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Yemenite Jews in Yemen

Jun 22, 2012 at 01:11:34 AM

Not long ago I picked up a hitchhiker in Israel. I don't usually do so randomly, but this guy had a sincere look about him. He got in and I started the conversation.

"Where are you from?" I asked.

"I was born in Yemen," he answered.

I thought that all the Yemenite Jews had come to Israel on Operation Magic Carpet in 1950. He looked about 18 years old, and my brain quickly calculated that something didn't jive here.

"If you were born in Yemen, when did you come to Israel?" I asked.

"Two weeks ago," he said.

I was shocked. He then told me all about life in Yemen, and about his transition to a far more Western culture. (He was wielding a smartphone and seemed to fit right in.)

It turns out there are about 130 Jews still living in Yemen today. The hitchhiker told me that his family had stayed so long because of business reasons; they left because Yemen has seen a rise in radical Islamic fervor (think USS Cole) and threats against Jews. In 2008, a 30-year-old rabbi was killed when a Yemenite air force pilot told him, "Jew, accept Islam's message" and then shot him five times.

Just this month Aharon Zindani, a 49-year-old Yemenite man, was tragically stabbed to death in what is being described as an anti-Semitic incident. He was buried in Israel on Thursday.

Jews have lived in Yemen uninterrupted for nearly 3,000 years. It's incredible to think that may soon come to an end.

Published: June 22, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 3

(3) Vered Taeizi, December 9, 2015 1:00 PM

Yemenite Jewish Family Names

Adeni, Adani עדני
Aharon, Aharoni אהרון ,אהרוני
Alnaddaf, Nadaf אלנדאף
Amram עמרם
Argov ארגוב
Atari עטרי
Badani בדני
Badihi בדיחי
Bashari בשארי
Carmi כרמי
Chorath חורית
Cohen כהן
Dahari דהרי
Damari דמארי
Drori דרורי
Fayumi פיומי
Garidi גרידי
Gibly ג'בלי
Glosca גלוסקא
Golan גולן
Habani חבני
Hajbi חג'בי
Halevi הלוי
Hashai חשאי
Harazi חרזי
Haybi חייבי
Haza חזה
Jamil ג’מיל
Janah ג’נח
Kahalani קהלני
Kesser קיסר
Kobashi כובשי
Ladani לדני
Levi לוי
Maatuf מעטוף
Mahpud מחפוד
Maimon מימון
Massami מסאמי
Ma’uda מעודה
Nahari נהרי
Nagar, Najjar נגר
Nini ניני
Orkabi עורקבי
Ozeri עוזרי
Patihi פתיחי
Qafih/Kapach קאפח
Ratzabi רצאבי
Sabari, Tzubari, Tzoubari, Zubari, Subari, Tzabari צברי
Salah צאלח
Sharabi שרעבי
Shabzi שבזי
Shaki שאקי
Sulami סולמי
Ta’asa תעסה
Tabib, Taviv טביב
Taeizi, Taizi טעיזי
Tanami תנעמי
Tasi, Tessi טסי
Tavori תבורי
Tawil טוויל
Tzaadi צעדי
Tzadak, Tsadak צדק
Tzan’ani צנעני
Yakobi יעקובי
Yekutiel יקותיאל
Yemini ימיני
Yichye יחיא
Yitzhaki יצחקי
Yishai ישי
Zandani זנדאני
Zhairi צעירי

(2) Anonymous, February 8, 2015 6:24 PM

8th February 2015

please do something for the Jews in Yemen. Help them to make Aliya

(1) Tiferet, October 13, 2014 7:02 PM

All of the Jews will come back.

They can still, now, come by choice. Many have come most recently from France, the rest will soon come.

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