, chairman of the executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, said in a statement. “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-yearold contribution to the Jewish people will continue in the State of Israel.” (JTA)

Return to top